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Olympic heroes honoured

December 29, 2012 00:01 am

London's Olympic champions have been handsomely rewarded for their exploits in a special New Year Honours list, with Bradley Wiggins and Ben Ainslie receiving knighthoods.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Long jumper Greg Rutherford, another gold medal winner in the Olympic Stadium on that Super Saturday, has been given an MBE. 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.

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