Will British cyclist Chris Hoy become a national hero — and enhance his credentials to someday move into the famous house on Downing Street, occupied by the Prime Minister — by matching his 3 golds in Beijing?
(Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
By Mike Tierney, Special to Universal Sports
Few movie-goers were affected more by “E.T.” than little Chris Hoy. Not by the underlying message of the classic film about extra-terrestrials, but by the bike-riding scenes.
Hoy was 6 when he exited the cinema house and dedicated himself to cycling. The grown-up Scotsman had an out-of-the-world experience at the 2008 Games, striking gold in all three events he entered. It upped his Olympics total to four and earned him knighthood, which means his new first name is Sir. It has spurred talk, though likely unfounded, of a political career. And it drew him within one gold of Britain’s Olympics career record, held by another Sir — rower Steve Redgrave.
Hoy’s familiarity with the Olympic Velodrome could make him E.T. (Even Tougher) to beat this time, though he might be limited to two events (team sprint and keirin). A teammate is under consideration for the host country’s individual sprint spot.
So, will the great Brit who was more caught up in the two-wheelers than the aliens in “E.T.” become his nation’s heavy medal athlete of all time? The best guess here: Yes, sir.