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Olympian Chris Hoy was going to retire in 2003, before his big gold medal wins



Sir Chris Hoy has revealed he thought he would have to retire in 2003, before he secured most of his seven Olympic medals.

Cyclist Chris, who is eleven-times a world champion and six-times an Olympic champion with a total of seven Olympic medals, six gold and one silver, making him the second most decorated Olympic cyclist of all time, revealed Scottish sporting history could have been very different if he’d given up.

Edinburgh born Chris, 44, revealed the biggest time he thought about ending his sporting career happened was 2003.

He said: “Up unto 2003, it had always been a constant improvement. I’d been on this relatively steep improvement curve.

“I finished uni in 1999, went full time, started to get proper coaching, improved my diet, was becoming more professional, then I became commonwealth champion in 2002 heading toward the Olympics in Athens, really feeling full of hope and positivity then in 2003 it all went downhill.”

He explained: ‘I was fearful of changing anything because I thought I had a winning formula.

“I had a training programme and thought if I did the same as last year I’d get the same result but if you do the same thing you get the same output and everyone else was improving. I was frightened of making change.

He continued: ‘I was beaten for the national championships and was third. I wasn’t even in the running for the Olympics.”

“I was 27 then, I thought maybe I’d peaked. Maybe this is the start of decline into retirement.”

“I really did think you’ve got to brace yourself. Last year might have been the best you”ll ever be.

You might have seen the best of your career. My Olympic dream started to fade. It was a really tough moment. It was really understanding you’ve got to throe everything sat this or you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. It was a tough old year 2004.”

He told fellow Scot Kirsty Gallacher in her Stripped Back Sport podcast: “It’s little forks in the road. We are often very quick to say I can’t do this.”

Chris, who had, at that point, one silver Olympic medal from the Sydney Olympics, thankfully went on to win six more for the country and the rest, they say is history, until he retired in 2013.





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