TV preview: Sir Chris Hoy: How to win Gold

Steve Redgrave and Chris Hoy.
Steve Redgrave and Chris Hoy.
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The star of this new documentary has come a long way since getting his first bicycle from a jumble sale.

As a youngster, Chris Hoy decorated the bike with stickers, rode it into the ground and it fell apart after a couple of days.

He followed that up with a neighbour’s bike, which just happened to have a girl’s frame; he was too young to know the difference. Chris just wanted to ride.

“That didn’t last long either,” laughs his dad, David Hoy. “So we were forced into buying him a proper racing bike. That was it. He was on his way to world domination.”

Mum Carol recalls that Chris was always active as a child, especially during rainy days when he just wanted to get out of the house and “run and run. “Whatever he did, he wanted to do it properly,” explains Carol. Chris may not have wanted to glean that feedback in a “showy-offy” way, but whatever he did to get better at cycling certainly worked wonders.

He’s now the most accomplished living British Olympian, with a record-breaking six Olympic Gold medals under his belt for cycling.

Perhaps little wonder Chris decided to quit while he was ahead, aged just 36.

In this film, the great Scot looks back at his incredible journey, and speaks to other outstanding medal-winning athletes.

With help from contributors Andy Murray, Steve Redgrave, Rebecca Adlington, Lennox Lewis, and Graeme Obree, we see how they all went the extra mile to be at the top of their game.

Redgrave, for example, was picked out at school by a teacher for having big hands and feet to make him suitable for rowing, while 2013 Wimbledon Champion Murray discusses the pressure of expectation.

“I found it difficult for a few years, because that first year when I played Wimbledon, I was ranked like 350 in the world, and I’d been playing in front of like 10 people before that when I was playing matches. There was no one there, and then all of a sudden I was on the centre court at Wimbledon in front of 15,000 people.”

At 18, it was quite a culture shock, as was the sight of camera crews following him home.

Here he discusses how he dealt with the nation’s hopes for him before becoming the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years.

Who knows? This documentary might inspire a few of tomorrow’s champs to get on their bikes and aim for Olympic glory.

Sir Chris Hoy: How To Win Gold, BBC1, Tuesday, 10.45pm

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