Jason Kenny will take up a coaching role in British cycling after announcing his retirement from the competition after winning seven Olympic gold medals in cycling.
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Knight Rider, Sir Jason Kenny rolled away the stone in Tokyo and admitted that he was “a little sad” to abdicate as King of Team GB’s flaming saddles.
But when the seven-time Olympic champion announced his retirement from racing today, to take a job as British Cycling’s elite sprint coach, he acknowledged the opportunity to become the next generation of masters. is too good to ignore.
Kenny, 33, rides into the sunset as Britain’s greatest Olympic athlete.
His beautiful keirin gold in Japan six months ago was more than just a great way to spin the credits. It’s pure Hollywood.
When the pizza delivery scooter made three laps to go, and Kenny disappeared over the horizon, he was riding on the crust of a wave.
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But after consulting his wife Dame Laura – five-time Olympic champion and super super champion who still can’t overtake him as the best cyclist in their family – Bolton Bullet ceded the throne to Father Time.
Although he planned to continue competing until the 2024 Paris Olympics, Kenny’s outlook changed when British Cycling advertised a new sprint coach on the podium on LinkedIn and he submitted an application. speculative sign.
Top brass at the ‘medal factory’ in Manchester couldn’t believe their luck that the man who had raised the bar to unprecedented levels now wanted to take charge of the bar.
Kenny, who was knighted in the New Year’s Honors, said: “It was not an easy decision. I really want to keep going to Paris, but I travel quite a bit these days and I always know that I want to go to training right after.
“Honestly, I’m a bit sad because all I know is riding and competing, but I’m pretty excited to be stuck.
“When the job ad came out I was a bit confused – I was training full time at the time, but these days it’s starting to hurt a lot more.
“I thought, I don’t even know if I’ll make it to Paris, so I can commit for three years and get nothing out of it.
“This opportunity may not come again. If they had a good coach, they could take on this role for another 10 years, so I think I’d do it now. If I don’t get the job, I’ll probably keep racing. “
Kenny has retired once before, leaving after his hat-trick of the team sprint, individual sprint and keirin titles in Rio six years ago. But he did not announce his decision – and then reversed it a year later.
This time, there will be no turning points – and Kenny is finding the end of the road much harder to accept.
“In Rio, I was happy to see the back of it,” he said. But since coming back and refreshed, walking has become a lot more difficult. ”
But Kenny admits that the surprising breakaway in Tokyo was a thrilling way to sign a contract, saying: “I’m happy with that. It’s really special. To do that on that bike, the last day of the Olympics, for me it was a really special moment.
“If I could choose one day to end, it would be one day.”
Knight of the Kingdom and six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy, whose gold sprint team with Kenny and Jamie Staff kicked off a legend’s Olympic career in Beijing 14 years ago, said: “I really do. glad to hear that Jason has been appointed as the men’s sprint coach.
“He is a great teammate, an extraordinary athlete and I look forward to seeing him channel his experience across the four Olympics to support the next generation of talented riders. the British are at their best.”
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