Sir Chris Hoy retires after 19-year career in which he won six Olympic gold medals
By Matt Westby. Last Updated: 18/04/13 4:42pm
Sir Chris Hoy, the six-time Olympic gold medal-winner and 11-time world champion, has retired from track cycling.
The 37-year-old made the much-anticipated announcement at a press conference in Edinburgh on Thursday, bringing to a close an 19-year professional career.
Hoy had hoped to continue riding and compete the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year, but decided that was a challenge too far.
He bows out as Britain's most successful Olympian of all time, having eclipsed Sir Steve Redgrave by winning his fifth and sixth golds at London 2012, and also one of the country's most celebrated sportsman in history.
"Today I am officially announcing my retirement from international cycling," he said.
"It is a decision I didn't take lightly, it is something I have thought about very hard with the help of my wife, my family and my coaches and the reason is that I feel I have got every last ounce of effort and energy out of myself.
"I made it to London and was successful in London, but I don't think people realise just how much that took out of me. One more year would have been too much and too far for me.
"I didn't want to turn up and wave to the crowd and wear my tracksuit [at the 2014 Commonwealth Games]. I wanted to win a medal for Scotland and because I don't feel like I can do that I would rather step aside and let someone else take my place.
"I would like to thank my coaches, Ian Dyer, Jan Van Eijden, Shane Sutton, Peter Kean and David Brailsford for their leadership they have shown.
"All the team, all the support group are second to none. The support team we have in this team is incredible, as is everybody who has been part of that success."
"I don't want it to be a sad moment. I want to celebrate it and be happy because I know it is the right decision."
Sir Chris Hoy
Hoy won his first Olympic gold medal at the 2004 Games in Athens and then catapulted himself into sporting legend by becoming the first Briton to win three golds in a single Games by taking a hat-trick of titles at Beijing 2008.
That achievement saw him named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2008 and also led to him being knighted in the 2009 New Year Honours.
Aged 36 at the time, Hoy completed his legacy by winning two more golds in front of home fans at London 2012. Having also won a silver at Sydney 2000, it took his total Olympic haul to seven medals.
Hoy added: "I don't want it to be a sad moment. I want to celebrate it and be happy because I know it is the right decision.
"But it is a very hard time, it is time to say enough is enough. There is always a temptation to go on, perhaps too long and it is not that I am frightened of losing, but I just can't ask for any more.
"I have done the best I can, I have had an amazing career and I have got so many people to be thankful for that but I think this is the end of it."
Watch Sir Chris Hoy reflect on his glittering career on Sporting Heroes, 7pm, Thursday, Sky Sports 2 HD.