x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Arise, Sir Chris

A host of Britain's sporting talent is acknowledged by the Queen in her New Year's honours list, with the cyclist Chris Hoy being knighted.

Sir Chris Hoy leads the sports stars who were honoured by the Queen. His three Olympic golds in Beijing was unprecedented for a British Olympian.
Sir Chris Hoy leads the sports stars who were honoured by the Queen. His three Olympic golds in Beijing was unprecedented for a British Olympian.

Sporting knight Sir Chris Hoy spoke of his wonder at being honoured for his three Olympic gold medals in Beijing. In a move that breaks with tradition, Hoy's knighthood comes while he is still competing and he will take part in London 2012 as Sir Chris. "To become a knight from riding your bike, it's mad," the Scot, 32, said. "But it is, genuinely, just an amazing honour, it's also great for the sport." Hoy said he was just as pleased to see his mother Carol receive an MBE for her work on sleep-related illnesses. Hoy was one of 10 Olympic cyclists to be honoured, while a number of Olympic coaches and officials were also recognised. However an expected knighthood for Simon Clegg, the British team's chef de mission in Beijing, did not materialise though that may come through in the Queen's birthday honours. The Reading FC chairman John Madejski is also knighted, for charitable services, and Lewis Hamilton receives an MBE after becoming the youngest ever Formula One world champion but otherwise the list is dominated by Olympians, Paralympians and their coaches. "It is a massive honour and incredible privilege," Hamilton said "It is the most amazing culmination to what has been quite a year for me." Rebecca Adlington, 19, the swimmer who won two Olympic golds ? the first British woman to win an Olympic swimming gold for 48 years ? receives an OBE. "I'm absolutely delighted to receive and accept the OBE ? it is fantastic to be recognised in the New Year Honours List. There are so many amazing names on the list, it's something I'll treasure for the rest of my life," Adlington said The swimmer Eleanor Simmonds, who was just 13 when she won two Paralympic events in Beijing, becomes the youngest ever recipient of an MBE. "The last three months have been a whirlwind and I feel as though I am living in a fairy tale," Simmonds said. Christine Ohuruogu, the 400m champion who was the only British athlete to win a track and field gold in Beijing, added an MBE to her accolades. "It is nice to be called the Olympic, World and Commonwealth champion and now to be made an MBE is extra special," she said. The sailor Ben Ainslie, who has won three golds and a silver at the last four Olympics, is made a CBE, as is cycling's performance director David Brailsford, and Bradley Wiggins, who won two golds in Beijing to follow his gold, silver and bronze in Athens. "Everybody in our team dedicate their lives to the pursuit of a dream ? to win a gold medal, Brailsford said. "When they do get recognised in this way it is breathtaking and a fantastic honour." Other CBEs go to the Paralympic swimmer David Roberts, who equalled Tanni Grey-Thompson's record of 11 Paralympic golds, the rider Lee Pearson who won three equestrian Paralympic golds, and David Tanner, the performance director of GB Rowing. The sailors Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb receive OBEs, after repeating their Athens success in the Yngling, while the third 'blonde in the boat' Pippa Wilson gets an MBE for her first Olympic gold. OBEs also go to the sailor Iain Percy, who won his second Olympic gold in Beijing, and to Stephen Park, manager of the British Olympic sailing team. Another double Olympic champion, rower Steve Williams, is another OBE recipient for matching his Athens success in the coxless four. Philip Lane, chief executive of Paralympics GB, gets an OBE too. Other Olympic champions receiving MBEs is the canoeist Tim Brabants; the cyclists Nicole Cooke, Victoria Pendleton, Ed Clancy, Jamie Staff, Rebecca Romero, Jason Kenny, Geraint Thomas and Paul Manning; the rowers Zac Purchase, Peter Reed, Andrew Triggs Hodge, Mark Hunter and Tom James and the sailors Andrew Simpson and Paul Goodison. The middleweight boxing champion James Degale also receives an MBE as does Terry Edwards, Team GB's head boxing coach. All Paralympians who won two or more gold medals also receive honours. *PA Sport