Olympic heroes celebrate again

  • Last Updated: December 29 2012, 7:30 GMT

London's Olympic champions are celebrating again after being rewarded for their exploits in the special New Year Honours list, with Bradley Wiggins and Ben Ainslie receiving knighthoods.

Olympic heroes celebrate again

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Wiggins followed his historic Tour de France triumph, the first by a British cyclist, by winning a fourth Olympic gold medal and first on the road while Ainslie became the most successful Olympic sailor of all time with his fourth successive gold.

Wiggins said: "It's quite something really. I never ever imagined that I would ever become a knight so it's an incredible honour but there's a slight element of disbelief, and it will take a while to sink in.''

Ainslie announced his Olympic retirement last month and will now concentrate on the America's Cup, which Britain has never won.

The 35-year-old said: "This is an incredible honour. When I set out Olympic sailing 20 years ago, I never would have dreamt this would happen.

"I couldn't have achieved this honour without the support of all the people who have helped me throughout my career and so I hope they can also take some pride in this moment.''

  • Helen Glover and Heather Stanning got the gold rush under way in the women's pair
  • Bradley Wiggins: King of the time trial
  • Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie: Memorable gold in the canoe slalom
  • Moments later Peter Wilson picked up a shooting gold at the Royal Artillery Barracks.
  • Chris Hoy, Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny won the team sprint in the velodrome
  • Katherine Grainger's wait for Olympic gold ended with Anna Watkins
  • There was team pursuit glory for Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh
  • Victoria Pendleton delighted the velodrome crowd with victory in the keirin
  • Alex Gregory, Pete Reed, Tom James and Andrew Triggs Hodge triumphed in the men's four
  • Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking 'won the Olympics'
  • A stunning gold for Joanna Rowsell Laura Trott and Dani King in the team pursuit
  • Jessica Ennis lit up the Olympic Stadium with heptathlon gold
  • Moments later Greg Rutherford claimed long jump glory
  • And Mo Farah capped off the first of two 'Super Saturday's' with victory in the 10000m
  • Ben Ainslie won a fourth straight sailing gold medal
  • Andy Murray got his revenge on Roger Federer to claim tennis glory
  • Nick Skelton, Ben Maher, Scott Brash and Peter Charles won gold in the showjumping
  • Jason Kenny picked up his second gold of the Games in the sprint
  • Alistair Brownlee was an impressive winner of the triathlon
  • Carl Hester Laura Bechtolsheimer and Charlotte Dujardin teamed up for victory in the dressage
  • Laura Trott emerged as a cycling star as she won the omnium for her second London 2012 gold
  • Chris Hoy couldn't hold back the tears as he became Britain's most successful Olympian of all time with his sixth career gold - this one in the keirin
  • Charlotte Dujardin stole the dressage show to clinch individual gold
  • Nicola Adams won the hearts of a nation with her big smile and by winning the first women's boxing gold
  • Late on day 13, Jade Jones delighted the crowd with her taekwondo triumph
  • The Usain Bolt of the canoe world - Ed McKeever - stormed to glory in the K1 200m sprint.
  • Mo Farah etched his name into Olympic history by joining the elite group of men to complete the long distance double
  • Luke Campbell gave the men's boxers their first gold of the Games
  • Anthony Joshua won Britain's 29th and final gold of an incredible Olympics with victory in the super-heavyweight final.
All the best pictures of the athletes who won Great Britain's 29 medals at this summer's Olympic Games.

All the 2012 gold medallists end the year with an honour, although seven athletes who had previously received honours, including Sir Chris Hoy, were not recognised further this time.

Along with Ainslie and Wiggins, inspirational British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford is also knighted after he once again masterminded a stunning medal haul as well as leading Team Sky to a one-two in the Tour de France.

Brailsford is renowned as a team player and admitted to being not entirely comfortable with an individual honour such as this.

He said: "I can totally understand it with Chris (Hoy) when he won his three gold medals, or with Brad, because to have done what he has done is pretty amazing.

"But I guess it does feel a little bit uncomfortable given the hard work that everyone puts in that there is an individual recognition rather than a group recognition. That is a bit of a challenge - but it is a great honour nevertheless."

A fourth knighthood goes to David Tanner, the performance director for British Rowing, who also oversaw a record medal haul as Britain's rowers won four golds and nine medals in all.

Four Olympic stars are made CBEs, including the king and queen of British athletics, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis, after they lit up the Olympic Stadium.

London was the swansong for cyclist Victoria Pendleton, who added a second Olympic gold and is made a CBE after playing a trailblazing role for women sprinters on the track.

Rower Katherine Grainger receives the same honour in the year she finally made it gold with Anna Watkins in the double sculls following three successive silvers.

