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Page last updated at 00:02 GMT, Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Olympian Hoy surprised by honour


Hoy delighted by huge honour

Chris Hoy admitted he was still coming to terms with receiving a knighthood in the New Year's Honours list.

The 32-year-old won three gold medals in track cycling at the Beijing Games - becoming the first Briton since 1908 to win three titles at one Olympics.

"It's a huge honour, really unexpected and just an amazing way to end the year," the Scot told BBC Sport.

Hoy's mother, Carol, was appointed MBE for her work as a specialist nurse at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh.

The Olympian said: "I was as delighted with my mum becoming an MBE as I was with my knighthood.

"She retired this year after about 40-odd years of work. The department she worked for became the top sleep lab in Europe. They've done numerous studies there which have broken new ground."

I certainly think there's more to come in the next three-and-a-half years

Sir Chris Hoy
Asked if they would go to the Palace on the same day, Hoy said: "I don't know how it'll work.

"I wouldn't want her day to be overshadowed by me but it would be nice if we were both there together."

Mrs Hoy revealed her delight at her son's award: "I'm really blown away, it's just absolutely amazing. It's just such an honour and I'm very, very proud of him."

The knighthood caps off a remarkable year for Hoy, who was also recognised for his Beijing achievements when he beat Rebecca Adlington and Lewis Hamilton to the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year crown.

"A knighthood is a unique thing," said Hoy. "You can't compare it to anything else - it's something that money can't buy.

"It's a fantastic way to top off a year when you've achieved everything you possibly can in your sport and to get this kind of accolade means a huge deal to me."

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Hoy looks forward to 2012 and beyond

The former University of St Andrews student, appointed MBE in 2005, said his honour would have far reaching consequences.

"For cycling, it's a big deal. I always try to do what I can to promote my sport because I think it's a great thing to do," Hoy said.

"It's great for kids or for anybody to do at any level whether it's elite level or just doing it for fun."

The Scot was a cycling enthusiast as a child. Having tried BMX, mountain biking and road racing during his teenage years, he eventually focused his efforts on track cycling and joined the renowned City of Edinburgh Racing Club in 1994.

Two years later Hoy was called up by the Great Britain national squad and after 1999 the medals began to flow.

His first major successes came in 2002, with world titles in the 1km time trial and team sprint followed by 1km time trial success at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

Hoy has managed to win nine world titles, but the Scot achieved wider recognition with his efforts at the Olympics.

Born: 23/06/76
Olympic medals:
team sprint silver (2000)
1km time trial gold (2004)
team sprint, kerin and sprint gold (2008)
World titles:
1km time trial & team sprint (2002)
1km time trial (2004)
team sprint (2005)
1km time trial (2006)
keirin & 1km time trial (2007)
sprint & keirin (2008)
Commonwealth medals:
1km time trial gold & team sprint bronze (2002)
1km time trial bronze & team sprint gold (2006)
The 32-year-old achieved silver in the team sprint at the Sydney Games, along with Craig MacLean and Jason Queally, before landing his first Olympic gold four years later in the 1km time trial.

But the crowning accomplishment of his 12 years as a Great Britain track cyclist happened during a five-day period at the Beijing Games when he won three gold medals.

By doing so, Hoy became the first Briton since Henry Taylor 100 years ago to win three titles at one Olympics.

Hoy began the rush with victory in the men's team sprint which was followed by gold in the keirin before the hat-trick was completed with a powerful performance in the sprint when he beat compatriot Jason Kenny to the title.

Asked if he would demand to be addressed by his new title, Hoy joked: "My girlfriend and my family will have to call me 'Sir' from now, I'm going to enforce that.

"I'm going to make my team-mates call me it too, or maybe a little curtsy as well."

He added that he is looking to compete at the highest level for several more years, having stated his intention to participate at the 2012 Olympics in London and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where the Scottish National Velodrome is to be named in his honour.

"I'm doing it because I love my cycling and I still believe I can improve," he said.

Hoy wins Sports Personality of the Year

"I've only really been doing the sprint for less than a year and a half so I've still got more to learn technically and if I can keep the same level physically or even improve, which I believe I can do, there's definitely room for improvement.

"I don't see it as frustrating because you look at it on paper and you see 'This guy's 32, he's just had the best year of his life, how can he go on from this? There's younger guys coming through'.

"But I think I've improved massively in the last year so how do I know I've reached the top?

"I could be on a steep improvement curve so while I don't expect this season to be that spectacular, I certainly think there's more to come in the next three-and-a-half years."

But Hoy warned he might not be at his best when he returns to the track in 2009.

"I see next year as a stepping stone to the 2012 Olympics in London," said Hoy.

"The World Championships are only 12 weeks away. I'm not likely to be in the best of form due to the other commitments I've had, but I still want to ride them.

"I want to keep my hand in and see how it goes. I see them as the first step to winning another Olympic title in 2012."

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see also
Hoy knighted in New Year honours
31 Dec 08 |  Sport Homepage
New Year Honours photos
31 Dec 08 |  Sport Homepage
Hoy clinches historic third gold
19 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Velodrome honour for golden Hoy
19 Aug 08 |  Scotland
Emotions erupt for champion Hoy
19 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Knighthood call for golden Hoy
17 Aug 08 |  Scotland
Awesome GB sprint team take gold
15 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Hoy named BBC Sports Personality
14 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality

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