The other day I was in conversation with a friend of mine (who comes from Great Britain). We were talking about general topics, when we realized that the both of us are ardent sports fans. After touching upon tennis, soccer, basketball, we came to cycling. “Ash, isn’t Chris Hoy a legend?”, he asked me. My clueless facial expressions were sufficient enough to answer his question. To be honest, I had heard his name, but I knew nothing about him. Do I need a better reason to delve more into it?
It’s strange that we are not well informed about such a decorated athlete- 11 times world champion and a 6 times Olympic champion. Sir Christopher Andrew Hoy, a Scottish racing driver who represented Great Britain at the Olympics, is the most successful male cyclist of all time. His inspiration? – the Steven Spielberg film E.T. (Yes, films are undermined at times, but they can be huge sources of inspiration too). Hoy, at a tender age of 6, was fascinated by the very idea of how racing bikes can be manipulated and that’s why he took to cycling- So something that excited him, that sounded fun, something he could enjoy! That’s the most important thing, I feel!
Were you guys damn sure of your future plans at the age of 7? Don’t worry, even he wasn’t. But he got the greatest learning at this young age: the correlation between hard work and success. To inculcate this value in itself is a great deal. ‘Sweat it out’ has been his motto- be it is early days riding a BMX, or be it his Olympic wins, every win has been hard earned for him.
His first ever Olympic Gold medal- came from the Athens summer games in 2004, winning the kilo time trial (cyclists compete individually against the clock to record the fastest time over the specified distance from a standing start. In this trial it was 1000 m, hence kilo trial). In this historic and dramatic event, where the world record was broken thrice, Hoy ended victorious with a Gold. As this event was removed from the further games, he was against the wall and it was a huge task for Hoy as he had to switch to alternative events and adapt. We cannot imagine what an athlete goes through in his entire life, but adapting to a new event is humongous. But this was possible- all thanks to his determination and also an amazing support staff. Even in an individual sport- its still a team event, where everyone is involved – your coach, physio, strength and conditioning coach, masseuse, sports scientist, nutritionist. After this there was no backing down on Hoy’s part and the winning streak continued.
“You’ve got to believe in it and you’ve got to commit. If you don’t have that belief, you won’t commit.”- he says, and I can’t agree more. He taught the world to train for the sheer love of it. Kudos to this amazing athlete and this is my ode to him!