Sporting Heroes Honoured at Buckingham Palace

Katherine Grainger

By Izzy Hunter

Fairly recently, Katherine Grainger came to CLC’s annual Rowing Dinner. Awarded a CBE in the New Years’ Honours List as recognition of her achievements for Team GB in the 2012 Olympics, it was a memorable experience for all girls there. It seems appropriate to muse upon our other sports heroes who were honoured at Buckingham Palace at the beginning of this year.

London 2012 star Jessica Ennis was appointed CBE at Buckingham Palace, while Team GB cycling boss Dave Brailsford was knighted.

Jessica Ennis said the Queen had told her “the summer was amazing” and asked how her training was going. She also said she was “feeling very excited, though it was nerve-wracking before, it’s incredible to receive this.”

She said her achievement in the summer “still doesn’t feel real, to be honest.”

London 2012 was an amazing year for British athletics and British sport; Ennis said that “to be part of that in such a big way was incredible.”

Dave Brailsford, 48, masterminded British dominance in cycling at the Olympics and Paralympics and helped Bradley Wiggins, who was also knighted in the New Year Honours list, to win the Tour de France.

Brailsford said that “It means so much and is such a humbling experience. I’m very proud.” He then added that “the Queen congratulated me on my birthday, which is actually on the 29th [February]. [It] made her chuckle.”

Dave Brailsford said he and the Queen had discussed the Olympics’ success “We talked about the Olympics and how proud everyone was and what a great event it had been.”

Other Olympians honoured included cyclist Jason Kenny as well as long jumper Greg Rutherford, boxer Nicola Adams and cyclist Joanna Rowsell, who were all appointed MBE.

Long jumper Rutherford, 28, who along with Ennis and 5,000m runner Mo Farah helped Team GB to win three Golds in an hour on “Super Saturday” in the Olympic Stadium, said his MBE was “extraordinary”. Arriving at the palace, Rutherford said that “you dream of doing well at an Olympics, especially a home Olympics, and then the things that come along after that are just absolutely out of this world.”

Boxer Adams, 30, told reporters as she arrived that she was “over the moon, really excited. I don’t think, truly, you can imagine these sorts of things happening and being awarded by the Queen.”

The recognition which these athletes received in the form of honours and knighthoods is a tribute to the hard work which they have put in for their country. They made history in sport and the made the year of 2012 unforgettably special for Britain.

Image: by J Dee on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

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