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Hoy weighs up retirement with 2014 looming

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John Beattie | 17:28 UK time, Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Can Sir Chris Hoy really win another gold medal in two years' time, given that he will be 38 years old by then? I hope he considers his course wisely. And I hope he can.

It's been a good day, however, watching equestrianism and the medal attempt by Scott Brash from Peebles.

Sad that his medal chances went with an early fault, but Brash is now forever famous for his answer to Clare Balding the night he and his team won their equestrian team gold.

She asked him what effect a gold medal might have on his life. He said: "Well, I really hope it improves my pulling power with women, to be honest with you - yeah, I think that's about it."

Where do they go for this kind of stuff in Peebles?

Sir Chris Hoy

An emotional Hoy after receiving his sixth Olympic gold medal. Pic: Getty Images

I'm just back from a tour of the park looking for fans to talk about Sir Chris Hoy. Some young women in union flag 'onesies' (one piece jump suits zipped up the front) said they admired Sir Chris, and one of them claimed that he is British while Andy Murray is Scottish.

Interestingly a Hungarian fan said he thought that Sir Chris Hoy had just won the Tour de France...

The BBC Scotland Olympics correspondent Kheredine Idessane has now commentated on both Andy Murray and Sir Chris Hoy winning gold medals.

Or shouldn't that be Sir Andy Murray by now? Anyway, I insist on equal billing and we have put in a request to cover the sailing at Weymouth but so far it's a no from the producer.

But it all leaves a question hanging in the air. Does he keep competing? Here's hoping Sir
Chris makes the right decision about the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. He will now be under incalculable pressure to turn up at the velodrome in Glasgow's east end. Did they name it after him to get him to come?

He has become a figurehead for Scottish sport, a "guaranteed" gold medal, and yet, all the while, he has been hinting that the weight on his shoulders has been horrendous. There were tears on the podium and he had to dig deep to win.

I really wonder if he can keep strong enough to continue and win gold in the arena bearing his name in Glasgow.

Some athletes have gone on too long, and we can name them.

Sir Chris seemed to get on well with Shane Perkins, the Australian who was in his final on the track, but one of the silliest aspects of London 2012 has been the British 'teasing', for want of a better word, of the Aussies and their lack of medals.

Better to leave it to the politicians I always say. So step forward Australia's sports minister who is set to don a Team GB shirt and take to the water after losing a bet with her UK counterpart as to who would win more gold medals.

Kate Lundy has "cheerfully conceded" defeat and will row a length at Eton Dorney next month.

Had Australia won more golds, Hugh Robertson would have had to dribble a hockey ball in central London.

The UK has won 22 gold medals so far compared with Australia's four.

But there's a sense that the end of these Olympic Games is in sight and I have a realisation that the scale of the operation is huge.

Great Britain and Northern Ireland have won 22 gold medals of the 181 available to date. There are 10,000 athletes. Teams like Uzbekistan and Hong Kong have just one medal, a bronze, each.

There will, however, be 302 gold medals awarded by the end of the Games, and 204 nations and independent territories will be fighting over bits of metal weighing 400g each.

And I hope, no matter what he decides, that Sir Chris Hoy's last medal is a gold one.


  • Comment number 1.

    Irrespective of acidic populist commentary lets keep the coverage of the the infuriatingly and incorrectly termed 'minor sports' in favour of the the mediocre and corporately governed professional football that we will no doubt be swamped with very soon. We have a wealth of world class sports people most of whom are unknown to us. They perform in sports that most of us no nothing about. When we see them, however, we are amazed that they actually exist at all. How sad that it takes the Olympics to raise the profile of great sporst and outstanding sports people. We must promote them and support their sports. The BBC has done a great job in doing this during the course of the Olympics so please keep additional channels open for sports other than the traditional winter sports. Britain is great at sport you only have to look away from football to see that. Do not provide the air of publicity to obscenely overpaid footballers who on the world stage are merely average.

  • Comment number 2.

    I hope you had the opportunity to tell Sir Chris that he only won because of money, John?

  • Comment number 3.

    98.At 13:16 18th Jun 2012, John Beattie - BBC Sport wrote:
    "Hi everyone, great comments, and I am not going to get into the private v state school argument save to say that I believe that all schools should provide sport for all pupils. There are great life lessons to be learned from sport."

    The closing sentence says all that is required. I suspect a wee touch of devil's advocate in some of Mr. Beattie's recent comments. And why not?

    Yes, there are great life lessons to be learned from sport. One of which is that sport is just a game, (Games?), and not to be taken too seriously.


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