Three Team Scotland athletes, including Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy, were among five sporting greats inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on 4 November.
Chris retired in 2013 having won six Olympic and 11 World cycling titles, as well as four medals over two Commonwealth Games for Team Scotland. He was inducted along with fellow Team Scotland athletes Commonwealth shooting Champion Shirley McIntosh MBE and multiple Paralympic swimming gold medallist Kenny Cairns MBE, as well as former Scotland and British & Irish Lions rugby coach Sir Ian McGeechan and double Olympic sailing champion Shirley Robertson.
Chris first competed for Team Scotland at the 2002 Manchester Games winning Gold and Bronze, a tally he would match four years later in Melbourne. Having taken Silver in the Team Sprint at Sydney 2000, he won his first Olympic gold medal in Athens 2004 in the Kilo – an event subsequently dropped from the programme for Beijing 2008. Undeterred, Chris switched his focus to the Keirin, Sprint, and Team Sprint and went on to win Gold in Beijing in all three events, the first Briton since 1908 to win three Gold medals in a single Olympic Games.
At the 2012 Olympic Games in London the Keirin and Team Sprint brought Olympic Golds five and six, cementing his place as both Britain’s most successful Olympian and the most successful Olympic male cyclist of all time.
Despite his incredible list of achievements Sir Chris described himself as “overwhelmed” at taking his place in the Hall of Fame alongside his own childhood heroes, adding:
“This is a huge privilege for me. I enjoyed every minute of my cycling career and still feel like the luckiest man in the world to have been given the opportunity to do what I love. But this award isn’t just for me. It’s for all of the people who have supported me along the way, allowed me to focus on my cycling and be the athlete I always wanted to be. Thank you all.
“I hope that by celebrating Scotland’s sporting history, we can demonstrate that with hard work and determination, the possibilities are endless. I know that sport gave me an incredible life and I hope that my story, and the stories of all of the inductees, will inspire more people to make sport a part of their lives.”
Fellow four-time Commonwealth medallist, shooter Shirley McIntosh, was also among the 2015 inductees. She began her Commonwealth Games career in style with Gold and Silver at the 1994 Games in Victoria, becoming the first Scottish woman ever to win a shooting Gold medal.
At the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games Shirley added another two bronze medals to take her medal tally to four and become Scotland’s most successful female Commonwealth athlete, a title she held until daughter Jennifer surpassed her achievement – Silver and Bronze at Glasgow 2014 taking her to five Commonwealth medals.
“I’m greatly honoured to have been included as an inductee to the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame, and particularly in such illustrious company,” said Shirley.
“I’m very appreciative of the support sportscotland and the National Lottery have given to me, and my sport, over the years and this recognition is the icing on the cake of my sporting career.”
Selected for the Paralympic Games in 1984, Kenny Cairns MBE won an astonishing four golds and one silver, at the start of an incredible 20-year career in swimming. He represented Team Scotland in Manchester 2002.
“I’m both surprised and honoured to be considered for induction into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame,” said Kenny. “It’s not something that I was expecting at all.
“It’s great that we have this opportunity to recognise the achievements of Scotland’s sportsmen and women of the past, but for me it is also great opportunity to profile our sports and, hopefully, to inspire the next generation. That would be a fantastic legacy”
Congratulating the 2015 inductees, Louise Martin CBE, Chair of sportscotland and the Hall of Fame selection panel, said:
“Sporting fame is achieved over a lifetime of sweat and tears. And it is earned, not given. These five new inductees have certainly earned their place and I am delighted to welcome them into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.
“Scotland has a rich sporting heritage and our inductees have all been trailblazers who have demonstrated the determination and commitment required to excel in their chosen sports, and excel they did.
“Chris, Shirley, Kenny, Shirley and Ian have all done so much to make us proud as a nation, but also to inspire those who follow in their wake. Each and every one of them epitomise Scotland at its sporting best and is fully deserving of their place in the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.”
Established in 2002, the Hall of Fame celebrates Scotland’s sporting greats going back more than 200 years and is designed to inspire future generations. These five new additions bring the total number of inductees to 98, representing 32 sports. A collection of historic sporting memorabilia from the Hall’s archive is displayed at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.
For more information on all previous inductees or to nominate potential new inductees, visit the website: www.sshf.co.uk