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Page last updated at 21:18 GMT, Monday, 1 December 2008

Sports Personality 10: Chris Hoy

Chris Hoy

Sports Personality of the Year
Venue: Liverpool Echo Arena Date: Sunday, 14 December Time: 1900 GMT Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 Live & BBC Sport website.

Chris Hoy's achievements at the Beijing Olympics were simply superhuman.

The headline act at the track cycling events did not disappoint, winning three golds - the first Briton to do so at one Games since 1908.

The 32-year-old powerhouse from Edinburgh won his medals in the team sprint, keirin and sprint.

Hoy, who won silver in Sydney 2000 and gold in Athens four years later, also picked up two titles at the 2008 world championships in Manchester.

Sir Steven Redgrave
By Sir Steven Redgrave
Five-time Olympic rowing gold medallist

Sir Steven Redgrave, who won five Olympic gold medals at five Games, was voted as the Golden Personality at BBC Sports Personality of the Year's 50th anniversary show in 2003.

Here, the rowing legend pays tribute to another multiple gold medallist, Chris Hoy, who he believes is worthy of the Sports Personality of the Year crown.

Chris is a tremendous athlete. He had the fortune of competing in more than one event at the Olympics, but you still then have to go out and beat the best in each event - he did exactly that in Beijing.

It's not one thing that separates good competitors from the likes of Chris. All top athletes do the appropriate training and preparation, but you need great mental strength to take your performance to another level. You need to believe you can overcome the rest.


Chris has already won four Olympic gold medals in total but he won't need much picking up to go for more in four years.

For four of the Olympics I competed in I thought "job well done" but also realised that there was no way I was going retire and go out to get a proper job.

Of course, there have to be doubts whether you can achieve the extraordinary, but you need those doubts - it adds a bit of spice. You also need challenges, like getting up on those cold winter mornings and hitting the lake, or is Chris' case, the velodrome.

He would have made huge sacrifices to get to a point where he can compete at that phenomenal standard. Family and friends would have all been put on the backburner, but I guess people from all walks of life make sacrifices.

I guess what we do is a privilege. You could say that people who are working in full-time jobs they don't like are making more of a sacrifice. Ask Chris whether he'd rather be working in a factory or stuck on the M25 on his way to delivering goods and I know what his answer would be.

He's a down-to-earth guy who will think that all the effort he has spent in preparing for the Olympics will be worth it because of the golds he has won. But even if he had not won any events, I don't think he would have rued the training and commitments made towards the cause.

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Hoy's treble triumph

Chris has been getting paid for his pastime and has had the chance of helping his GB team-mates take track cycling into a new era.

He has every chance of adding to his gold haul at London 2012, even though he'll be 36. If Chris puts in the time and effort to maintain a high level of fitness then I would fancy his chances.

It's true that the younger you are, the less fear you have and the older you are, the more worries you have about different elements. Training becomes harder, but you actually become better as an all-round athlete. What's most important is that you become mentally tougher and that could give Chris the edge.

What the public like about Chris is that he's not big-headed. It has taken a long time for him to experience the nationwide fame he's receiving now, even though that was his third Games and he had already collected a silver (2000) and gold (2004).

You learn to keep your feet on the ground because you know success doesn't come overnight. The wider public have seen Chris as a person and know he's worked at this for a long time.

We want to see to see sports heroes for more than just being supreme athletes and I think Chris is the perfect sports personality.

Sir Steven Redgrave was talking to BBC Sport's Saj Chowdhury

Stories from Hoy's year:

Sun 14 Dec, 1900 GMT,
BBC One & BBC Radio 5 Live.

see also
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Sports Personality 10: Joe Calzaghe
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Sports Personality 10: Nicole Cooke
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Sports Personality 10: Lewis Hamilton
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Sports Personality 10: Chris Hoy
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Sports Personality 10: Andy Murray
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Sports Personality 10: Christine Ohuruogu
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Sports Personality 10: Rebecca Romero
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Sports Personality 10: Bradley Wiggins
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