What a year for Edinburgh’s Chris Hoy! He wins three Olympic golds, cycles off with the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year and is to become a KBE, Knight Commander of the British Empire. (His mum got an MBE).
Great Britain’s Olympic cycling champion Chris Hoy has been awarded a Knighthood in the 2009 New Year Honours List, capping an extraordinary year for the 32-year-old track cyclist from Edinburgh.
In the summer the 32-year old Hoy became Scotland’s most successful Olympian, the first Briton in 100 years to secure a hat-trick of gold medals in a single Olympic Games, and the most successful Olympic male cyclist of all time.
Hoy, who is heading to The Netherlands on Friday to compete in the Rotterdam six-day event, said:
"It’s incredible and I’m absolutely delighted. I still ca’nt quite believe it, to be honest. To be given a knighthood is an enormous honour and it means so much to me and also to my family. I was stunned when I first found out and the news is still sinking in. I’m not sure if I will ever get used to people calling me Sir Chris!"
Eighteen of Hoy’s fellow British athletes, who also won medals in cycling during the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, have been honoured in recognition of their achievements.
In 2004, Hoy and Bradley Wiggins were awarded with lesser honours.
Bradley Wiggins, a double gold medal winner at the Beijing Olympics, and David Brailsford, British Cycling Performance Director, have both been made Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBEs).
Brailsford said: "I’m so proud of what everyone in the GB Team achieved and it is such a privilege to be honoured in this way. 2009 marks 50 years since British Cycling was established and this is a remarkable way to start the organisation’s Golden Anniversary year."
Sadly, there’s no gong for the Isle of Man’s Mark Cavendish, despite his stage victories in this year’s Tour de France. Clearly, the British honours system is skewed towards Olympic achievement rather than the world’s biggest annual sporting event.
Nor are there extra gongs for the secret squirrel club master, Chris Boardman, or the team’s brain mechanic, Steve Peters.
Chris Hoy: KBE
Bradley Wiggins: CBE
Victoria Pendleton: MBE
Rebecca Romero: MBE
Jason Kenny: MBE
Jamie Staff: MBE
Ed Clancy: MBE
Paul Manning: MBE
Nicole Cooke: MBE
Geraint Thomas: MBE
Darren Kenny: OBE
Sarah Storey: OBE
Aileen McGlynn: OBE
Jody Cundy: MBE
Barney Storey: MBE
David Stone: MBE
Anthony Kappes: MBE
Mark Bristow: MBE
Simon Richardson: MBE
David Brailsford: CBE
KBE: Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
CBE: Commander of the Order of the British Empire
OBE: Officer of the Order of the British Empire
MBE: Member of the Order of the British Empire