Sir Chris Hoy named Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games ambassador


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The Independent Online

Britain's most successful Olympian, Sir Chris Hoy, has been announced as the first official ambassador of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Organisers believe the six-times Olympic gold medallist will inspire people to get behind the Glasgow games over the next two years.

The cyclist's new role will see him appear in high-profile promotional campaigns and lend his support to the organising committee.

The city's new velodrome, which opens to the public later this year, is being named in his honour.

Sir Chris today told how he was proud to take on the ambassadorial role.

He said: "The Commonwealth Games is a special event for me.

"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.

"London 2012 was the perfect way to end my Olympic career.

"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."

Games bosses said the Edinburgh-born sportsman is the first of a "select group of high-profile sporting and celebrity figures" who will work with the organisers to promote the Games and make sure as many people as possible get involved in Scotland's largest-ever sporting and cultural event.

Further details of Sir Chris's new role will be announced in the coming weeks.

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."

Sir Chris won two gold medals at the London 2012 Games, taking his Olympic gold medal total to six. He also has 11 world championship titles under his belt.

In 2008, it was announced that a new velodrome in Glasgow, said to be a landmark venue for the Commonwealth Games, would be named in his honour. The arena, in the east end of Glasgow, is due to open to the public later this year.

The announcement of Sir Chris's new post comes ahead of a busy few days for the sportsman.

He is expected to attend a homecoming parade through the streets of Glasgow tomorrow to celebrate the achievements of Scottish Olympians and Paralympians.

On Sunday, he will be awarded the freedom of Edinburgh after joining other sportsmen and women on an open-top bus tour through the city.