Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Pride and Hoy.....

It's been difficult to keep up, records being broken pretty much everytime a team GB cyclist rides an event. But last night, as the Olympic track cycling came to its close we witnessed something extra special, poignant and so, so moving.

Sir Chris Hoy became Britain's most golden Olympian in sensational style, storming to victory in the keiran event before a baying 6000 crowd in the velodrome. His latest win took Team GB's gold medal tally to 22 - the most since 1908.

Another 15million watched on TV as Sir Chris claimed his sixth Olympic gold - one more than rower Sir Steve Redgrave. Chants of 'Hoy, Hoy, Hoy' rang out as he punched the air and acknowledged supporters including Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Anne and Lord Coe.

Shedding tears as the national anthem played, the Scot said "I'm in shock - I wanted to win gold in front of my home crowd and thankfully it worked out" - Ah bless, I for one couldn't help shedding a tear too - I like Chris Hoy - he seems a good bloke.

Hoy became a member of the national squad in 1996 and won his first World Championship medal in 1999. He has since won 11 world and 2 Commonwealth titles. He won his first Olympic gold in Athens in 2004 in the kilo event, he went on to specialise in other disciplines after the kilo was dropped from the schedule for Bejing in 2008. He rode the keirin, the sprint and the team sprint at Bejing and won gold in all three - in doing so he became the first Briton since 1908 to win three gold medals in a single Olympic games. He was voted sports personality of the year 2008 and was awarded a knighthood in the 2009 New Year Honours list. The velodrome for the 2014 Commonwealth games has been named after him.

It is about the team, the technology, the wheels, the preparation, the numbers, the thousand tiny pieces of analysis and insight that go into making an Olympic champion - yet it is also about the man. One incredible man. One man and his unending thirst for success. One man who refuses to be beaten. A six-time Olympic Gold Medallist called Christopher Andrew Hoy. The men and women of Great Britain Track Cycling formed a guard of honour around him when his bike finally slowed down to a halt at the velodrome, and they crowded into the podium area when he stood, head down, humbled, to receive his medal. It was a truly inspiring moment.

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