Sir Chris Hoy, Great Britain’s most successful Olympian with six gold medals, is expected to announce his retirement at a press conference at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium on Thursday. It had been thought that Hoy would end his glittering career in next year’s Commonwealth Games at the velodrome in Glasgow that bears his name, although he has been non-committal about that ever since the London Olympics last summer.
Hoy won two Olympic gold medals in the velodrome in London last August, in the team sprint and keirin. Added to his victories in the kilo in Athens in 2004 and the team and individual sprints and keirin at Beijing, those successes last year took his career total to six golds.
That’s one ahead of rowing legend Sir Steve Redgrave, who was among the first to congratulate Hoy in the track centre after he had won his sixth gold, although it was the cyclist who seemed slightly starstruck, describing how the rower had been his sporting hero when he was a boy.
Besides those six Olympic titles, Hoy also won silver in the team sprint at Sydney in 2000 and has 11 world championship and two Commonwealth Games gold medals to his name.
Hoy began riding BMX at the age of six after watching the film ET: The Extra Terrestrial and encouraged by his parents Carol and David was competing in the discipline within a year, switching to the track at the age of 14. He also rowed and played rugby and school.
Since London 2012, Hoy has been busy launching his own bike brand with Evans Cycles, among other things.
Meanwhile, Hoy found himself the victim of mistaken identity from London football fans for the second time in 18 months this weekend.
Chelsea fans took to Twitter to vent their anger at match officials’ decisions in yesterday’s FA Cup Semi Final defeat to Manchester City confused Britain’s most successful Olympian with referee Chris Foy.
As happened after Tottenham Hotspur lost a match in December 2011, the Scot once again found himself the erroneous recipient of some rather choice abuse, leading him to tweet: I guess Chris Foy's having a shocker again today!
One of Hoy’s followers pointed out to him: Yeah. But he had a great Olympics, so it's swings and roundabouts.
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.