Name: Chris Hoy
Sport: Track cycling, which is one of the fastest Olympic events. Races are held on an indoor 250m track. It's called the velodrome (cool name!). The track in London features a 12-degree bank through the straightaways and a 42-degree bank around the turns. Think speed skating on bikes.
At this year's Olympic games there will be five different cycling events: The Keirin, Sprint, Omnium, Team Pursuit and Team Sprint. The Keirin is the white-knucklest of the five, as it features seven riders on the track at once in an all-out sprint to the finish. There's some strategy involved, too, though, as the riders must stay behind a pace bike for the first few laps, during which time they craftily jockey for the best drafting positions. Once the pace bike moves out of the way, things explode into a breakneck race to the finish.
Hometown: Edinburgh, Scotland
Why you should care about him: At age 36, Hoy should be fading, and yet he continues to perform at the highest level possible. Just this past April, he won the gold medal in the Keirin event at the 2012 worlds in Melbourne, Australia. How does Hoy manage to stay competitive at such an advanced age? For one, he's in incredible shape.
Look at his legs:
The Guardian explains further:
Power has long been Hoy's not-so-secret weapon. During training, the track infield is often littered with broken saddles, ripped pedals and bits and pieces of bike that have crumbled under his body.
This is a man who literally shreds bikes through the awesome power of his beast-legs.
Olympic/world championship experience: Hoy is a five-time Olympic medalist (four gold, one silver) and has also won gold at the world championships 11 times. He is the most successful male cyclist of all time, and was the first Briton since 1908 to win three gold medals at one Olympic games, which he did in 2008.
Sexy-pose threat level:
Previous sexy pose: here.
Scouting report from some guy on the internet: From YouTube commenter DevilMayCare81:
AT THE LAST OLYMPICS, Chris Hoy made everything more "GOLDEN",than a Star Wars C-3PO look-alike contest!!! Even though 4 years have passed,we're all hoping that the REAL McCOY,can still pull something else out of the velodrome......Best olympic track for spinning? "BURNING FLAME" by "TOO DEEP". More flavoursome and gutsy,than an extra large bowl of Bran Flakes.!!
Scouting report from home country: From Jacquelin Magnay at The Guardian:
Hoy's record in the keirin, despite its risky and unpredictable nature, is phenomenal. Of the near 60 professional keirin races he has entered, he has crashed once, finished second four times, and won all of the others. Not surprisingly he is feared all around the world. "Intimidating is a word I'd use," the Australian three-time world track champion Shane Kelly says.
Did you know: That Hoy was first inspired to start his career as a cyclist after watching E.T.? After seeing the movie, he pestered his parents to buy him a BMX bike like the one that Elliot rides in the film. He's been on a bike ever since.
Forecast: Hoy wants the chance to defend his three gold medals in the Keirin, Sprint, and Team Sprint at this year's games. He stands a very good chance to do so in the Keirin and Team Sprint, but he may not be able to even compete in the Sprint. New rules dictate that only one representative from each country may enter each cycling event, and the British team is considering Jason Kenny to be its representative in the Sprint. Kenny defeated Hoy in the Sprint at the World Championships in a semi-final round, eventually winning the silver medal. It will be a tough decision for the British team, but Hoy should be in line for at least two medals at this year's games.
Olympic Archetype: Dara Torres, the similarly sculpted U.S. Olympic swimmer who competed in the 2008 games at the age of 41.
Relevant Bob Costas facial expression: