Inspired to try cycling by a scene in the film “E.T.”, Chris Hoy soon reached the world’s top ten rankings in BMX and in addition was a medallist at the Scottish Junior Rowing Championships. His rise to the top mirrored his nation’s emergence from also-rans to the top of track cycling.
Hoy won his first Olympic medal as part of the team sprint at the Sydney Games and then turned his attention to the kilometre time trial. This move proved successful as he won the world title in 2002 and 2004 before winning gold at the Athens Olympics. The kilometre was removed from the Olympic programme for the 2008 Games so Hoy was forced to change to other track sprinting events. His switch proved very successful as led the very successful British cycling team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, with three gold medals. After anchoring the British team sprint squad to the title, Hoy dominated the match sprint and keirin competitions to win three gold medals, the best track cycling performance at a single Olympics since Marcus Hurley in 1904. For this performance and others he was a given a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth in the 2009 New Year Honours List and was voted his nation’s sports person of the year.
Hoy retained his team sprint and keirin titles at the 2012 London Olympics, where he was the Great Britain flagbearer, and in the process became the most successful Olympic cyclist in history with six gold medals. However, his record was equaled by fellow Briton Jason Kenny at Rio in 2016. After the 2012 Games Hoy shared the overall cycling medal record of 7 with Bradley Wiggins but Wiggins went on to win a record eighth medal in 2016. Hoy’s world championship record is equally impressive as he won 11 gold medals, 8 silver and 6 bronze between 1999 and 2012. He also has the unique distinction of having won world and Olympic titles in all four sprinting disciplines (individual sprint, time trial, keirin and team sprint). The velodrome built for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is named in his honour. Hoy retired from competitive cycling in 2013 and went into business promoting his HOY Bikes, cycling accessories and clothing. He also wrote a series of children’s books entitles Flying Fergus. In June 2016 he took part in, and completed, the grueling Le Mans 24-Hour motor race. He was also an integral part of the BBC commentary and pundit team for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2016 Rio Olympics.