Chris Hoy has backed fellow multiple gold medal winner Jason Kenny to make a success of his new coaching role after the Olympian announced his retirement from competition.
Chris Hoy won team sprint gold alongside Kenny at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the first of Kenny’s seven Olympic golds and one of Hoy’s six, and the Scot said he was looking forward to seeing his former teammate move into the role of men’s podium sprint coach with British Cycling.
“I was really excited to hear that Jason has been appointed as the men’s sprint coach,” Hoy said.
“He was a fantastic teammate, an extraordinary athlete and I’m looking forward to seeing him translate his experiences over four Olympic Games into supporting the next generation of talented British riders to achieve their best.”
Kenny’s wife Laura, a fellow Olympian who was won five gold medals, added her congratulations with an Instagram post, which included a picture of Jason playing with their four-year-old son Albie.
Laura wrote: “Always proud of you @jasonkenny107 I would say Happy Retirement, but now it just means more time like this #tackledaddy”.
View this post on InstagramA post shared by Dame Laura Kenny (@laurakenny31)
Kenny had previously spoken of continuing racing until the 2024 Games, but he will instead be coaching the next generation on the road to Paris, having taken up his new role this week.
The move means Kenny’s final race was last year’s Olympic keirin final, when the 33-year-old took a stunning victory by breaking clear as soon as the Derny pulled aside and holding off his rivals for the remaining three laps.
British Cycling’s performance director Stephen Park said: “To win an Olympic medal of any colour is a magnificent achievement, but it’s almost impossible to comprehend the level of talent, dedication and resilience needed to top the podium seven times across four Olympic Games.
“In many ways Jason’s final race, the Tokyo keirin, was the perfect embodiment of all that has made him such a joy to watch.
“Of the millions watching worldwide I don’t think any could have foreseen the guile and explosive power which saw him blaze to victory, and I can think of no better way to call time on such a magnificent career.
“It goes without saying that Jason has made a magnificent contribution to our team, and I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to hold on to all of that knowledge and experience as he embarks on his career as a coach.”
Sir Hugh Robertson, chair of the British Olympic Association, said: “I have known and admired Jason Kenny for many years. He is our most decorated Olympian and one of our most outstanding personalities.
“He has been a huge part of both Team GB and our wider Olympic family and I am delighted that he will continue to be involved with British Cycling and Team GB.”
Mark England, Team GB’s chef de mission at both Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, added: “I would like to thank Jason on behalf of the whole of Team GB, and indeed the nation, which took such great pleasure in watching him ride at four successive Olympic Games.
“I am fortunate enough to have worked with him since Beijing 2008, and a more humble – what-you-see-is-what-you-get – person you could not wish to meet.
“He encapsulates the many values of Team GB, and whilst we will be poorer off the track with his retirement, we are undoubtedly richer for him being trackside in his new role of GB men’s sprint coach. My congratulations go to him and his family on an outstanding career.”