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Olympic champion Callum Skinner calls time on track career

Joe Robinson
7 Mar 2019

Skinner will now concentrate on improving LGBT rights in sport and fight against doping

Olympic champion Callum Skinner has called time on his elite track cycling career in order to concentrate on his work to improve the governance of professional cycling and support LGBT rights in sport.

The 26-year-old announced his decision to step away from the sport on his personal website. Skinner, who was part of the gold medal-winning track team at Rio 2016, had been on an extended break from racing due to health issues, last competing at the Commonwealth Games in Australia last year.

In a statement, Skinner wrote 'Today, I would like to announce I am calling time on my Elite cycling career.

'It’s been a long and amazing journey, starting out in the cold of Meadowbank, Edinburgh in 2006 to peaking at the Olympic Velodrome in the Team Sprint at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016.

'Cycling has been very good to me, I’ve made lifelong friends and realised my dream for which I am eternally privileged.'

In his time on the bike, Skinner became an active voice in the fight against doping in sport, eventually earning election to the British Olympic Associations Athletes’ Commission.

Skinner has also been one of British sport's most vocal allies for the LGBT community. In a statement, the Scot told of how he will now be able to focus on improving athlete welfare with British Cycling

'As some of you will know, I’m particularly passionate about giving back to sport, using my profile for good, whether that’s in supporting the long-overdue reform of sports governance, LGBT rights and encouraging people to get on their bikes,' said Skinner.

'My focus and effort now lies in working in partnership with British Cycling to continue to make the athlete experience more human whilst still maintaining that performance mindset. These two essential aspects are not mutually exclusive of each other.'

British Cycling CEO Julie Harrington thanked Skinner not only for his achievements on the bike but the hard work he committed towards improving cycling off the bike, too. 

'Callum has done both Scotland and Great Britain proud during his cycling career, winning medals on the global stage and playing his part in inspiring more people to take up cycling,' said Harrington.

'For me though, what is just as remarkable is what Callum has been able to achieve off the bike. In my time at British Cycling, he has developed into an articulate and passionate spokesman – whether as an LGBT ally, an advocate for better athlete representation, working with UK Anti-Doping or just asking for improved conditions on the roads for people on bikes.'

On the bike, Skinner is remembered best for being part of the Olympic track sprint team, alongside Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny, that took gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

During his career, Skinner also took five World Cup medals, a European title and a Commonwealth Games medal.