Hoy aiming for Commonwealth gold, then coaching career

Sir Chris Hoy may be Great Britain’s most successful Olympian but he believes he’s got a fight on his hands to bring the curtain down on his career with Commonwealth gold in the velodrome that bears his name.

The 36-year-old took his Olympic gold medal tally to six at London 2012 with team sprint and keirin gold, and promptly conceded Rio 2016 would be a bridge to far.

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Creaking body permitting, however, he does intend to add to the two Commonwealth Games gold medals he has one – in the kilo in 2002 and team sprint in 2006 – and he was unveiled as the first official ambassador for Glasgow 2014.

But while the track cycling events at Glasgow 2014 will take place in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the man himself admits he doesn’t even know if he will make it there.

“To have been named as the first Games ambassador for Glasgow 2014 was very exciting and to see the mascot and to have the other ambassadors on board really drives home that it won’t be long until the Games are here in two years’ time,” he said speaking at the conclusion of the Gillette ‘Great Starts’ campaign where he joined fellow Olympian Liam Tancock to celebrate with the successful recipients of this year’s grants.

“It is just exciting to have this massive event to follow on from London to keep that momentum going and to keep that success going and it is going to be huge.

“If I can keep going and able to compete there it would be the perfect end to my career. But even if I don’t make the team, just to be part of it and the overall experience as an ambassador and experience it all would be great.

“I have just been so busy so I have been back on the bike but not in a formal training capacity with the sets and reps in the gym.

“I have been out on the track twice and I have been back on the road a fair bit but it is more for the fun and just enjoyment of it.

“I am not competing in any major internationals this year so I am just enjoying riding my bike and keeping fit and when the time comes I will be back up to 100 per cent.

“It is great to just be doing it for the sake of doing it again. You aren’t doing it because you have to do it, you are doing it because you want to do it and it reminds you of why you took up the sport in the first place.”

As a knight of the realm, the darling of British sport and with the freedom of Edinburgh, Hoy would appear to have the world at his feet when he eventually calls it a day but don’t expect to see him too far from the velodrome.

Hoy readily admits that coaching is something that appeals to him, but he has no intentions of being fast-tracked to the top, claiming he wants to earn his spurs on the bottom rung of the ladder first.

“I think it would be an incredibly rewarding thing to get into coaching once my competing career is over,” he added.

“But I think if I was to do it I would step back from the elite level in the first instance because first of all it is going to be strange coaching guys who you were team-mates with, that could be quite tricky.

“And also, the commitment the coaches have to put in, particularly at the highest level, in terms of hours it is actually more than the athletes.

“You have to be there for every session, you have to go to every race where the athletes will pick and choose their events, you are pretty much on the road all year round and it is a massive commitment.

“And just because you are a good athlete doesn’t mean you will necessarily make a good coach.”

Related links

Sir Chris Hoy: Rider profile

The 2012 Gillette ‘Great Starts’ campaign celebrates community coaches and inspires the next generation of coaches by providing them with grants to fund their next level qualifications.