Olympian Sir Chris Hoy tells The Big Issue how it all began
Olympic hero Sir Chris Hoy has told the Big Issue that he owes his career to an under-threat velodrome in Edinburgh.
Now celebrating his fifth gold medal after winning the team sprint in London, the power-peddler is backing a campaign to preserve Meadowbank Velodrome.
This old-fashioned wooden cycle track opened in 1970 as an annex to the main sports complex designed for the Commonwealth Games.
But a new velodrome is being built in Glasgow, ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and cyclists fear that Meadowbank could be mothballed.
Hoy said: “If that facility hadn’t been there in Edinburgh, I wouldn’t have had the chance to try track cycling, would never have found out I enjoyed it and wanted to keep going."
Even though it has no roof and bares cyclists to the full wrath of the Scottish weather, Hoy insists it has a vital role in inspiring a future generation of cyclists.
He added: “It’s so important to have something [in Edinburgh]. It doesn’t need to be an all-singing, all-dancing facility. It could be a tin shed, basically, as long as it’s a track they can use all year and kids can try the sport out. All I can do is keep pushing and helping in any way I can.”
The interview with Sir Chris Hoy accompanies a stunning photo essay on the Meadowbank Velodrome by Andy Shaw, a cyclist and photographer who has spent years documenting the venue.
See this week's Big Issue for the full story