01 January 2022

Superstar cycling couple Jason and Laura Kenny among Tokyo 2020 stars dominating New Year Honours list

01 January 2022

Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic heroes from Tokyo dominate the New Year Honours list, with golden couple Jason and Laura Kenny receiving a knighthood and damehood respectively.

Gold medallists Hannah Cockroft, Tom Daley, Adam Peaty and Max Whitlock were among the other star names from the summer to be recognised with OBEs, while US Open tennis champion Emma Raducanu has been made an MBE.

She became the first British woman to win a grand slam since Virginia Wade in 1977, and the first qualifier of any nationality ever to do so.

Raducanu said: “It makes me immensely proud and grateful to be listed to receive an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen. This year has been full of amazing surprises for me so to end 2021 with this appointment is very special.”

Steve Holland, the assistant manager of the England men’s football team, has been awarded an MBE in recognition of helping the side to the final of Euro 2020, their first major final appearance in 55 years.

Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes has been awarded an OBE after helping the Blues retain their Women’s Super League title in 2021 and reach the Champions League final.

Emma Raducanu was the shock winner of the 2021 US Open women’s singles title (ZUMA/PA) (PA Media)

Team GB won 65 medals in all at the Tokyo Olympics, with cyclist Jason Kenny becoming the country’s most successful Olympian of all time when he won his ninth medal overall – and seventh gold – on the final day of the Games.

He has now been awarded a knighthood, while his wife Laura becomes a dame after her two medals in Tokyo made her the most decorated female Olympian of all time.

She has won six Olympic medals overall, five of them gold, after winning the Madison and a silver in the team pursuit in Japan.

Jason Kenny described the award as “very surreal”, while Laura Kenny told ITV: “Every time we step on the track it’s to try and win a medal.

“Any other accolade, you never strive to get, but when you do get it, it just shows that people are appreciating the hard work you are putting in on the track. It just feels incredible to be recognised for that.”

Fellow track cycling star Matt Walls has been awarded an MBE following his omnium gold, while Beth Shriever and Charlotte Worthington receive the same honour after their gold medals in the BMX racing and freestyle respectively.

Men’s cross-country mountain biking gold medallist Tom Pidcock is awarded an MBE, while British Cycling’s performance director, Stephen Park, also becomes a CBE.

Park said: “Not only are Jason and Laura true masters of their craft, they are also wonderful team-mates, role models and ambassadors for our sport.

“I’m personally delighted that their remarkable performances have been recognised in the New Year Honours list and they should both be incredibly proud of what they have achieved.”

Tom Daley has been awarded an OBE after ending his long wait for Olympic diving gold (Adam Davy/PA). (PA Wire)

Diving star Daley’s first gold medal at his fourth Games was one of the most popular, and he has been recognised with an OBE for services to his sport, LGBTQ+ rights and charity. His 10-metre synchro partner Matty Lee has been awarded an MBE.

Daley told the BBC: “I’m extremely proud to be honoured with an OBE and it feels like a responsibility to make the whole Commonwealth a better place for LGBT people, for women, for people of colour.

“In accepting this OBE, it’s now my responsibility to try and help create change, and help create this environment where anyone can be who they want, no matter where they came from.”

Adam Peaty celebrates 100 metres breaststroke gold in Tokyo (Joe Giddens/PA). (PA Wire)

Gymnast Whitlock becomes an OBE after claiming gold in the men’s pommel horse in Tokyo – his third Olympic gold medal in all – and he told Sky Sport :  “I do this sport because I love it but to get recognised in this way is an amazing feeling.”

Peaty, who retained his 100m breaststroke title, has also been awarded an OBE after he spearheaded Britain’s best-ever performance in an Olympic swimming competition as the team took home eight medals.

He also took gold in the 4x100m mixed medley relay, and his team-mates in that event – Kathleen Dawson, James Guy, Anna Hopkin and heat competitor Freya Anderson – have all been awarded MBEs.

Peaty said: “After a challenging couple of years it was amazing to see the hard work and dedication of our team pay off in Tokyo and it’s even more special for me to be able to share this moment with my team-mates and friends who are also on the New Year’s honours list.”

Double gold medallist Tom Dean also received an MBE along with his 4x200m men’s freestyle relay team-mates Calum Jarvis, Matthew Richards and Duncan Scott.

Duncan Scott, Tom Dean, Matthew Richards and James Guy celebrate gold in the men’s 4×200 freestyle relay in Tokyo (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Wire)

British Swimming performance director Chris Spice was awarded an OBE.

Hannah Mills also becomes an OBE, with her 470 class sailing gold medal-winning team-mate in Tokyo, Eilidh McIntyre, recognised with an MBE. The 49er gold medal-winning pairing of Stuart Bithell and Dylan Fletcher-Scott have also been awarded MBEs.

Gold medal-winning boxers Lauren Price and Galal Yafai have been honoured with MBEs, as have the triathlon mixed relay gold medal-winning team of Jonny Brownlee, Jess Learmonth, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Alex Yee.

The latter two also won individual silvers in the women’s and men’s events respectively.

Andy Anson, the chief executive of the British Olympic Association, has been honoured with an OBE for services to sport, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jody Cundy has been awarded a CBE (Tim Goode/PA) (PA Wire)

Eight-time Paralympic gold medallist Jody Cundy has been honoured with a CBE, while OBEs have also been awarded to Tokyo Paralympic champions Natasha Baker, Cockroft, Kadeena Cox, Aled Davies, Bethany Firth, Hannah Russell, David Smith and Sophie Wells.

Swimmers Reece Dunn and Maisie Summers-Newton, cyclists Jaco van Gass and Ben Watson, triathlete Lauren Steadman and athletes Owen Miller and Thomas Young are among the other Paralympic gold medallists from Tokyo honoured with MBEs, while British Paralympic Association chief executive Mike Sharrock has been awarded an OBE.

Former footballer Gary Bennett’s work with the Show Racism The Red Card group has been recognised with an MBE, while former England football captain Bobby Moore’s widow Stephanie has been awarded an OBE for services to bowel cancer research funding.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan has been recognised with an MBE for services to rugby league and to the community in Leeds, while six-time World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea from Ballymena in Northern Ireland becomes an OBE.

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