Racing cyclist James McCallum represented Scotland at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games and again at Melbourne 2006, where he won a bronze medal in the Scratch race. James is hoping to end his racing career on a high by medalling again at Glasgow 2014. We caught up with him at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome where he was competing in the Revolution Track Cycling series.
What was the atmosphere like in the velodrome?
It was outstanding. I’m still beaming now. You compete in events like that all the time, but to do it in Glasgow and have everyone shouting your name and wanting you to sign autographs, makes you feel like a bit of a hero.
How important is it for you to be in Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014?
Hopefully it’ll be the icing on the cake of my career. There are only 500 or so days left in my cycling career and I don’t want to go out with any regrets. I’m going to go there with my eyes on the prize of medalling.
What’s your best memory from previous Commonwealth Games?
It has to be coming home after 2006. When the plane lands and so many people want to speak to you and ask you stuff, it makes you feel really important. It’s just great to think that what you’re doing in your everyday life can have an impact on people and inspire them.
Who inspires you?
My parents. They’re the ones who have supported me through the 24 years of my cycling career. I’m really lucky to have such great parents.
If you weren’t competing in sport what do you think you’d be doing?
I was previously a nurse so I might end up doing something like that again, but when I was a kid I was really into archaeology. I spend a lot of time watching Time Team, so I wouldn’t mind being an archaeologist or something like that.
Do you listen to music when you’re training?
I’m constantly listening to music! Anything with whomping bass and thumping beats. Lots of Prodigy, lots of Swedish House Mafia, bit of Beastie Boys, hip hop – anything that gets you moving.
How do you celebrate after a big event like Glasgow 2014?
With a nice glass of red wine and a big calzone.