Page last updated at 23:19 GMT, Sunday, 17 August 2008 00:19 UK

Knighthood call for golden Hoy

Chris Hoy
Chris Hoy enjoyed his first medal triumph in Athens four years ago

Calls have been made for cyclist Chris Hoy to be awarded a knighthood after the triple gold medalist became Scotland's greatest Olympian.

Hoy, from Edinburgh, took first place in the keirin event on Saturday, a day after winning the team sprint.

The Beijing victories brought the 32-year-old's gold medal haul to three.

SNP, Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians joined the former champion cyclist Chris Boardman in calling for him to be knighted.

The SNP's sports spokesman at Westminster, Pete Wishart, is to lodge an early day motion at the House of Commons.

The MP for Perth and North Perthshire said: "There could be no more appropriate recognition of Chris Hoy's superb achievements at the Beijing Olympics than a knighthood."

Labour's Sarah Boyack also joined the calls for the honour to be bestowed on Hoy, who enjoyed his first medal triumph in Athens in 2004.

His tremendous achievements in Beijing should be officially recognised
Robert Brown
Liberal Democrat MSP

The Edinburgh Central MSP said: "Chris has been such an inspiration and a knighthood would be fitting recognition for his hard work and leadership that saw him win both an individual gold and another in the team sprint in Beijing over the last couple of days.

"Chris Hoy's achievement will inspire more people to come forward at the 2012 Olympics in London and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow."

Liberal Democrat chief whip, Robert Brown, said the cyclist was a great role model.

"His tremendous achievements in Beijing should be officially recognised," he said.

"I'm sure everyone in Scotland will have their fingers crossed for Hoy in his final event."

Saturday's race ended in a dramatic Scottish one-two, with Ross Edgar winning silver.

Hoy's mother, father, sister and girlfriend watched as he claimed the unprecedented third gold medal.

Katherine Grainger (left) with Annie Vernon, Debbie Flood and Frances Houghton
Scots rower Katherine Grainger (left) won silver on Sunday

After the victory, the cyclist said: "It's been an eventful day and so many things happen you just try and block it all out and focus on your ride and focus on your performance and that's what I did.

"To finish with one-two on the podium, that's just unbelievable."

First Minister Alex Salmond described the race as Scotland's greatest Olympic moment.

He now plans to host a reception at Edinburgh Castle for the country's Olympic heroes when they return from China.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has also offered her congratulations to Scots rower Katherine Grainger, after she won a silver in the women's quadruple sculls.

She said: "It's a fantastic achievement.

"This has been the most successful weekend ever for Scottish Olympians and they are doing themselves and the country extremely proud."

The Queen has invited Britain's Olympians to a drinks reception at Buckingham Palace after the Games.

A royal spokeswoman said the monarch had been taking "a keen interest" in the Games, and will host a reception for members of the squad on 16 October.




SEE ALSO
Golden Britons sparkle in Beijing
16 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Golden cyclist an 'inspiration'
15 Aug 08 |  Scotland

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