Jason and Laura Kenny become knight and dame in sport’s New Year honours
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 the US Open tennis champion Emma Raducanu has been made an MBE.
Raducanu became the first British woman to win a grand slam since Virginia Wade in 1977, and the first qualifier of any nationality to do so. She said of her honour: “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. And the Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes receives an OBE after helping the club retain their Women’s Super League title and reach the Champions League final.
Team GB won 65 medals in all at the Tokyo Olympics, with the cyclist Jason Kenny becoming the country’s most successful Olympian when he won his ninth medal – and seventh gold – on the final day. He has now been awarded a knighthood, while his wife Laura becomes a dame after her two medals made her the most decorated British female Olympian of all time. She has won six Olympic medals overall, five of them gold, after winning the Madison and a team pursuit silver in Japan.
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, becomes a CBE.
Diving star Daley’s first gold medal at his fourth Games was recognised with an OBE as part of his services to his sport, LGBTQ+ rights and charity. His 10-metre synchro partner Matty Lee has been awarded an MBE.
The gymnast Whitlock becomes an OBE after claiming gold in the men’s pommel horse in Tokyo – his third Olympic gold medal in all. 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 teammates in that event – Kathleen Dawson, James Guy, Anna Hopkin and heat competitor Freya Anderson – have all been awarded MBEs.
Double gold medallist Tom Dean also received an MBE along with his 4x200m men’s freestyle relay colleagues Guy, Matthew Richards, Duncan Scott and heat swimmer Calum Jarvis. The British Swimming performance director Chris Spice was awarded an OBE.
Hannah Mills also becomes an OBE, with her 470 class sailing gold medal-winning partner 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. 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.
Eight-times 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 honoured with MBEs, while the 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 Stephanie Moore, the widow of former England football captain Bobby, 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 the six-times World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea becomes an OBE.