Scottish cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy hopes Aberdeen’s Neil Fachie gets a deserved swansong at next year’s Olympic Games.
Fachie is one of Great Britain’s most decorated paralympic athletes, with three Olympic medals and four Commonwealth golds to his name, along with a slew of World Championship wins.
As with many competitions affected by Covid-19 in 2020, the Olympics in Tokyo was pushed back a year, with Fachie stating earlier this year he hoped to compete at the Games.
Hoy had his own special farewell at London 2012, taking a sixth Olympic gold medal and becoming Britain’s most successful Olympian in the process.
Fachie was part of the 2012 squad too, winning gold and silver, and Hoy has high hopes the 36-year-old can add to that tally if it proves to be his send-off from the sport.
Hoy said: “That’s the tough thing – mother nature doesn’t wait for anyone. There’s pros and cons – if the Games are delayed, for a lot of athletes that will give them an extra year.
“Thinking back to myself – if London 2012 had been delayed for a year, I probably wouldn’t have made it. If I had, I wouldn’t have won the two gold medals.
“It’s a tough thing but if anyone can do it, it’s Neil. It might just give him that extra year to really focus on what he’s doing, make sure he arrives with no stone unturned and 100 per cent ready for it.”
Fachie won gold in the tandem 1km time trial in 2012, with a silver in the tandem sprint. In Rio four years later he was pipped to the title by the Dutch rider Tristan Bangma.
However is in his two Commonwealth Games’ appearances Fachie has won gold in both events, being piloted to victory in Glasgow by Craig MacLean and then by Matt Rotherham in 2018 on the Gold Coast.
Fachie also released his book Earn Your Stripes: Gold medal insights for business and life earlier this year, with Hoy writing the foreword.
Hoy added: “Neil is an incredible athlete and an amazing person. He gets on with his business without any fuss at all. There’s no ego – he comes and gets the job done and leads by example. His medal success attests to that.
“He’s a very funny lad with a dry sense of humour. I’ve been so impressed with the way he’s handled himself and the longevity of his career.
“I remember meeting him when he was a track and field athlete, at an awards dinner. He mentioned he fancied having a shot at cycling and when I saw him next, he’d got a team. He doesn’t make a big fuss about things; nine times out of 10 when he sets his mind to something, he achieves it.
“It’s a really interesting book as well, that he’s now applying his experience and knowledge into the business world, how his lessons go beyond sport.”