Callum Skinner
Skinner (2017)
Personal information
Born (1992-08-20) 20 August 1992 (age 28)
Glasgow, Scotland
Height1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight93 kg (205 lb)
Team information
Rider typeSprinter

Callum Skinner (born 20 August 1992) is a British former track cyclist. He won the silver medal in the individual sprint at the 2016 Summer Olympics, and was a member of the British team that won gold in the team sprint.

Early life

Skinner was born to mother Judith and father Scott,[1] the elder of two boys with a younger brother, Roy in Glasgow, Scotland. He moved to Bruntsfield, Edinburgh at the age of 12 and attended James Gillespie's High School. His academic career was hampered by dyslexia.[1] He took up cycling in 2004, inspired by Chris Hoy's success in the sport at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.[2]

In 2008 he was national youth champion[3] and broke Hoy's British 200 m record for his age group. Later that year he was the inaugural winner of the Chris Hoy Trophy,[2] an award presented to Edinburgh's most promising young track cyclist,[4] and received the award from Hoy himself.[2]


In 2010 Skinner joined British Cycling's Senior Academy.[5] Skinner competed representing Scotland in the team sprint at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, finishing fourth.[6] The following year he took two medals at the Under-23 European Track Championships, winning a bronze in the individual sprint and a silver in the team sprint alongside Peter Mitchell and Philip Hindes.[5] He did not get the opportunity to compete at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London due to a lump in his neck in late 2011 which doctors initially thought was lymphoma. Biopsies later proved that the lump was not cancerous but the scare had caused him to take time away from the sport.[7][8] He was subsequently promoted to the British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme in 2013.[5]

In January 2014 he won his first World Cup medal, placing third in the team sprint in Guadalajara,[5] and once again represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games.[9] He came to prominence at the 2014 British National Track Championships, winning a clean sweep of four national sprint titles.[10] In October 2014, he became European champion in the 1 km time trial.[11]

In January 2016 Skinner was a member of the team that won the overall title for the men's team sprint at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Hong Kong.[12] In March he finished eighth in the individual sprint in the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in London.[3]

At the 2016 Summer Olympics he was part of the team that won gold in the men's team sprint along with Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny, setting an Olympic record of 42.440 in the final against New Zealand.[13] He won the silver medal in the men's individual sprint, beating Matthew Glaetzer 2–0 in the semi-final[8] but he was beaten 2–0 by defending champion Kenny in an all-British final.[14]

In a 2020 interview, Skinner stated that his mental health declined after the 2016 Olympics, culminating in what he described as a "mental breakdown" during the 2018 Commonwealth Games after he was disqualified from the keirin, although he did go on to take a medal in the kilometer time trial. He said that in 2019 he disclosed his mental health issues to a senior person at British Cycling, but that the official in question refused his request for time off to recover: he reflected that "that conversation finished me as a cyclist".[1]

In February 2019 it was announced that Skinner had been appointed to the position of Lead Athlete with Global Athlete, a self-described "athlete-led movement for change" aiming to advance the interests of sportspeople: in this role he would be responsible for recruiting other athletes to the organisation.[15] The following month he announced his retirement from competition in order to focus on advocating improvements in sportspeople's rights and working conditions. He also supports equality for LGBTQ athletes:[16] both his father and brother are gay.[1]

Major results

UEC European Track Championships (under-23 & junior)
Team sprint (with Peter Mitchell and Philip Hindes)
Kilo, UEC European Track Championships
National Track Championships
Team Sprint (with Philip Hindes & Jason Kenny)
2013–2014 Track Cycling World Cup
3rd Team Sprint, Round 3
2014–15 Track Cycling World Cup
1st Team sprint (with Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny), Round 1[17]
Olympic Games
1st Gold medal olympic.svg Team sprint
2nd Silver medal olympic.svg Sprint
2015–16 Track Cycling World Cup
1st Team sprint (with Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny), Round 4[5]
2017–18 Track Cycling World Cup
2nd Team sprint (with Jack Carlin and Philip Hindes), Round 3[5]
3rd 1km time trial, Round 2[5]
1km time trial, Commonwealth Games[5]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d English, Tom (24 November 2020). "Callum Skinner: How the Scot's obsessive pursuit of greatness almost broke him". Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Callum Skinner: From racing at Meadowbank to Olympic glory". Edinburgh Evening News. 13 August 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Who is Callum Skinner, Britain's new star sprinter?". Cycling Weekly. 14 August 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Chris Hoy: Velodrome threat will make trophy meaningless". The Scotsman. 23 April 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Callum Skinner". British Cycling. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  6. ^ Swarbrick, Susan (20 July 2014). "Cycling: Callum Skinner gets a second bite at the cherry". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  7. ^ Swarbrick, Susan (29 March 2014). "Fashion: cyclist Callum Skinner and wheelchair racer Samantha Kinghorn". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  8. ^ a b Pidd, Helen (14 August 2016). "Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner to battle for individual sprint cycling gold". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Callum Skinner". Glasgow 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  10. ^ Rentton, Colin (27 September 2014). "Callum Skinner strikes gold in Manchester". Edinburgh Evening News.
  11. ^ "European Track Championships: Tennant & Skinner win golds". BBC Sport. 19 October 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  12. ^ "UCI Track Cycling World Cup: performances full of promise". Union Cycliste Internationale. 17 January 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  13. ^ "Rio Olympics 2016: Great Britain win third straight team sprint gold". BBC Sport. 11 August 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  14. ^ "Rio Olympics 2016: Jason Kenny beats Callum Skinner to win back-to-back Olympic titles". BBC Sport. 14 August 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  15. ^ Roan, Dan (14 February 2019). "Global Athlete: new body launched 'to give athletes a voice'". Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  16. ^ "Callum Skinner: Olympic champion announces retirement from cycling". 7 March 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Track Cycling World Cup: Laura Trott in GB team to win gold". BBC Sport. 9 November 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014.