Being named the Olympic flagbearer is a huge honour for any athlete, but the competition within the Team GB camp in 2012 was particularly fierce with the Games on home soil in London.
The verdict was delivered on this day eight years ago, and the decision to go with Sir Chris Hoy was ultimately not a difficult one. The Scot, 36 in 2012, had been an ambassador for the Games, and went into the Games on the verge of history.
On July 28, Hoy would lead the British team into the Olympic stadium at the end of Danny Boyle’s spectacular opening ceremony, best remembered for the montage in which Daniel Craig’s James Bond appeared to airlift the Queen to her seat.
But Hoy was just beginning a very special mission of his own.
Four years earlier in Beijing, Hoy had taken his Olympic gold tally to four. Victories in the sprint, team sprint and keirin in Beijing made him the first Briton to win three Olympic golds at a single Games in 100 years, and left him one shy of Sir Steve Redgrave’s British record of five career titles.
Within days of the opening ceremony, that record would be matched, then broken.
Hoy drew level Redgrave as Jason Kenny, Philip Hindes and he broke the world record in winning the team sprint on August 2nd.
And five days later he stood alone on six gold medals with victory in the keirin – his seventh Olympic medal in all to draw him level with fellow cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins as the British athlete with the most.
Four years later in Rio, with Hoy retired and now on commentary duties, Kenny would win in the team sprint, individual sprint and keirin to join Hoy on six gold medals.
Kenny had been aiming to overhaul him this summer in Tokyo but must now wait 12 months, though he has already predicted his wife Laura, four years younger and with four golds to her name, will ultimately overtake them both.