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Dublin: 17 °C Saturday 4 July, 2020

Olympic connections dominate Queen's list of New Year honours

Cyclist Bradley Wiggins and sailor Ben Ainslie are knighted, as all 29 British gold medallists from London 2012 receive an honour.

Bradley Wiggins - who won Great Britain's first gold medal of London 2012, only days after winning the Tour de France - is to be knighted.
Bradley Wiggins - who won Great Britain's first gold medal of London 2012, only days after winning the Tour de France - is to be knighted.
Image: John Giles/PA Wire

THE UK’S feats at the London 2012 Olympic games have dominated the Queen’s list of New Year honours, published this morning.

Bradley Wiggins, who became Britian’s first ever winner of the Tour de France and who won Team GB’s first gold of the games, will become Sir Bradley, while sailor Ben Ainslie – won won his fourth gold medal in as many games – is also knighted.

Dave Brailsford, British Cycling’s performance director and the general manager of Wiggins’ Team Sky, is also given a knighthood, as is the performance director of British Rowing, David Tanner.

Sarah Storey, Britain’s Paralympic cyclist who won four golds in London to add to two in Beijing – and 16 medals from the previous four Paralympics where she competed as a swimmer – is made a Dame.

Lord Sebastian Coe, the chairman of the Games organising committee who is already a knight, was made a Companion of Honour – one of only two people to receive the honour, the other being Peter Higgs, the physicists who predicted the existence of the Higgs boson (also known as the ‘God particle’).

This year’s honours were specifically issued with honours for Olympians listed separately to others, as a nod to Britain’s achievements in hosting the games. Each of Team GB’s 29 gold medallists at the Olympics, and 34 gold medallists at the Paralympics, were given honours of some degree.

Heptathlete Jessica Ennis and long-distance runner Mo Farah were given a CBE, as were rower Katherine Grainger, wheelchair middle distance and marathon athlete David Weir, and cyclist Victoria Pendleton.

Six others – including Andy Murray, who won singles gold as well as the US Open, and 18-year-old Paralympics swimmer Ellie Simmonds – were made OBEs. Stella McCartney, who designed the uniforms for the British athletes at the games, was also given an OBE.

The Times remarked that the success of Britain’s Olympians was so unprecedented that athletes who would ordinarily have won honours for winning an Olympic medal had to do without on this occasion.

The volume of Olympic honours meant that the likes of Jonathan Brownlee, who came third in the triathlon, was not given an honour while his gold-winning brother Alistair was made an MBE, as was their performance manager Malcolm Brown.

It also meant no additional honours for Zara Phillips, the Queen’s granddaughter who won silver with Team GB’s equestrian eventing team – though Phillips already held an MBE.

Read: Bradley Wiggins’ knighthood ‘can’t compare’ to Weller honour

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Gavan Reilly

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