Sir Chris Hoy, Britain’s most successful Olympian with six gold medals, is proving to have the Midas Touch in business too, with the company that looks after his commercial interests making a profit of just under £1 million in its latest financial year.
According to its latest accounts, Hoy’s company, Trackstars Limited, turned a profit of £980,000 in the year to 30 June 2014, reports the Edinburgh Evening News – around 40 times more than the £24,000 a year he received in Lottery funding prior to the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Hoy won three gold medals there to add to the one he had clinched at Athens in 2004, and added a further two in London three years ago before announcing his retirement in 2013.
Since then, he has launched a motor racing career with Nissan, a range of bikes sold through Evans and cycle clothing in association with Vulpine and was also an ambassador for last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Unsurprisingly he is also in demand as a public speaker, and also works with a number of charities – but Hoy, who became a father last year, has also found time to start yet another sideline, this one authoring children’s books.
While Hoy withdrew more than £1 million in dividends from his business between 2009 and 2011, he has taken none since then and his company has assets of £1.4 million.
The newspaper notes that three years ago, Hoy’s finances came under the spotlight when it was revealed that he had received a loan of £325,000 from the business.
However, he insisted everything was above board, saying: “Everything I have done is as a UK resident and is UK taxable and not offshore. “The dividends that I took to repay the loan were in fact taxed at the highest rate.”
He added: “I saw an opportunity to buy property and with the guidance of my advisers I borrowed money from my company to do so. The loan was repaid shortly thereafter by declaration of fully taxable dividends.”
Given that track cyclists even of Hoy’s stature have miniscule on-bike earning power compared to the stars of the road, few would begrudge Hoy the ability to cash in on his fame in his retirement.
But his income is also dwarfed by the sums pulled in by some other Olympians; the swimmer Michael Phelps, who took his tally of gold medals to 18 in London, pulls in an estimated $10 million a year through endorsement deals with household names such as Louis Vuitton, Hilton, Procter & Gamble and Omega.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.