Sir Chris Hoy is one of the most successful British Olympians of all time and has since gone on to work as a broadcaster at some of the world’s biggest events. Yet even he admits to pinching himself when he joins up with his fellow Laureus Academy Members.
This is Hoy’s third visit to the Laureus World Sports Awards and even in that short period of time, Hoy has seen a real step-change in how the event has grown.
“It feels like it’s growing, definitely. It’s gaining momentum and awareness around the world,” he said. “It’s unique. You pinch yourself every time you sit down in that company! You look around the room and every person in the room is a global household name. It’s quite surreal and bizarre to see your name alongside theirs.”
But Hoy is far from star-struck and is concentrating on working with his fellow Academy members to improve the Laureus Sport for Good work.
“The important part of meeting with all these legends is improving the lives of people around the world through sport. It’s such a simple and effective idea and what we do when we meet up is try to think of ways we can improve on the work we do and ensure Sport for Good has a greater impact moving forwards.”
This year’s awards is also poignant for Hoy with the attendance of former German track World Champion Kristina Vogel in Monaco. Vogel was involved in a life-changing accident during a training session which left her paralysed last year.
“I met up with her recently and considering what she’s gone through and how recent it was, her physical and mental rehabilitation is remarkable. The way she’s accepted it, ‘What can I do? What can’t I do?’ – she’s just cracking on with it.”
Hoy continued, “It’s a long road and I’m sure not every day is rosy, but she seems to be doing incredibly well considering how traumatic the accident was. She won two gold medals last year. But whether she won or lost she had a big smile on her face she was so passionate about her bike. So cruel to see it happen to someone like that. It really puts life into perspective.”
And it’s that type of insight that will help Hoy and his fellow Academy members to build the Laureus Sport for Good programmes all over the world.