Kenny has won seven gold and two silver medals at four Olympic Games; The 33-year-old had openly discussed continuing to Paris but instead accepted a role to become British Cycling’s men’s sprint coach.
Last update: 02/24/22 00:03
Britain’s most decorated Olympian, cyclist Sir Jason Kenny, has announced his retirement from racing to become a coach.
The 33-year-old officially started working as British Cycling’s men’s sprint coach this week, overseeing riders who were teammates until his appointment.
Kenny, who won a stunning keirin gold in Tokyo last summer to claim a seventh Olympic title 13 years after his first in Beijing, had planned to continue until the Paris Games in 2024, but said that the opportunity to coach the British team was one. couldn’t pass up.
“It was not an easy decision,” said Kenny, who was knighted in the New Year’s Honors List. “I really wanted to continue in Paris, but I cringe a lot these days and I always knew that I wanted to become a coach, and this opportunity presented itself.
Dame Laura and Sir Jason Kenny say it is beyond their dreams to be recognized in New Years honors for their achievements on the track.
“To be honest, I’m a bit sad because all I know is cycling and racing, but I’m very excited to get into this job.”
The move was not long in the planning. British Cycling advertised the job on LinkedIn last month, ironically illustrating the advert with a photo of Kenny, who chose to submit what he called a “speculative” application a day before the deadline without discussing it. first with the senior coaches.
“The job offer came in and I kinda sniffed and got a little scared,” Kenny added. “I was training full time back then, but I’ve started to hurt a lot more these days. I thought, I don’t even know if I’m going to make it to Paris, so I might hire for three years and get nothing out of it.
Seven – Kenny has won seven Olympic gold medals and nine medals overall, leading all British athletes in both categories.
Five – his wife Laura holds the same accolades among British Olympians with five gold medals and six medals in total, the latter figure being matched by Charlotte Dujardin.
Four – Kenny has won gold medals at four successive Olympic Games, from Beijing 2008 to Tokyo 2020.
Three – He also won gold medals at three separate world championships, in 2011, 2013 and 2016, and 10 medals overall in that event. He also has a keirin title at the European Championships to his credit and two silver medals at the Commonwealth Games.
42.600 – Kenny’s time with team-mates Philip Hindes and Sir Chris Hoy to win gold in the team sprint at London 2012 was a world record at the time, since broken by teams from Germany and Holland. Kenny, Hindes and Callum Skinner won with an Olympic record 42.440 at Rio 2016.
“That opportunity might not come again here. If they had a good coach, they could be in this position for potentially 10 years, so I thought I’d go now… I think if I hadn’t gotten the job, I would have continued (the race) in all likelihood.”
Kenny has retired once before, quietly walking away after winning gold in the team sprint, individual sprint and keirin at the 2016 Rio Games, without announcing his decision until he overturned it a year later. This time it’s more definitive and, says Kenny, much more difficult.
“Last time I didn’t realize it, but I was just cooked,” he said. “I had never really taken a break (in 10 years), so I just walked away. Because I never planned on coming back, I completely switched off and found this freshness.
Team GB’s Jason Kenny became the first Team GB athlete to win seven gold medals – and nine medals overall – while retaining his keirin title in track cycling.
“And since I came back to it, I really enjoyed it again. So this time I love it, so now I’m going to quit!
“In Rio I was quite happy to see the back of it. But since I’ve come back and been refreshed, it’s a lot harder to walk away.”
Kenny said the decision was made in conjunction with his wife Laura, Britain’s most successful Olympian, who won her fifth gold with victory at Madison alongside Katie Archibald last summer.
Olympic cyclists Jason and Laura Kenny spoke about their honours.
He replaces Scott Pollock, who served as interim sprint coach following the dismissal of Kevin Stewart in November 2020.
Kenny’s new role will involve more hours and more traveling than racing as he no longer chooses competitions and training camps, but Kenny believes it will also allow him to spend more quality time with their son Albie , who turned four last August.
Hoy: Kenny will be a success as a coach
Sir Chris Hoy has backed Kenny to succeed in his new coaching role after Britain’s most successful Olympian announced his retirement from competition.
Hoy won gold in the team sprint alongside Kenny at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing – the first of Kenny’s seven Olympic gold medals – and the Scot said he was looking forward to seeing his former team-mate become a men’s sprint coach with British Cycling.
“I was really excited to hear that Jason was named the men’s sprint coach,” Hoy said. “He was a fantastic teammate, an extraordinary athlete and I can’t wait to see him translate his experience over four Olympic Games into helping the next generation of talented British riders to perform at their best.”
British Cycling performance director Stephen Park said: “Winning an Olympic medal of any color is a magnificent achievement, but it is almost impossible to comprehend the level of talent, dedication and resilience required to seven times on the podium at four Olympic Games.
“It goes without saying that Jason has made a magnificent contribution to our team, and I’m delighted we’ve been able to retain all of that knowledge and experience as he embarks on his coaching career.”