UK & World News
Paralympic Heroes Hit Out At Honours List
Leading Paralympians have criticised the New Year honours system, claiming it is easier for able-bodied athletes to get knighthoods.
Cyclist Sarah Storey was the only Paralympic athlete among the knights and dames, despite many racking up more gold medals than Bradley Wiggins or Ben Ainslie, the Olympians given top awards in this year's list.
Dressage rider Lee Pearson, who has won 13 medals including 10 golds at four Games, was one of two Paralympians to get OBEs in the list, which was published on Saturday.
He told the Independent: "Obviously, 10 gold, one silver and one bronze just isn't enough.
"I'm disappointed because I do feel I've given a lot to Paralympic sport and equestrianism. I think 10 gold medals is quite an achievement."
Wheelchair racer and six-time gold medal winner David Weir suggested Paralympians have to work harder to earn recognition than their non-disabled counterparts.
Weir, who was the only disabled athlete among five CBEs in the list, told the Telegraph: "Kelly Holmes was made a Dame when she won two gold medals, but it seems we have to get into double figures to get it.
"Sarah Storey should have been awarded this years ago, and I just feel that sometimes we are left out perhaps because we are not in the public eye.
"It is a bit strange, but I am just honoured to get anything from the Queen for doing a sport I love."
The list was drawn up by the Sports Honours Committee, which is chaired by Lord Coe and includes the former Paralympic athlete baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.
what do you think?
I don't believe the attitude of these athletes.
James R McCulloch
It is par for the course. WE do have to work twice as hard. This is because we WANT to prove that we can be their equals. I guess this makes our victory all the more sweeter.
Well if they felt that strongly why did they accept the honours?
This Honour's thing has now gone to pot. It seems that you get one for almost anything now. It has degraded the Honour's system they are just dishing them out for people just doing their jobs or pop stars, whatever. How about getting back to how it used to be, you had to be outstanding served your Country , not because you won a medal in sports or served on some committee like Mrs Blair. Good to see Ken Livingstone turned one down, said he was just doing his job, well said, a few more ought to say no, especially Lord Coe.
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Yip. My head at my last school also refused one, though it was thoroughly deserved. This, however, was more about his sinister anti-English views, unfortunately!
Well if bradley wiggins gets a knighthood for winning just two races the paralympians have a point.
They do really - it has to be looked at in perspective, doesn't it? Having said that, I suppose Wiggers has a bigger following and it's probably about the revenue he brings above much else...
has anyone pointed out to these people that they only beat the best in a certain catagory , not the best in the world. i could never beat rory mclroy at golf , but if they had an olympic class for fat alcoholic golfers i might get a silver medal , obviously john daly would get gold.
The fat alcoholic thing was funny!
In my opinion, Sarah Storey is not a paralympian; she has two perfectly normal legs, competing against cyclysts with only one leg or one leg and a prosthetic. Where is the fairness in this?
It seems an honour is assumed by many now, devaluing its whole point. This means that people expect an honour and it's hardly a surprise or source of great pride any more. I don't recall which, but some band the other week was griping and lamenting the fact that they've been waiting years for one. How crass and assumptious when all you've been doing is your job (and having a jolly good time in the meantime) - which is what the rest of us do for wages frozen or rising way below inflation and a maybe-pension!
Movvi. Exactly bonny lass. How long before you are able to pick up an award in a bag of crisps.
Yes indeed. The honours system however was devalued years ago. They are a bit like the Queens Xmas day speech. It's just something that happens, but no one takes a scrap of notice.
After the superb performances of our paralympians I find it rather sad that they have stooped so low as to play the discrimination card. OK they didn't actually say it but the implication is there. Surely their reward was the medals they won
Dave don't forget these paralympians are speaking to the press, I wouldn't mind betting they were pressured with leading questions to make a better story and to elicit exactly the response some have given to the report. As alot of people have said previously I think the whole system of honours is basically corrupt and should be scrapped.