LONDON (AFP) — Chris Hoy insists the keirin win that gave him a record sixth Olympic gold medal does not mean he is Britain’s greatest Olympian.
Hoy equaled Sir Steve Redgrave’s British record haul of five golds last week when he anchored Britain’s sprint team to victory on the opening night of track cycling. And despite taking his sixth Olympic gold in the 10th and final event at the velodrome Tuesday, a race watched by former rower Redgrave, the 36-year-old Scot was adamant.
“In terms of Steve Redgrave, he’s still the greatest. Just because you have six gold medals doesn’t mean to say you’re better than he is,” said Hoy. “He did it at five consecutive Games.”
Hoy won three Olympic gold medals, in the sprint, keirin and team sprint, in Beijing four years ago to add to his kilometer time trial gold from Athens in 2004 and his silver in the team sprint from the 2000 Sidney Games.
And despite being unable to defend his sprint title after being ousted by Jason Kenny for Britain’s sole spot in the event, Hoy struck gold in each of his two London events.
He says Redgrave will remain Britain’s greatest Olympian until another athlete wins gold in six consecutive Games.
“It’s when you realize how much goes into those four years, all the training, the sacrifices, the lows, the injuries, there’s so many things that can go wrong,” said Hoy. “For him to do that five times, he’s the greatest. Until someone does it six times consecutively, he’s the greatest.”
Asked what Redgrave had said to him after his win, Hoy laughed as he explained: “He said ‘congratulations, it’s not even on countback now, you’ve got more than me definitely.’
“It’s just amazing to have that… I was a rower at school many years ago and I looked up to Matt (Pinsent) and to Sir Steve and what they achieved… So to have Steve here to congratulate me, it’s just surreal.”