Tuesday, 16 December 2008

What is "A Hoy"?

A Hoy is about positive thinking

I'd like to think that receiving A Hoy will be different to most blog awards, because of the stipulation that one makes an onward award to at least two blogs that one has never seen before (see "Rules for Making an Award," below).

Why is that important?

It's a psychological thing. People go through life doing impressive stuff, and it will be "normal" to them, so they don't think of it as impressive. And yet they may receive little or no recognition, or validation, for their efforts. I'm talking about abstract things like wit, humour, whimsy, the ability to tell a good story, that kind of thing - the sort of things that make others' lives better. Suddenly having somebody turn up, out of the blue, and say "your blog's cool: have an award," has significant positive impact (I know this, because when I receive awards, I make a point of searching for blogs I've never seen, which are "off the beaten track" of stuff that I usually look at, and the response is worth the extra effort). This is, I would argue, also beneficial to the giver, because it requires them to think of things that they like - and you'd be surprised how few people think in those terms.

Now, Sir Chris Hoy, MBE, PhD, is a phenomenon - it's not necessary to look beyond his biography to understand just how good he is. Arguably both the greatest track cyclist of his generation, possibly ever, and the greatest British olympian - nobody from Great Britain has won three golds in a single Games for a hundred years, and there were only a couple of dozen countries competing, back then. Moreover he has won four golds, now, each in a different discipline.

Chris Hoy is also a thoroughly decent human being. Following his attempt at the world kilo mark at altitude, he went back to La Paz, earlier this year, with a donation by his sponsors of top class bikes and equipment, which he'd noticed the local riders didn't have access to. There was no obligation on him to do that, and you would have to be one of those local riders to understand what it meant to receive that gesture.

In some sense, then, when one receives A Hoy, one is associated with Chris and with Chris's achievements - and that's powerful - on some level, one is being recognized as excellent, and one will have been recognized by somebody who has no motivation to tell you that, other than it being true, if only in their opinion.

That, in a nutshell, is it: A Hoy is a recognition of excellence, named after somebody whose excellence can't be questioned. It's about the confidence to believe the best of yourself; the determination to succeed; and acknowledging when you've achieved the goals that you've set. So, when you give and receive A Hoy, there's a gold medal and a national anthem playing for you, too.


First and foremost, a massive "thank you" must go to Chris Hoy and his management team, for lending their kind permission for this award to be named after Chris.

Thanks also to Tracy for just being so damn talented. If you are lucky enough to have A Hoy on your sidebar, and have commented, if only to yourself, on the stunning artwork, then think of her, because she created it, along with the rest of the original art on this page.

Thanks go also to the Founders, whom I imagine have long suspected that I am as mad as a box of frogs, and yet went with me on this one, anyway!

Thanks to you, for receiving this award, and then giving it to others equally deserving. And finally, thanks to all the other blog awards, out there, which proved to me that it can be done!

Rules for Making an Award

1. Pick five blogs that you consider deserve this award based upon any criteria - for example, the quality of the commentary, wit, humour, artwork, overall design, value to you of the information being provided, and so on.

2. The awarding blogger should choose at least two blogs not on his or her own blogroll, the purpose being to encourage variety of reading matter, and to have the person making the award think about what they like to see and read.

3. Your five choices must be published in a dedicated post on your own blog. This post must contain the name of the author (which may be their logon name), and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone. This post should contain brief details of what attracted you to the blog. Details may also be posted in the comments section of "What is a Hoy?"

4. In the same dedicated post, each winner has to show the award and acknowledge the blog that has given him or her the award.

5. Both those awarding and receiving A Hoy must show the link to A Hoy blog, so that everyone will know the origin of this award.

6. When publishing details of the blogs to which you have made your awards, these rules must be published for recipients to follow.

Congratulations to Chris Hoy

I thought Chris was a racing certainty to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award, held last night in Liverpool's Echo Arena. In the event, he did win, although he was a rank outsider with the bookies, in the week running up to the event, I've read since.

Anyway, a thoroughly deserved victory, and hats off to you, Chris. Next stop, the New Year's Honours list!

Further congratulations are due to Chris: I've just read in today's Independent that Chris has received a knighthood - the first athlete to receive the honour whilst still competing, and he'll go to the London Games as Sir Chris Hoy.