Even in distant Bejing, Chris Hoy has not forgotten his roots. The triple gold medallist today called for Meadowbank velodrome, where he first rode the track, to be rapidly replaced
There?s only one way to describe Chris Hoy right now; tired. Very tired. Sitting talking to half a dozen British journalists in the Olympic village coffee bar as the Beijing drizzle teemed down outside, Hoy?s long, arduous journey to a historic gold triple is finally beginning to catch up with him.
In the Olympics alone, Hoy raced a staggering 12 times in Laoshan from Friday through to Tuesday. But if a spanking new Chinese ?drome lies at the end of the Scotsman?s path to Olympic gold, at the beginning was Laoshan?s equivalent in Edinburgh: Meadowbank, due for demolition, and as Hoy puts it, ?on its last legs.?
But – partly thanks to Hoy – Meadowbank holds an important place in British sporting history. Asked if he thought three gold medals was enough to save the old Scottish track, Hoy answered; ?I don?t know, it?s on its last legs, but it deserves to be replaced, even if it?s with some other facility in Edinburgh or the east of Scotland.?
?I don?t know if my actions could contribute towards saving a facility in Scotland, it?s not in my hands right now. But put it this way, all I can say to you categorically is if it wasn?t for Meadowbank, I wouldn?t be sitting here talking to you now.?
The justification for knocking down Meadowbank – a wooden, openair structure – is that Glasgow is building a velodrome for the Commonwealth Games in 2014. A housing development will be built on the Edinburgh site.
That will leave the east side of Scotland, not to mention the country?s capital, bereft of it’s only track cycling facility. Even before Hoy took three golds in Beijing, Meadowbank had its place in Scotland?s sporting history.
|OLYMPIC GAMES 2008: TRACK|
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|OLYMPIC GAMES 2008: GUIDE|
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