After winning his eighth medal at the Rio games last summer (he’s won five golds overall), Sir Bradley Wiggins became Britain’s most decorated Olympian.
Wiggo has won seven world titles across both track and road cycling, and he was Britain’s first Tour de France winner in 2012 – the same year he won BBC’s Sport Personality of the Year award. Plus, in 2015 he smashed the legendary hour record by clocking up 54.526 km – almost 2km more than the previous record.
Wiggins was born in Ghent to a British mother and an Australian father, professional cyclist Gary Wiggins. After falling in love with cycling after watching the 1992 Barcelona Olympics on TV, the 12-year-old Wiggo got on the saddle. But it didn’t go too well: he soon got caught in a road accident and broke his collarbone. However, Wiggins used the compensation money from the crash to buy his first professional cycling bike.
Peddle forward four years and Wiggins was winning medals in his first junior national track championships. His career then gained serious traction after the 1998 track world championships, where he qualified for the 2000 Olympic Games, going on to pick up a bronze in the team pursuit.
He won three medals with Team GB in the 2004 Olympic velodrome in Athens, but then changed gears to compete in road cycling. In 2012 he became Britain’s first Tour de France winner before picking up gold in the 2012 London Olympics and winning BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year. To top it off, he was knighted in January 2013.
He retired in 2016, holding cycling’s most prestigious records: Wiggins is the only rider to have combined winning both World and Olympic championships on both the track and the road. However, since retiring he has had to face some difficult questions over his use of a banned steroid before major races, permitted through so-called ‘therapeutic use exemptions’.
Days after announcing his retirement from cycling (following a year when he bagged his fifth Olympic gold at Rio 2016), Wiggo was revealed to be trading his bike shorts for salopettes to head down The Jump’s ski slopes, and we can’t wait to see if he’s just as speedy in his new hobby.