RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Jason Kenny, Britain’s new track cycling king, was looking forward to something a little more sedate after his golden rides during a fast and furious week at the Olympic velodrome.
The 28-year-old, known as the Farnworth Flame, won every sprint title in Rio, the team sprint, individual sprint and keirin, taking him level on six Olympic titles with his mentor and idol Chris Hoy as Britain’s leading gold medal collector.
After all the hullabaloo of the past five days, when fiance Laura Trott also became the first British woman to win four Olympic golds by claiming the team pursuit and omnium, he was asked if he would finally get time to enjoy Rio’s attractions.
“It’s funny I love the Olympics and the atmosphere in the village,” the self-effacing Kenny told reporters.
”But when your event finishes you just want to go home as soon as possible. I don’t like being around. Just want to get home and take the dogs for a walk.
“We live in the middle of nowhere so it suits me down to the ground. I can walk for miles and not see a soul.”
Kenny said it was “mental” to be alongside Hoy in Britain’s Olympic Hall of Fame -- having matched his former team mate’s feat of winning three golds in a single Games.
Hoy collected three in Beijing, the year Kenny won his first gold.
The Scot, who was commentating from the BBC balcony overlooking the track, clenched his fist when Kenny stormed through to win the keirin, bringing the curtain down on a great week for the British team who won six of the 10 titles.
“When he came on the team before Beijing we knew he was special but I don’t think we realized how special he was going to be,” Hoy said.
“He has been untouchable this week, he has been on a different level.”
While Kenny’s post-ride reaction was calm and measured - he said it all felt a bit “surreal” - Trott could not hold back the tears after her own exploits and when watching her partner rocket to gold.
But what next for the “golden couple”, who at 28 and 24 could add more gold in Tokyo.
“It would be nice to get back to a bit of normality,” Kenny said. “I’d love her to bits even if she was rubbish, but she’s not. She gets a bit stressed to be fair. She worries enough for both of us so I can stay relaxed. She loves a good cry as well.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Ken Ferris