UK & World News
Bradley Wiggins Knighted In New Year Honours
Britain's gold rush during the London Olympic and Paralympic Games has led to 78 athletes and coaches being named in the New Year Honours List.
Among the top honours are knighthoods for cyclist Bradley Wiggins and yachtsman Ben Ainslie, while Paralympic cyclist Sarah Storey becomes a Dame.
Dave Brailsford and David Tanner, the Performance Directors who have ensured that Britain now leads the world in cycling and rowing are also rewarded with knighthoods.
Every British athlete who won a gold medal in the Olympics or Paralympics is included in the list unless they have already been honoured in the past.
So Sir Chris Hoy, who was knighted after the Beijing Games, is omitted from the list despite adding two more gold medals to his career tally of six.
Somali-born middle-distance runner Mo Farah becomes a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his stunning double gold medal performances in the 5,000m and 10,000m.
He joins four other competitors who become CBEs having previously collected the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) - rower Katherine Grainger, cyclist Victoria Pendleton, heptathlete Jessica Ennis and wheelchair athlete David Weir.
Sir Bradley admitted to having mixed feelings about receiving a knighthood. Born in Kilburn, he is now almost as famous for his sideburns and Mod image as his cycling exploits.
This was the year he became the first Briton to win the Tour De France, and he also won the Olympic Time Trial title and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
He told Sky News: "It's an incredible honour and it's an incredible thing to have. It's still not something that sits incredibly easily with me, I don't think it's something I'm going to use in daily life.
"(It's) an amazing thing to have in the drawer for my wife my kids and my family. It's topped the year off really."
Dame Sarah Storey first won Paralympic gold as a swimmer, and achieved even greater success when she switched to cycling.
A birth defect means she does not have a left hand, but she also competes against able-bodied cyclists and was pushing for a place in the Olympic squad.
"I really hope that everybody who's been connected to what I've done feels a part of what has happened," she told Sky News.
"To be honoured in this way - the top gong as you might say - you never even imagine or dream of it. It's just beyond your wildest dreams."
Her boss, Dave Brailsford, becomes Sir Dave after overseeing not just the Olympic triumphs, but the rise of Team Sky as a professional road racing team. Like Sir Bradley he is struggling to adjust to the adulation.
He said: "[It feels] very strange. On the one hand you feel proud and honoured, on the other hand it feels quite humbling really.
"It's a recognition for everything that's happened in cycling over a period of time. I'm the lucky one who gets recognised."
Jessica Ennis CBE told Sky News: "It sounds very surreal. It's such an honour.
"When you get involved in sport, and when I started, it certainly wasn't something that I ever thought of, so to now be in this position at 26 and be receiving a CBE is such an honour."
Cyclists Jason Kenny and his girlfriend Laura Trott end 2012 sharing four gold medals and two OBEs (Officer of the Order of the British Empire).
Andy Murray gets one not just for his Olympic victory, but also for winning the US Open.
Olympic rower Katherine Grainger, double equestrian gold medalist Charlotte Dujardin and paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds and paralympic horsewoman Sophie Christiansen add OBEs to the MBEs they collected following winning performances in the 2008 Beijing Games.
Christiansen told Sky News: "As athletes we work towards getting gold medals but this is the icing on the cake to be recognised."
Lord Coe, the mastermind of the Games, becomes a companion of honour, but one notable absentee from the list is film director Danny Boyle, the creator of the opening ceremony.
He appears to be one of the minority who for various reasons decline to be honoured.
what do you think?
Every day soldiers die in Afghanistan. These are the real "knights" yet we hand these honours out like sweets to people good at riding a bicycle! This is not meant to be a slight on Mr Wiggins who deserves recognition for his achievements but for me knighthoods should be the military honour they once were
Quite right, Tim. The whole honours system has been totally devalued and now means nothing.
I also agree. We are rightly to be proud of our athletes though.
I have to agree with you. They give honours away these days, like sweets.
Windows Live User
Over my lifetime the "value" of these awards seems to diminishing. Whilst I have a lot of respect for the hard work these athletes put in prior to the events. A lot of people work equally as hard in their jobs consistently for 40 years or more, for no recognition at all, of course swinging a big hammer all day or working a lathe, risking life and limb in a fishing fleet etc etc is not going to bring you to the forefront, but sing a song or strum a guitar well then that's a different matter
The whole honours system is a joke. Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Bradley Wiggins.... both ride a bloody bike. They don't even do a job The reward for winning at the Olympics is a gold medal, and they both deserved their gongs. Why should we honour them again. I don't agree with giving honours out to the army , either. A knighthood for killing another human being, doesn't sit right. Best just scrap the whole thing, it's just another method of keeping a Tory class system alive and kicking.
So all the Army do is kill people is it? No good for anything else?
Why is everything the tories fault ? the left exploit the honours system as much as anyone. Look at some of the populist awards given out by blair.....
tb. Precisely. Leaders of ALL the parties have used the honours system as payback for services rendered, none more so than Blair
Take a cross section of every "Sir"on record. Bet you any money the majority are Tories. I'm not saying scrap it for the blue noses, i'm saying scrap it for everyone. And as far as the army comment goes... Yes , the army is primarily trained to kill people. That is not all they do. Obviously, they do other things, like all trades. Their main objective is to kill an enemy. What we don't need is people being rewarded with such honours for simply doing their job, and if that job is killing people, it makes it even more repulsive. Why should a heart surgeon , or cancer specialist be left out, and a cyclist be given a top honour. It's ridiculous.
Look Bulgin. You will never see an army private getting a knighthood. You will only see an officer receiving such an honour. It is a class system priviledge. The class system is perpetuated by the Tories, do i need to explain any more. Sodding Thatcherites are so obtuse.
