Monday, 5 January 2009

Sir Chris Hoy?

What a year 2008 was for British Olympic cyclist Chris Hoy.

He pedalled to three Olympic gold medals in Beijing, becoming the first Briton to win three gold medals in a single Olympic games since Henry Taylor in 1908. Hoy won Sports Personality of the Year, beating Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington. And furthermore, was listed in the New Year Honours 2009 to receive a knighthood.

Chris Hoy truly is a great cyclist, but becoming a Knight Bachelor has sparked much debate.
On hearing the news, my first reaction was shock. I began to telephone various sports fans and friends of mine, to gage their reactions. The majority of responses were as follows: "What! Are you being serious?", "Really? The cyclist guy?" and "Chris who?".

This didn't surprise me in the slightest. Sir Gary Lineker would perhaps have a more believable ring to it, but this wasn't the case.

The opinion of the older generation whom I have questioned over the New Year Honours is that they are getting handed out willy nilly nowadays.

Hoy was awarded the MBE in 2005, following previous success, but does the addition of three more Olympic golds warrant him a knighthood?

Olympic success seems to be acknowledged more than achievements in other sporting fields, when it comes to the Honours List. Some sports stars must be thinking, well, I've reached the pinnacle in my sport with regard to competing, what more do I have to do to be like Chris Hoy to be knighted.

Look at the cases of say, Nick Faldo in golf, Phil Taylor in darts, Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan in snooker. These sports are similar in popularity to cycling in Britain, if not more popular.

In rugby, there is Jonny Wilkinson OBE. He is a world cup winner and without him, there is little doubt England would have achieved what they did.

These sportsmen have all achieved the greatest success in their individual sport, and have received honours, but the knighthood which Hoy picked up has eluded them. What makes Hoy's success more worthy of becoming a Sir?

The thought of Sir Phil ''The Power'' Taylor, I admit, is laughable. However, Taylor is the best man in the world at what he does, and there has never been greater.

I would love to hear your thoughts on Chris Hoy's knighthood. I think he is a superb athlete and is no doubt a fine ambassador for his sport. However, I would enjoy reading opinions of those who agree and disagree with me, explaining that it's more than just the Queen having a fancy for muscly legs.


  1. What more has Hoy to do before you are prepared to accept he is worthy of a knighthood? thrre golds at the Olympics, plus gold before, plus World Champion several times over.

    Bizarre to think you are putting darts and snooker players in the same category. They are not even sports, they are pub and club games. There is some misconception, largely fuelled by the BBC who have lost so many genuine sports that they have to resort to showing this tosh, that they are sports.

  2. Would be good to have the BBC have some decent sport, brilliant judgement to get back F1 just when the manufacturers pull out.


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