Manchester-based Olympic hero Sir Chris Hoy is the first official ambassador of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, organisers revealed today.
The six-time Olympic champion – who became Great Britain’s most successful athlete at the London 2012 Games with two golds – will become a high-profile promoter for the event in two years’ time.
And the 36-year-old cycling hero hopes to continue inspiring a generation of two wheelers if he competes in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow.
“The Commonwealth Games is a special event for me,” the 11-time world champion said.
“I have fantastic memories of competing for Scotland in the Games on three separate occasions, especially winning my first major championship gold medal at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games.
“Following an incredible Olympics in London, I’m proud to lend my support to the next great sporting event on home soil.
“Making sure that people from all walks of life, especially young people, feel inspired to be a part of the Games will be a big focus for me.”
After storming to two victories in the individual keirin and team sprint – with Bolton’s Jason Kenny and German-born Phillip Hindes – Sir Chris matched and passed Sir Steve Redgrave’s gold medal haul in London.
And the Scotsman is being urged to continue for another four years to travel to Rio 2016 – but it may be four years too far.
“London 2012 was the perfect way to end my Olympic career,” he said.
“The Commonwealth Games are two years away and I haven’t made any decisions yet, but to be able to compete in Glasgow in a velodrome bearing my name would be the dream ending for me.”
Edinburgh-born Hoy will be given the freedom to his home city during an open bus parade on Sunday, and Commonwealth Games organisers claimed there is no one better for the new role.
Lord Smith, chair of the Glasgow 2014 organising committee, said: “We could think of no person more appropriate than Sir Chris to be our first official ambassador.
“I have no doubt that his success, his support and his passion for Scotland will inspire people – spectators, volunteers and athletes – to get behind the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“We are delighted to have the support of Britain’s greatest Olympian.”