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British medal hopes: Sir Chris Hoy (cycling)

London Spy

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Hoy: So good, they made him a Knight of the Realm

Sir Chris Hoy, who at the Beijing Games became the first Briton to win three gold medals in a single Olympics for 100 years, is a cycling superstar.

After winning the 1km time trial at the Athens Games in 2004, he went two steps better in China four years later by claiming Olympic titles in the sprint, keirin and team sprint — a stunning performance that earned him a knighthood, as well as the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

He also has two Commonwealth and 10 world crowns to his name in both individual and team events, although his gold rush came to an end at last year's World Championships in the Netherlands, where he had to settle for three silver medals.

With the French cyclists representing an ever-greater threat and the Australians also a force — not to mention the strong competition from within his own Team GB camp — such results may have been seen as the beginning of the end for Hoy, who will be 36 by the start of the Olympics.

However, he reaffirmed his standing at the top of the sport by winning sprint gold and keirin silver in track cycling's World Cup in Kazakhstan in November, a timely reminder that his explosive power and will to win remain undiminished as London 2012 looms.

With a total of four Games gold medals to his name, Edinburgh-born Hoy is the most successful Olympic male cyclist of all time and only a fool would write off his chances of another place on top of the podium at London 2012.

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Five Chris Hoy facts:

- Rowing for Scotland as a junior, he won a British Championship silver medal in the Coxless Pairs

- Until senior level, when he switched to track, he raced BMX (ages seven to 14) — becoming Scottish champion and ranking second in Britain

- Hoy has a BSc Honours degree in Applied Sports Science from the University of Edinburgh

- In 2005 he was awarded two Honorary Doctorates - one from the University of Edinburgh and another from Heriot-Watt University

- He is Scotland's most successful Olympian

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