Callum Skinner, current British sprint track cycling champion, has spoken about his excitement ahead of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Skinner, who was inspired to try track cycling by watching Chris Hoy competing at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, said: “I watched Chris Hoy in the Kilo, and Scotland win gold in the Team Sprint, and I wanted to give it a shot. The power, tactics and speed of it all really appealed to me and inspired me to head down to my local track at Meadowbank in Edinburgh.”
The rest was history. Skinner caught the bug, and decided to give his sport a real go. He now trains alongside some of the best riders in the world at the British Cycling Academy.
He said: “Competition recently has been going well for me. I managed to win the sprint competition at the British Championships earlier this month, which has secured me a place in the team for the European Championships, and I’m hopeful of getting a place in a World Cup event nearer the end of the season.”
The 21-year-old was a spectator of Sir Chris Hoy’s victory in the Keirin at the London 2012 Olympics. “It was strange being in the crowd watching all the guys I train with and my coaches inside the track,” he said. “It was incredible - the wall of noise for British riders was something else and I’m sure that noise will be there again in 2014. The whole experience just made me want to work harder, lift more weights and get myself on the team in the future.”
For now, Skinner is working towards competing at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth in a velodrome named after the man who inspired him to take up the sport. “Whatever happens, the sport that takes place in the Velodrome during the Commonwealth Games will be unforgettable. I can’t wait,” he added.