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Sir Chris Hoy: from competitor to supporter

 

Glasgow 2014 is a “massive opportunity” to inspire a new generation to become UK sports stars of the future, says Sir Chris Hoy.

The six gold medal-winning Olympic champion, in an exclusive interview, also revealed his “excitement” at being a spectator for the first time in 30 years.

A different perspective

Sir Chris, himself a veteran of several Commonwealth Games, said of Glasgow 2014: “It’s a massive opportunity to reach out to a whole generation of kids who saw the London games and be inspired for the future.”

“It will be exciting to be a spectator," he added. “For 30 years I have always competed, so this time I will be able to soak up the atmosphere. It’s a chance to enjoy the games as a spectator. And being at home it’s a unique experience to be on the other side of the fence.”

How the Games shaped Sir Chris

Sir Chris said the Commonwealth Games had played a vital role in his own career, not least Manchester in 2002.

“Winning in gold in Manchester gave me the belief that I could actually do this,” he said. “It was my first individual win and was very important for me. I saw Scots had travelled down to support me so I felt right at home.”

And he revealed that a Commonwealth Games experience much earlier in his life had stayed with him.

A fascinated Chris Hoy, aged just 10, watched at home in Edinburgh as fellow Scot Eddie Alexander won bronze a few miles away in the sprint event at the 1986 Commonwealth Games. “I remember watching Eddie Alexander on the TV at home and that was the first time I had ever seen a velodrome. The sprint is very much a cat and mouse game and I remember thinking, ‘Why doesn’t he just overtake him? I was already involved in cycling with my BMXing, but I was fascinated.”

He added: “That’s what is so good about the Commonwealth Games - there is something for everyone.”