The Olympic cycling gold medallist, 44, on achieving success, the influence of ET and inspiring a cake on GBBO.
You’ve written a book aimed at inspiring youngsters…
It’s essentially a guide to help kids get the best out of themselves.
I never believed I would become an Olympic champion purely because I assumed that people who were successful in life were born to be successful – it was their destiny and they were different from the rest of us.
But the more I’ve seen in life, I’ve realised that’s not the case. The people who are successful tend to be people who have found their passion and then apply themselves, work hard and make things happen.
So it’s not a guide on how to win…
I just want to get the message out that anybody can achieve something amazing if they put the hard work in.
Look at Beyoncé – everything she does looks so natural but I read an interview in which she was talking about how she prepared for eight months for one two-hour show.
The reason she has become so successful is the hard work she has put in.
You won six Olympic gold medals. What’s your best memory of all?
London would be the obvious one but Athens in 2004, when I became Olympic champion for the first time and realised that dream, that was the biggest step and changed my whole life.
When I stepped up on the podium and they announced my name as Olympic champion, I’ll never forget that feeling and thinking, ‘How on earth has this happened?’ That was quite a moment.
Do you still pinch yourself at the success you had?
Yes. I just assumed that when you are young, if you are not good at a sport then you won’t be good in the future.
I always had a dream of being an Olympic champion but never thought it would happen.
All I set out to do was have short-term targets, stepping stones to improve on and challenge myself with – and these steps kept leading me closer and closer to this end goal.
When it finally happened you just think, ‘How did I get up here? This is crazy.’ I still feel that way now.
You got into cycling after watching the movie ET…
If I hadn’t seen ET I wouldn’t have seen a BMX bike. That iconic scene when I saw the way the kids were riding those bikes with ET in the basket, I just thought, ‘Wow, this is so cool, I really want to try it.’
Have your kids seen it?
No. Callum’s five, almost six. He’s probably just about old enough to watch it without getting scared. But Chloe, who is three, will probably be freaked.
Motorsport is a big passion of yours and you took part in the Le Mans 24 hours in 2016.
When I was a wee kid with a Le Mans 24 hours Scalextric set, my dad explained why the cars have lights and I remember thinking about how they race all day and all night.
So it was incredible and quite surreal to take part – pulling out of the pit lane on the first lap and seeing the cars around you such as Mark Webber, a Formula One hero of mine, going past. I’d love to go back and do it again.
You like speed!
I do. I like adrenaline, I like speed. It’s part of who I am.
You recently appeared in game show Gods Of The Game…
It was quite a bizarre thing to do, a bit like Takeshi’s Castle or Wipeout. I had to race members of the public who were in swan-shaped pedalos. It was good fun.
How about a stint in the Jungle or Strictly next?
They are not really my thing. I’ve no desire to go in the jungle and eat kangaroo bits. I wouldn’t go on just for the sake of trying to get on a show. If I was interested in learning to dance I’d jump at the chance to do Strictly. But I’m not.
You were immortalised in cake on The Great British Bake Off, though!
Yes, I was honoured. That’s pretty much all my boxes ticked in life. I got a text from Paul Hollywood saying one of the contestants was going to bake a cake of me and would I send him a message wishing him luck?
So I did a quick video and sent it through and didn’t hear any more about it. Then someone sent me the message ‘turn on Bake Off’ so I switched it on and there was my bust in cake form.
It was hilarious, brilliant. I’m glad he won it.
Has Paul Hollywood asked you to come on Celebrity Bake Off?
Not yet. It should be for people who want to do it! They should get on my old teammate Becky James. Cake making is her business now – her cakes are absolutely incredible.
What are your baking skills like?
Non-existent. Now, if there was a reality show for barbecuing or making lattes then I’d be well up for it!
Chris Hoy’s Be Amazing! An Inspiring Guide To Being Your Own Champion (Walker Books) is out now
Credit: Original article published here.