Following the success of ParalympicsGB at what has been called the ‘greatest Paralympic Games ever’, where the team won 120 medals, 34 of them gold, the BPA is delighted that 29 athletes have been recognised with honours.
Four-time gold medallist at London 2012 Sarah Storey has been made a Dame of the British Empire (DBE). Storey has a total of 22 medals to her name (11 Gold, eight Silver and three Bronze) from six Paralympic Games. She received an OBE following Beijing 2008.
Meanwhile David Weir, who also won four gold medals at London 2012, is awarded a CBE. Weir has six golds, two silver and two bronze medals from four Paralympic Games. He received an MBE following Beijing 2008.
Also recognised are triple gold medallist Sophie Christiansen, who is awarded an OBE, and multi-medallist Eleanor Simmonds. Both were awarded MBEs following Beijing, where they both won two gold medals.
Among athletes named today as receiving MBEs are Helena Lucas, the first ever British gold medallist in Paralympic sailing, the mixed coxed four which won the first ever British Paralympic gold in that event in rowing and Josef Craig, the youngest gold medallist in ParalympicsGB in London who swam a world record in his final to clinch the 400m freestyle (S7) title.
Nigel Murray, a four time Paralympian in Boccia, is also recognised with a MBE. Murray is Britain’s most successful Boccia player, having won two golds, one silver and one bronze medal from four Games appearances. He is also the fifth most successful player of all time. He announced his retirement following London 2012.
Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association, said: “The recognition of our Paralympic athletes in the New Year’s Honours List is a wonderful way to bring this remarkable year to a close.
“Their performances on the field of play not only received rapturous applause from the crowds at London 2012 and viewers of the TV coverage, many of whom were experiencing Paralympic sport for the first time, but the 11 days of sport that we witnessed this summer also gripped the nation and changed many peoples’ perception of disability sport.
“It is fitting that so many of our gold medallists are today offered some of the highest tributes possible which reflect not only their sporting talent but also the sheer hard work and dedication that they put into preparing for their home Games. We are extremely proud of their achievements.”
Speaking today, Sarah Storey said: “Wow, I am speechless but incredibly honoured and extremely proud to accept the DBE.
“I never expected any additional awards after my sporting success, I love competing for my country and that is a huge honour in itself. Now to be a Dame is beyond anything I could have ever imagined and I cannot thank my family, friends coaches and support staff over all the years enough for their devotion in helping me to follow the path of becoming the best athlete I can possibly be.”
Also recognised are David Brailsford, Performance Director at British Cycling who also has overall responsibility for the para-cycling programme, David Tanner, Performance Director of British Rowing, who has responsibility for the adaptive rowing programme, and Will Connell, Performance Director of the British Equestrian Federation, who has overall responsibility for the para-equestrian team. From the home nations Gordon McCormack, Chair of Scottish Disability Sport, receives an OBE and Anthony Hughes, National Performance Manager for Disability Sport Wales, receives a MBE.
The list of athletes and officials in Paralympic sport is:
Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Sarah Joanne, Mrs STOREY, OBE – Cyclist (Greater Manchester)
David John BRAILSFORD, CBE – Performance Director, British Cycling (Derbyshire)
David Whitlock TANNER, CBE – Performance Director, British Rowing (Middlesex)
Commanders of the Order of the British Empire
David Russell WEIR, MBE – Wheelchair Athlete (London)
Officers of the Order of the British Empire
Ms Sophie Margaret CHRISTIANSEN, MBE – Para-Equestrian (Berkshire)
Miss Eleanor Mary SIMMONDS, MBE – Swimmer (West Glamorgan)
Members of the Order of the British Empire
Miss Jessica-Jane APPLEGATE – Swimmer (Norfolk)
Miss Natasha BAKER – Para-Equestrian (Middlesex)
Miss Danielle BROWN – Archer (Shropshire)
Michael BUSHELL – Wheelchair Athlete (Shropshire)
Miss Hannah COCKROFT- Athlete (West Yorkshire)
Mark COLBOURNE – Cyclist (Monmouthshire)
William James Gray CONNELL – Performance Director, British Equestrian Federation (Leicestershire)
Josef CRAIG – Swimmer (Tyne and Wear)
Deborah, Mrs CRIDDLE – Para-Equestrian (Somerset)
Aled Sion DAVIES – Discus Athlete (Cardiff)
Neil FACHIE – Cyclist (Greater Manchester)
Jonathan FOX – Swimmer (Cornwall)
Miss Heather FREDERIKSEN – Swimmer (Cheshire)
Anthony HUGHES – National Performance Manager, Disability Sport Wales (The Vale of Glamorgan)
Oliver HYND – Swimmer ( Nottinghamshire)
Miss Helena LUCAS – Keelboat Sailor (Hampshire)
Craig MACLEAN – Cycling Pilot (Cheshire)
Nigel Patrick MURRAY – Paralympic Boccia Player (Warwickshire)
Jonathan PEACOCK – Sprinter (Cambridgeshire)
Ms Josie Rachel PEARSON – Discus Athlete (Herefordshire)
Miss Pamela Lillian RELPH – Rower, Mixed Coxed Four (Buckinghamshire)
Miss Naomi RICHES – Rower, Mixed Coxed Four (Buckinghamshire)
James ROE – Rower, Mixed Coxed Four (Warwickshire)
David SMITH – Rower, Mixed Coxed Four (Inverness-shire)
Miss Lily Jacoba VAN DEN BROECKE – Cox (Durham)
Ms Sophie WELLS – Para-Equestrian (Nottinghamshire)
Richard WHITEHEAD – Sprinter (Nottinghamshire)