Now he is a Paralympic champion cyclist. But Neil Fachie has always been an athlete in a hurry.
Fachie, who is partially sighted, made his Games debut on the athletics track in Beijing, where he missed out on progressing to the 100m and 200m final. He quickly changed focus to cycling and even more quickly established himself in the national set-up, moving to Manchester to base himself at the velodrome that had become an unrivalled medal factory.
And yesterday he joined forces with pilot Barney Storey to win gold in the tandem time trial in a world record 1:01.351.
"Honestly I thought we could get the world record, but I didn't know it would be that quick," said Fachie, who was born and raised in Aberdeen. "We thought we would have to beat the world record to win, and winning gold is fantastic especially after missing out on a medal in Beijing, I wanted to come to London and get on the podium and I have done that, and hopefully still have more to come.
"The crowd were unbelievable and got us to the finish line and I just want to say thank you to them."
Fachie used to ride with Craig MacLean, winning double gold with him at last year's World Championships, but now competes with Storey – husband of Paralympic champion Sarah – who formerly worked as pilot to double Beijing gold medallist Anthony Kappes, who now rides with MacLean.
If that sounds confusing it is not half as confusing at the rules at the velodrome, which British cyclists continue to fall foul of. At the Olympics, Victoria Pendleton twice was denied by the commissaires, who are the sort of chaps you imagine like to wear their official blazers in their spare time.
Yesterday it was Kappes and MacLean who were denied the opportunity to race because of a technical issue at the start gate. The judges blamed them, they blamed the starting equipment and you needed a degree in engineering to understand it.
But the simple fact is that MacLean and Kappes were prevented from racing and will now need to regroup for today's tandem sprint, in which they won gold at the World Championships in Los Angeles this year,.
"Quite possibly it could have been a great spectacle – us chasing Neil and Barney's time," said MacLean, who partnered Chris Hoy to team sprint silver at the 2004 Olympics and gold for Scotland at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
"Rules are rules but sometimes there needs to be a little leniency. People have paid a lot of money to come and watch this and for them to be denied the chance to see everybody compete doesn't seem right somehow.
"We are going to have to have a think and settle down and digest it all. But obviously it is a raw feeling and we are very disappointed and upset."
Fachie was also disappointed he didn't have the chance for a showdown with his team-mate and former pilot, although he believes that will only make them more determined today.
"We are delighted to have got the world record and the gold medal but unfortunately we didn't get the chance to see if our time would hold up against Anthony and Craig," said Fachie.
"Now I'm looking at the sprint and hopefully will be up against my team-mates in that - We want to have a gold and silver for Britain."
It turned out to be a fabulous day for the Storey household as Sarah was back on the track later and claimed her second gold medal of the Games when she clocked 36.997 seconds to triumph in the women's C4/5 500 metres time-trial.
Meanwhile, Scot Aileen McGlynn will look to upgrade her silver medal in the 1km time trial when she competes in the individual pursuit today.
Bank of Scotland is proud supporter of ParalympicsGB and proud partner of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Get closer to the Games at bankofscotland.co.uk/London2012