Olympic, European and Commonwealth Games medallist Callum Skinner has today announced his retirement from elite level Cycling. Three times a Commonwealth Games competitor for Team Scotland, culminating in bronze Gold Coast 2018, he now turns his attention to supporting other athletes in their sporting careers through his work with British Cycling, and as Athlete Representative for both UK Anti-Doping and the British Olympic Association.
Olympic gold and silver medallist at Rio 2016, his winning time in the Team Sprint, alongside Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes, was a new Olympic Record as they defeated New Zealand to take the Olympic title. His silver came in the Individual Sprint where he was defeated in an all-British final by Kenny.
Many times a British Champion, he took European Championship gold in the Kilo in 2014 and regularly graced the World Cup podium, both individually and in the Team Sprint. His bronze medal in the Kilo at Gold Coast 2018 turned out to be his last competitive appearance and a fitting way to end an outstanding career.
Announcing his decision to retire he said: “It’s been a long and amazing journey, starting out in the cold of Meadowbank, Edinburgh in 2006 to peaking at the Olympic Velodrome in the Team Sprint at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016.
“Cycling has been very good to me, I’ve made lifelong friends and realised my dream for which I am eternally privileged. I appreciate that 26 might seem to many quite young to be transitioning away from the track, but I have never considered myself just an athlete; I consider myself far more than that. Cycling is my first love and it was the ideal place with the perfect opportunities to focus my drive to achieve great things.
“Now I’m looking for a new challenge, my next Olympics. I want to build on the skills and perspective I’ve learnt and gained as a competitor over the last few years, and go on to greater things. As some of you will know, I’m particularly passionate about giving back to sport, using my profile for good, whether that’s in supporting the long overdue reform of sports governance, LGBT rights and encouraging people to get on their bikes.
“My last competition and podium place was at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in 2018; it was great to finish on a high. Since that time, I have been on an extended break due to my health deteriorating. This has proved to be a very challenging time. Through seeking help outside the programme, and by the unswerving support of my friends, family and agent, I have made incredible progress and I’m pleased to say have almost fully recovered. My focus and effort now lies in working in partnership with British Cycling to continue to make the athlete experience more human whilst still maintaining that performance mindset. These two essential aspects are not mutually exclusive of each other.
“Overall, I have had an amazing time at British Cycling and would like to thank my current and former; coaches, performance support staff and team mates for an amazing and unforgettable ten years. I wish them every success going forwards.”