But the Edinburgh-born cycling gold medallist kept the devastating news under wraps as he notched up victory after victory to become Britain’s greatest Olympian of all time.
Sir Chris, 36, told how his 67-year-old father David had broken the news to him. “At 7pm in the evening my dad called and said he had bad news for me. And then he told me, prefectly calmly, that he had prostate cancer. It hits you like a sledgehammer.”
After tests, the news seems better. “The doctors seem pretty optimistic that it’s treatable.”
Both his parents watched Sir Chris win his two gold medals in the velodrome and his father unfurled a banner reading “The Real McHoy”.
Just last month, Sir Chris’s unlce Derek Hoy - David’s brother - died after a short battle with brain cancer.