EDINBURGH — Chris Hoy, Britain’s most decorated Olympian with six golds medals, retired from cycling Thursday after a 13-year career at the top of the sport.
The 37-year-old Scot spearheaded Britain’s surge to the forefront of world track cycling, winning his first Olympic gold in Athens in 2004 and capturing three more in Beijing in 2008 and another two at his home games in London last year.
“I know I have done everything I can and it would be a mistake to go on,” Hoy said. “I have had my time in the sun. It’s time for other athletes to have their share.”
His haul of six golds is one more than British rowing great Steve Redgrave, who won five from 1984-2000. Hoy also won a silver medal at the 2000 Games in Sydney.
Hoy, who won 11 world titles, decided against extending his career to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Glasgow in his native Scotland.
“Maybe it’s greedy but it would have been the ideal swansong,” Hoy said at a news conference at Murrayfield in Edinburgh.
Hoy’s last race at the top level was his gold-medal ride in the keirin at the London Olympics when he held off Maximilian Levy of Germany in the home straight.
Hoy received a knighthood in 2008 and is known as Sir Chris.
“The impact that Sir Chris Hoy has had on our sport since he won his first gold medal in Athens in 2004 is unparalleled,” British Cycling president Brian Cookson said. “It goes without saying that not only is Chris an absolutely phenomenal athlete, but he is also an exceptional individual. The fact that he’s acquired six gold medals and is Britain’s most successful ever Olympian is testament to this.”