Tuesday 26 August 2008: King of Scotland
From pedalling fast
Sprinting for the line
We crown a new king
Praises we sing
As he remains humble
Ever so slightly political
With medals thrice
Chris Hoy suddenly appeared on Lothian Road this morning (it was a Mini Clubman yesterday). Officially Scotland greatest ever Olympian, after winning three golds in one games (and his fourth overall).
I've spoken with him on the phone before (about 7 months or so ago) interviewing him for .citycycling and he was the nicest bloke you could ever want to chat to. He's passionate about cycling, as I guess you would expect, but not just as a sport. Interviews after winning his three golds have always had him raising the issue of cycling as a transport means, and leisure activity, for environmental and health reasons.
He's also adamant that without the Meadowbank velodrome he wouldn't have achieved the same success. Of course, Edinburgh council is determined to pull down the velodrome (and the whole Meadowbank complex) to make way for housing. This in itself wouldn't be a problem but for the fact that the replacement is to be 'scaled down' and there is no firm commitment to providing a new velodrome. Excuses such as Glasgow building a new velodrome for the Commonwealth Games have been put forward, but it's not exactly convenient, and once someone gets good the ability to train 3 or 4 times a week is going to be severely curtailed.
It's no surprise that Chris now lives and trains in Manchester.