It seems that Chris Hoy was upset by The Scotsman’s reports that he said a Scottish Olympic team would be ridiculous.
He is quoted in the Daily Record (Its something when even the Daily Record shows up how anti-SNP The Scotsman has become!):
“I feel a bit upset that I have been quoted as saying the idea of a Scottish Olympic team is ridiculous.
“If and when a Scottish team was put together, I would be delighted to represent Scotland in the Olympic Games.
“But before that happens, so much needs to be done for the athletes to be able to compete at the highest level.
“As a cyclist, there isn’t a facility in Scotland where I can train throughout the year and that’s why I have to base myself outside Scotland.
“I am proud to be Scottish, but at the same time it’s not feasible to think we can compete as a nation without the right facilities.”
So he’s just calling for an improvement in facilities, and seems to have clarified his past comments.
I’m sure he would much rather train in Scotland if the facilities matched those of Manchester.
And that’s the rub. Athletes can train anywhere that have the right facilities. Many of the successful Jamaican Olympic team trained in the United States, for instance.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games should provide a legacy of facilities for our athletes for years to come.
Some athletes don’t need much in the way of facilities:
Kristin Armstrong, an American Olympic cyclist in Beijing, won the Gold in the Women’s Individual Time Trial in Road Cycling.
It seems all she needed was her bike, her husband’s GPS and a PC running Google Earth.
She took the GPS when she trialled the Olympic route in 2007. She then went home, imported the data into Google Earth, and then matched the elevations of the Chinese Olympic route to a similar route at her home in Boise, Idaho for her training.
Now that is smart thinking.
And in Beijing she cruised to a Gold Medal.
You can just bet Google Earth will be playing this up for years!
Incidentally, Emma Pooley from England won the Silver, one of the medallists in Team GB. She is based and trains in Zurich, Switzerland. I’ll bet she wishes she thought of that idea! Or indeed, Nicole Cooke from Wales – based in Lugano, Switzerland, who finished fifteenth. But she did win the Gold in the Road Race.
I’ve not found a picture yet but I have found the names of the Scotland cycling squad:
They finished fourth and just missed out on a medal. The hosts Sweden came first and took the gold, obviously having the advantage of regularly training on the Olympic route.
If only Google Earth was around in 1912!