Four-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy has pleaded with the organisers of London 2012 to provide more tickets for competitors' families at the Games and help resolve his dilemma of choosing which of his nearest and dearest will get to watch his bid to become Britain’s most successful ever Olympian from inside the Velodrome.
The track star, who looks likely to defend his titles in the team sprint and the keirin this summer, with Jason Kenny favourite to secure the single GB spot in the individual sprint, needs one gold medal to match Sir Steve Redgrave’s British record of five; the rower also has one bronze medal, but Hoy already has a silver in his collection.
Hoy’s family – his mother Carol, father David and sister Carrie plus his wife Sarra whom he married in 2010, have travelled the world supporting him as he has amassed those medals plus many others in world championships and other events.
However, The Scotsman reports that like many other members of the British Olympic team, Hoy faces a headache over which members of his family will be able to watch him compete this summer, with only two tickets allocated to him per session in which he competes.
“It is difficult because my family has travelled all over the world to Sydney, Athens, Beijing to watch me compete,” said the 36-year-old.
“You’d think the one you could get tickets for is your home event.
“Everybody wants to be there to see it but obviously you’d think the families would be top of the list.
“We’re trying every possible angle to try and get tickets, we’re working 24/7.”
In the case of Hoy and other track cyclists, the situation is made more difficult by the relatively low capacity of the Velodrome plus the huge demand for tickets for events there.
However, the Scot believes that organisers should hold back more tickets for families.
“I don’t think athletes’ families have been taken into consideration.” He insisted.
“It’s not rocket science. It just needs somebody to sit down and think about the families who have got the athletes to this level. Just a little bit of payback would be very welcome.”
A spokesman LOCOG, the London Olympic organisers, told The Scotsman: “LOCOG is guaranteeing all athletes up to two tickets for family and friends for every session they compete in, and this hasn’t always been the case for previous Games.
“Athletes’ families typically can also get tickets from governing bodies and their national Olympic committees. Sponsor Procter & Gamble is also helping Team GB athletes’ families with tickets.”
While Hoy’s aim this summer is gold medals, he implied that after London, he might have a more domestic target in mind by starting a family with his wife, Sarra.
“We have no kids yet but we’ll see what happens,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to putting Sarra first for a while after London and just enjoying our lives together.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.