Callum Skinner, winner of Olympic gold in the team sprint and silver in the individual version of the event, has criticised a group campaigning for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union for using his image in a video it posted to Twitter.
Leave.eu, co-founded by UKIP donor Arron Banks and which had the party’s Nigel Farage as its figurehead during the referendum campaign, posted a video to Twitter yesterday which began with the words “We’re too small” and “We need to be in the EU” before showing a succession photos of Team GB medal winners from Rio - presumably to try and show those statements were wrong.
— Callum Skinner (@CallumSkinner) August 16, 2016
The pictures included one of Skinner with Jason Kenny, who beat his colleague from the team sprint in the individual event, and who went on to win the keirin yesterday evening.
Skinner seemed to have qualified for the semi-final of that event after crossing the line first in his repechage round, but was relegated for illegally entering the sprinters’ lane.
The Scot, who turns 24 on Saturday, tweeted in reply: “Thanks for the support but I wish you wouldn't use my image to promote your campaign,” followed by emojis of the EU and union flags.
His tweet, sent from Rio, has received more than 4,000 likes and 2,500 retweets.
During the referendum campaign, Leave.EU was reported to the police for incitement to racial and religious hatred for a poster that had the text “Breaking Point” and “We need to break free of the EU and take back control of our borders,” accompanied by a photograph of a queue of migrants and refugees taken on the Slovenia-Croatia border last year.
Some might see it as hypocritical, then, that among the athletes used in Leave.EU’s montage is 10,000 metre gold medallist Mo Farah, who arrived in the UK aged eight from Djibouti, where he and his twin brother had been sent by their mother due to the ongoing civil war in their native Somalia.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.