• Cycling

British Olympic icon Sir Chris Hoy retires

ESPN staff
April 18, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
'Legend' Hoy will be sadly missed - Gary West

Sir Chris Hoy, Britain's most successful Olympian, announced on Thursday that he has retired from the sport of cycling.

Speaking during a press conference at Murrayfield Stadium, the six-time Olympic gold medallist confirmed his intention to bring the curtain down on a career that has spanned 19 years.

"It is not a decision I took easily or lightly but I know it is the right decision. Being objective, I got every last drop out in London," Hoy said.

In total, Hoy's medal collection tallies six Olympic titles, one silver medal, 11 World Championship golds and two Commonwealth crowns.

The Flying Scotsman - having won his first Olympic gong in 2004 - truly came to prominence at the 2008 Beijing Games, winning a hat-trick of gold medals. A further two followed in London, and his overall tally of seven medals sees him tied with Sir Bradley Wiggins as Britain's most decorated Olympian.

Hoy's crowning moment came in the keirin final at London 2012, when he claimed victory to break Sir Steve Redgrave's record for Olympic titles won by a Briton. Redgrave was present to acknowledge the feat.

Confirmation of his immediate retirement means he will not compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. He explained that he did not want to block youngsters coming through the system.

"I didn't realise quite how much London took out of me," Hoy said. "To go on for another year would be one year too far. I don't want to turn up to wave to fans and get a tracksuit.

"I wanted to get a medal for Scotland and because I didn't think I could do that, I wanted someone else to take my place. Now it's time for younger riders to experience what it is like to compete in front of a home crowd.

"I will be there to open it and soak up the experience."

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