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British gold medal cyclist Chris Hoy announces retirement

After winning two gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics, decorated British track cyclist Chris Hoy has announced his retirement. He is Britain's most successful Olympian.

Hoy, one of the local heroes of the London Olympics, made the announcement on Thursday. It ends the career of a six-time Olympic champion and 11-time World Champion.

"I'm officially announcing my retirement from international cycling," the Scotsman told an Edinburgh press conference. "It's a decision which I didn't take lightly. It's something I thought about hard with the help of my family and my coaches."

The first gold medal in track cycling came for Hoy at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. He followed that up with three golds in Beijing and two more in London. He also has a silver medal from the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. His six golds are the most for any British athlete.

BEIJING - AUGUST 19: Chris Hoy of Great Britain celebrates the gold medal after defeating Jason Kenny of Great Britain in the Men's Sprint Finals in the track cycling event at the Laoshan Velodrome on Day 11 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 19, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

London was a career highlight for Hoy

The decision by the 37-year-old to retire ends speculation that he would compete in the Commonwealth Games next summer in Scotland.

Hoy is renowned in the sporting community for his modesty and down-to-earthness – a superstar that avoided letting it all go to his head.

"Nothing would give me more pleasure than going to Glasgow, but I don't want to be there for the numbers," he said on Thursday. "Being objective, I got every last drop out in London. Now it's time for younger riders to experience what it is like to compete in front of a home crowd."

In addition to being a decorated athlete, Hoy was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2009.

mz/kms (dpa, Reuters, AFP)