Britain’s greatest Olympian Sir Jason Kenny admitted he was “a little sad” but excited when he announced his retirement from racing to move into coaching.
The 33-year-old officially began working as a male sprint coach for the podium in British Cycling this week, overseeing riders who were teammates until his appointment.
Kenny, who won a stunning keirin gold in Tokyo last summer to win his seventh Olympic title 13 years after his first in Beijing, he intended to continue until the Paris Games in 2024, but said he could not miss the opportunity to coach the British national team.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” said Kenny, who was named a knight on the New Year’s list of honors. “I really wanted to continue in Paris, but these days I’m pretty squeaky and I always knew I wanted to go into a coaching career, and that opportunity came.
“Honestly, I’m a little sad because I only know riding and racing, but I’m very excited to get stuck at work.”
The move was not long in the planning process. British Cycling advertised a role on LinkedIn last month, ironically illustrating the ad with a picture of Kenny deciding to put in a so-called “speculative” application the day before the deadline without first talking to seniors. coaches.
“A job ad came up and I hopped and hopped a little bit,” Kenny added. “Back then, I trained full-time, but today it started to hurt a lot more.
“I thought I didn’t even know if I was going to come to Paris so I could commit to three years and get nothing out of it.
“This opportunity may not come again. If we got a good coach, we could be in the role potentially for 10 years, so I thought I would take advantage of that now … I think if I didn’t get the job, I would probably continue (touching) ”.
Kenny has retired once before and quietly retired after winning the team sprint, individual sprint and keirin gold at the Rio 2016 Games without announcing his decision until he overturned it a year later.