Sporting Success in the New Year Honours List

31 December 2008

Olympians Chris Hoy and Rebecca Adlington and driver Lewis Hamilton have rounded off an exceptional year for UK sport with New Year Honours. Chris is knighted after three Beijing golds and double gold-winning swimmer Rebecca becomes an OBE. F1 champion Lewis is made an MBE.

In China this summer, Chris became the first British athlete in more than 100 years to win three gold medals at one Games. "To become a knight from riding your bike, it's mad," he said. "But it is, genuinely, just an amazing honour."  His knighthood comes after being crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year earlier this month.

Further honours for the British cycling team that dominated the sport in Beijing see double gold-winner Bradley Wiggins and coach David Brailsford  become CBEs, and eight more gold-medallists made MBEs.

The honours continue for contributors to Britain's best Olympics performance since 1908, including sailor Ben Ainslie who is made a CBE after collecting three golds at successive Games.

The first British woman to win the Olympic 400m, Christine Ohuruogu, becomes an MBE.   In Formula One, Lewis Hamilton secured the title only on the last corner of the last race, becoming the youngest ever champion at the age of 23.

Becoming an MBE was "the most amazing culmination to what has been quite a year for me", he said.

The New Year Honours turn out to be a double celebration for the Hoy family, with the cyclist's mother Carol Hoy made an MBE for her work as a specialist nurse at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh.

Reading Football Club chairman John Madejski, meanwhile, receives a knighthood for his charity work.

Other people who were awarded honours in the New Years list included a knighthood for Terry Pratchett is recognition for a writing career that has seen him sell more than 55 million books worldwide, including his best-known Discworld series.  The 60-year-old has become a campaigner for more research into Alzheimer's disease after being diagnosed with the illness in 2007.   Robert Plant, who found fame in the 1970s with rock group Led Zeppelin, is recognised for services to music and  Jazz musician Courtney Pine who was made a CBE,   Actor Michael Sheen, best known for portraying Tony Blair in TV's The Deal and Oscar-winning film The Queen, is made an OBE.

Entrepreneur Peter Jones , who appears in the BBC's Dragons' Den and heads the National Skills Academy for Enterprise, is made a CBE.

He said that none of the previous awards he had collected in his career compared to this honour, adding: "For me it's about the future entrepreneurs that it inspires."

Anya Hindmarch, designer of fashion accessories including the phenomenally successful "I'm not a plastic bag", and interior designer Kelly Hoppen become MBEs.

Congratulations from the Speakers Corner team to all those who were recognised in the honours list

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