She said: "I am surprised and delighted to receive this new accolade, which, for me, brings 2012 to such a wonderful conclusion.

"In the last few months it has been become wonderfully apparent just how much our Olympic achievements have meant to everyone up and down the country.

"I fully appreciate this new accolade and I'd be thrilled if it helps with the efforts of everyone on Team GB to produce a meaningful legacy."

Three of Britain's double gold medallists have been awarded OBEs - dressage star Charlotte Dujardin and cycling couple Jason Kenny and Laura Trott - along with tennis' Andy Murray, who was both a gold medallist and a Grand Slam winner in 2012.

Apart from Hoy, rowers Pete Reed, Tom James and Andrew Triggs Hodge, cyclists Ed Clancy and Geraint Thomas and show jumper Nick Skelton, all other gold medallists receive MBEs.

Among them is long jumper Greg Rutherford, who joined Ennis and Farah in winning gold in an unforgettable Super Saturday night in the Olympic Stadium.

He said: "I am delighted and feel very proud to be receiving this great honour. This has been an incredible year for me and winning a gold medal at a home Games was a dream come true.''

  • London grinds to a halt as the victory parade makes it's way through the streets.
  • The Brownlee brothers Alistair and Jonathan show off their medals from the triathlon.
  • A marching band make their way down the victory route and lead the parade.
  • Also leading the parade are two British Lions.
  • Sir Chris Hoy and an emotional Victoria Pendleton wave to the crowds.
  • Rebecca Adlington enjoys the parade after what could have been her last Olympics.
  • Nicola Adams from Leeds became the first woman to win an Olympic boxing gold medal and she's loving every minute since.
  • Team GB's long jump hero Greg Rutherford lifts his gold medal in front of St. Paul's Cathedral.
  • The streets of London are ram packed with people hoping to catch a glimpse of the Olympians.
  • After his fifth Olympics, Ben Ainslie enjoys a unique victory parade following the end of London 2012.
  • Diver Tom Daley shows off his bronze medal...
  • ...the young diver has plenty of admirers in the crowd today.
  • Some people take extreme measures to get a good view of their heroes.
  • Here's what many travelled to see, double gold medallist Mo Farah doing the 'Mobot'.
  • British Paralympian Ellie Simmonds greets the waiting crowds.
  • Zara Phillips poses with her silver medal won in the Equestian team eventing.
  • Trafalgar Square is a sea of bodies as the Olympic parade winds it's way through the City of London.
  • Face of the Games, Jessica Ennis proudly shows off her Olympic gold to the joy of the crowd.
  • The gymnasts Beth Tweddle and Sky Sports Scholar Louis Smith share a float together.
  • Tennis doubles silver medallist Laura Robson greets the fans.
  • The sheer scale of the turnout today says it all, but just in case the athletes weren't sure, there are plenty of banners with messages on display.
  • British Airways send over a plane with a special message on the underbelly.
Pictures from Team GB's victory parade in the City of London following the end of London 2012.

Also honoured with MBEs are 51-year-old three-day eventer Mary King, who won team silver in London, and gymnast Louis Smith, now a three-time Olympic medallist.

"This year has been like no other for so many reasons," said the 23-year-old, who this month added the Strictly Come Dancing title to his Olympic gongs.

"For me it's obviously one I'll never forget and I wasn't sure it could get any better but to be awarded an MBE is the icing on the cake and without a doubt

the proudest moment of my life.''

Boxer Nicola Adams - the first woman to win a boxing gold medal in the history of the Olympics - was also awarded an MBE.

A number of coaches also receive MBEs - Malcolm Brown for triathlon, shooting's Ian Coley, equestrian performance director Will Connell, Paul Hall for gymnastics, David Howlett for sailing, boxing's Rob McCracken and Paul Thompson and Robin Williams for rowing.

The men and women who brought the Games to London and made it happen feature heavily in the honours, too, led by organising committee chair Lord Coe, who is made a Companion of Honour.

He described the list as "a wonderful end to this unique Olympic and Paralympic Year''.

He said: "It recognises the achievements of our sportsmen and women who inspired the nation.

"This year's list also recognises those behind the scenes at LOCOG for outstanding leadership and delivery of the world's largest sporting events.

"I am incredibly proud of them all and our partners who made Britain proud this summer."

Coe's deputy, Sir Keith Mills, is made a Knight Grand Cross while LOCOG chief executive Lord Deighton becomes a Knight Commander.

Other figures to receive honours include LOCOG's director of sport Debbie Jevans and London 2012 director Neale Coleman, who are both made CBEs, while communications chief Jackie Brock-Doyle becomes an OBE.

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