Winter Olympians and Paralympians who have received British honours

Ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing, we look at some notable former and current Winter Olympians and Paralympians who have received a knighthood, damehood, CBE, OBE or MBE from the Queen.

Winter Olympians Paralympians UK Honours

Winter Olympians who have received British honours

Many of the most prominent athletes in Team GB’s Olympic history have received honours from the Queen. Ice skating icons Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, who won gold for their dance to Boléro in Sarajevo in 1984, both received OBEs for their services to the sport in the 2000 New Year honours (Gazette issue 55710).

Britain’s most successful Winter Olympian Lizzy Yarnold also received an OBE in 2018 for “services to Winter Olympic Sport” (Gazette issue 62310) following golds in the skeleton in Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018. She also received an MBE in 2014 for “services to Skeleton Racing” (Gazette issue 60895).

Having been Team GB flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony at the 1976 Winter Olympics, figure skater John Curry won a gold medal with the highest points total in the history of men’s figure skating at the time. For his achievements, Curry received an OBE in the 1976 Birthday Honours (Gazette issue 46919).

More recently, Rhona Martin, Debbie Knox, Fiona MacDonald and Janice Rankin, the gold medal-winning British women's curling team at the 2002 Winter Olympics, received MBEs (Gazette issue 56595), while Amy Williams, who won a gold medal in the skeleton at Vancouver 2010, also received an MBE for “services to Sport” (Gazette issue 59446).

Winter Olympians at Beijing 2022 with British honours

There is just one athlete who has received an honour in either the Queen's Birthday or New Year Honours lists and is set to compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics:

Winter Paralympians who have received British honours

The first athlete from Northern Ireland to compete in the Winter Paralympics, Kelly Gallagher won Team GB’s first ever Winter Paralympic gold medal at Sochi in 2014 in the visually impaired Super-G competition. For her services “to Sport for People with a Visual Impairment” Gallagher received an MBE in the 2014 Birthday Honours (Gazette issue 60895). Her sighted guide Charlotte Evans also received an MBE (Gazette issue 60895).

Britain’s only other Winter Paralympic gold medallist and Team GB’s most decorated Winter Paralympian, Menna Fitzpatrick received an MBE in 2018 (Gazette issue 62310) having won gold in the slalom at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang. Alongside her sighted guide Jennifer Kehoe, who similarly received an MBE for her achievements (Gazette issue 62310), Fitzpatrick also took home a bronze medal in the super-G and two silvers medals in the combined and the giant slalom.

Other Winter Paralympians to receive honours include Denise Smith MBE (Gazette issue 53153), who won three silver medals at Innsbruck 1984 in the ice sledge speed racing, and wheelchair curler Angie Malone, who received an MBE in 2017 for services to the sport (Gazette issue 61962) having won a silver in Turin and bronze in Sochi in the mixed competition.

Though more known for exploits at the Summer Paralympics, runner Richard Whitehead did compete at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin in the ice sledge hockey, with Team GB finishing seventh in the tournament. Following his gold medal in the 200m T42 at the London 2012 Summer Paralympics, Whitehead received an MBE for “services to Athletics” in the 2013 New Year Honours (Gazette issue 60367).

Winter Paralympians at Beijing 2022 with British honours

So far, there is just one athlete who has received an honour in either the Queen's Birthday or New Year Honours lists and is set to compete at the Beijing Winter Paralympics*:

*Please note that the full Team GB squad has not yet been announced for the Winter Paralympics. Once announced, athletes will be added to the above list.

See also

Olympians and Paralympians who have received UK honours

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

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: 3 February 2022

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