Vlad. You make some good points many of which I agree with. Scrapping the whole honours system would be a good start. I also object to sending has been politicians to the Lords as a reward for doing what they are told but that is an argument for another day
If it was a fair honours system, i would feel different. A few of my wifes friends have been raising money to run a local cancer clinic for about twelve years. It relies solely on these contributions. A famous football managers wife, (ex LFC) contracted breast cancer, and got involved in raising money. 12 months later she was given an MBE, and has a department named after her. The 12 years of hard slog , goes unrecognised, but when the celebs and toffs are involved it rewards them immediately. It's a farce, and i believe it should be scrapped. Just one example of thousands of cases, that prove the system is flawed, badly.
Bit strong vlad, all I done was point out a fact. I actually agree with you that the honors system is out of date and should be scrapped. It does perpetuate a class system. I made the point that their are plenty of labour mps willing to go along with it and prosper from it. Not just tories. Here is a fact for you. 212 Tory Lords. 224 Labour Lords. Is that all down to the tories ? 26 bishops as well, it's ridiculous.
I don't know why they gave a knighthood to Wiggins - he already acts like he's lording it up as it is (when he's not being the missing Gallagher brother).
The honours system has always been abused, even going back to Victorian times. It's early days yet this time around, but I hope we don't see the usual gang of political party benefactors getting their unjust desserts. I'm not too optimistic.
Cherie Blair has got CBE! Hahahahahaha!!!! HRH The Queen has the best sense of humour ever!
The queen doesnt choose who gets a gong. There is a commitee that does it
Windows Live User
Nice one Brian. Surely her Majesty has a chance to say no! Cherie must just have slipped under the radar
There is no way her husband could get an award so they have given one to his wife instead. I am sure that she will extract the maximum from it.
I don't like the woman and believe she has an inflated idea of her own importance. But if her charitable work warrants this award then fair do's to her.
I really dislike Wiggins comes across as arrogant and big headed and a Liam gallagher wanna be
He's a mod. It's all part of the persona. Look at his hero, Paul Weller.
I agree with you Nick
Sorry to be thick here but what were the knighthoods originally awarded for?
Nobel deeds during the middle ages
Windows Live User
Killing Dragons and completing quests. That's why we dont see many dragons around nowadays!
Pinching Spanish gold that they had pinched from south american indians. Also beating the carp out of the french. (lots and lots of knighthoods for that one then ! )
Stella McCartney gets a gong for basically defacing the Union flag. Wow.
Knight of the British empire, order of the British empire, commander of the British empire, member of the British empire. . .what bloody empire? :-D
Isn't it time the less fortunate and the non privileged average person received some acknowledgement instead?
Steven, they do ocassionaly, we just don't hear much about them.
don't understand why wiggins gets a knighthood and ennis gets an OBE they both represented their country and got golds therefore they should either both get knighthoods or neither. dame kelly holmes got hers so should ennis.
Maybe because he was the first English man to win The Tour de France....?
Well what's the reason Andy Murray only gets an OBE? He's the ONLY man to ever win the Olympic gold and US open titles back to back.
Each to their own. You are obviously a Tennis fan. I'm not. Lets agree to differ!
whats so special about the Tour de France, will the driver who wins the rally of Gb also get a knighthood?
Worth pointing out he also won the Tour of Romandie and two other big races, Paris - nice, and the Dauphine this year. He also competed in the Sydney and Bejing Olympics winning numerous medals at both. He has been performing and winning long before the Tour de France.
James, they are VERY different sports and disciplines and cannot really be compared.
It's the same every year, don't take it out on Wiggins. Email whoever decides these things.
Oh I'm sure he wont fall off his throne with worry.
I stopped taking any notice of the honours system when blair knighted mick jagger. What a joke blair made of the whole thing.
t.bulgin...... Jagger was one of very many... total farce
I'm a cricket fan but also when the entire England team was honored for beating the Aussies in 05 ! Thats what we expect them to do.
What happened to doing something for a life time before someone gets a honour
I am no great fan of the honours system which I believe is an outdated relic of a bygone age. At least many of those honoured have some sporting achievement to their name. What P's me off most is the dissolution honours prior to an election or when a prime minister resigns and honours are handed out as payback for favours done
Hello Dave, have you read about Hector Sants!! Haha sounds like Pants!! Great eh? Honoured for failure.......
How I agree with you Dave. It is about time these sports people and celebs stopped being handed out these titles. The true people who deserve recognition are the emergency servies and the military. I think these titles have now become a total farce.
GillieLouise, I'm in total agreement with you
The Media plays up the Sport and Celebrity angle but a lot of "ordinary people" like Lollypop Ladies also get CBE's etc!
Jasmin. Incredible isn't it. He was the regulator when the biggest banking crash of the century occurred and he didn't see it coming. Not only a reward for failure but for outstanding incompetance as well.
Jasmin. Are you still off work?? This isn't the way to get your chief constable his OBE.
I agree Dave. I've been on early shift today. Been rather quiet :) shhh! Jasmin. That'll all change on New Year's Eve.....
I agree with Diane, they did very well, but so do thousands of ordinary people who will not even be noticed during their lifetime, or after, they did very well but a knighthood, and a right smarmy picture in the papers!
Erm...WHY? He rode a bloody pushbike, wow wee whoopedee doo. There are thousands of people out there more deserving of a knighthood than the ginger prince. What about all the servicemen and woman out there fighting causes the world over.
Everybody is going on about BW. No opinions on Sir Ben Ainslie then?
I'm off to the land of nod :) I'd just like to wish everyone on these threads! A very Happy and prosperous New Year! Lots of love to you all. Catch up! real soon. X
Just seen BW in an interview saying that this is something that does not sit comfortably with him, he won't use it in everyday life but it is great for his wife and family. A good balanced view I think.