Olympians and Paralympians who have received UK honours

Ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo, we take a look at some notable former and current Olympians and Paralympians who have received a knighthood, damehood, CBE, OBE or MBE from the Queen.

Olympics

Olympians who have received a knighthood or damehood

Many of the most prominent athletes in Team GB’s Olympic history have received knighthoods and damehoods from the Queen. The likes of Sebastian Coe, who won a gold medal in the 1,500 metres at both the 1980 and the 1984 Games, have been appointed as Ordinary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) (Gazette issue 57855). Coe also received a life peerage on 16 May 2000 (Gazette issue 55852) and would later be appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour (Gazette issue 60367).

Some of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s most successful medallists have been knighted in recent years too. Six-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy received a Knights Bachelor in the 2009 New Year Honours (Gazette issue 58929), while five-time gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave received the same in the 2001 New Year Honours (Gazette issue 56070). Britain’s most-medalled Olympian, Sir Bradley Wiggins, also received a Knights Bachelor following the London 2012 Olympics (Gazette issue 60367).

Female legends of the track have also been recognised for their services to sport. Dame Mary Peters, who won a gold medal in the women's pentathlon at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, was appointed Dame Commander of the Civil Division of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2000 Birthday Honours (Gazette issue 55879). Having won gold in both the 800 metres and 1,500 metres in Athens 2004, Dame Kelly Holmes was also appointed a DBE (Gazette issue 57509).

More recently, following successes at London 2012 and Rio 2016, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill (Gazette issue 61803), Sir Mo Farah (Gazette issue 61803), Sir Ben Ainslie (Gazette issue 60367), Dame Katherine Grainger (Gazette issue 61803) and Sir Andy Murray (Gazette issue 61803) were all recognised for their Olympic achievements.

Paralympians who have received a knighthood or damehood

Some of Team GB’s most successful Paralympians have also been recognised by the Queen for their services to sport. Having already received an MBE (Gazette issue 53153) and an OBE (Gazette issue 55710), 11-time Paralympic gold medallist Tanni Grey-Thompson was promoted to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2005 New Year Honours (Gazette issue 57509). She also became a life peer on 23 March 2010 as Baroness Grey-Thompson, of Eaglescliffe in Stockton-On-Tees (Gazette issue 59375).

Following her 4 gold medals at London 2012, cyclist Dame Sarah Storey was also promoted to DBE (Gazette issue 60367). This followed an MBE in the 1998 New Year Honours (Gazette issue 54993) and an OBE in the 2009 New Year Honours (Gazette issue 58929). Storey’s total of 25 Paralympic medals, including 14 gold, makes her the most successful female British Paralympian of all time.

Most recently, five-time Paralympian and 11-time Paralympic gold medallist Sir Lee Pearson was appointed Knights Bachelor in the 2017 New Year Honours (Gazette issue 61803). He had already received an MBE (Gazette issue 56070), an OBE (Gazette issue 57509) and a CBE (Gazette issue 58929) for services to equestrianism and to disabled sport.

Olympians at Tokyo 2020 with British honours

Here are just some of the athletes who have received honours in the Queen's Birthday or New Year Honours lists and are set to compete at the Tokyo Olympics:

Paralympians at Tokyo 2020 with British honours

Here are just some of the athletes who have received honours in the Queen's Birthday or New Year Honours lists and are set to compete at the Tokyo Paralympics:

See also

What is the difference between a CBE, OBE, MBE and a knighthood?

What is a life peerage?

Footballers who have received UK honours from the Queen

Rugby players who have received UK honours

Cricketers who have received UK honours from the Queen

Image: Unsplash

Publication date: 21 July 2021

Any opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and the author alone, and does not necessarily represent that of The Gazette.