Last night, Britain’s most decorated sports couple received another level of accolades.
For footballers who have taken England to the European Championship final, additional recognition will need to be found outside of the New Year’s list.
As tends to be the case in the Olympic and Paralympic years, it is from these activities that the majority of recipients were recruited, with the sports roster of 99 led by Laura and Jason Kenny, married cyclists of the GB team who have been elevated to the rank of Lady and Sir.
Married GB team cyclists Jason (left) and Laura (right) Kenny have been named Sir and Dame
This follows their latest successes on the biggest stage, with Jason, 33, winning her seventh Olympic gold in keirin at the Tokyo Games, and Laura, 29, her fifth via madison.
In addition to having achieved their 2021 goal of building a clock from Olympic gold medals, they are now the first husband and wife to achieve the titles of knight and lady on the same list.
In a joint statement, the couple said: “To be included on the New Year’s Honors list alongside such an esteemed company is something we are both very touched and very proud of.
“We have both been very lucky to be able to do a job that we both love and there is a whole team of people behind us who allow us to compete at the highest level. We are thankful and grateful to all of them.
The couple are the first husband and wife to achieve the titles of knight and lady on the same list
While the merits of awarding titles to active athletes are debatable, there is little wrangling to be had with this final layer of recognition for cyclists who individually rank first and fourth among British Olympians. the most successful of all time. As a sporting couple, they are unprecedented in this country.
While the Kennys were toasted for pursuing outstanding work, the year’s most startling individual conquest was also awarded in the form of an MBE for 19-year-old Emma Raducanu.
It followed 12 days after being named the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year for his stunning victory at the US Open in September. British sport has never seen such a breakthrough.
Emma Raducanu, 19, received an MBE for her stunning US Open win
Out of the entire list, 78 Olympians and Paralympians have been honored for their service to sport – one for each previously un-honored gold medalist, and a number of coaches.
Among them, Tokyo gold medalists Adam Peaty and Tom Daley received OBEs for their success in the pool, the latter also being recognized for his awareness of LGBT issues.
Daley’s performance in winning gold in the 10m synchronized diving with partner Matty Lee – himself now MBE – at his fourth Games has been one of the stories of the sporting year.
Tokyo Gold Medalist Adam Peaty Received OBE For His Success In The Pool
Tom Daley also received an OBE for his Tokyo Gold and LGBT awareness
There was an OBE for Hannah Mills, who won her second gold medal in sailing in Tokyo and has long campaigned against marine pollution.
Seven-time Paralympic gold medalist Hannah Cockroft also received an OBE, while there was a CBE for 43-year-old Jody Cundy, who added a fifth gold in para-cycling in Tokyo to his three medals in Tokyo. Para-swimming gold in a Games career dating back to 1996.
Kadeena Cox, who won Paralympic gold medals in athletics and cycling, received an OBE, and there was a CBE for Stephen Park, the performance director of British Cycling. Besides the Kennys and Park, nine other members of the British Olympic cycling program were on the list.
Hannah Mills won her second gold medal in sailing in Tokyo and has long campaigned against marine pollution
Park said: “Not only are Jason and Laura true masters of their craft, they are also wonderful teammates, role models and ambassadors for our sport. I am delighted that their outstanding performances have been recognized in the Honors List. and they should both be incredibly proud of what they’ve accomplished. ‘
Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes received an OBE for her domestic treble and her work promoting women’s football. It was perhaps a surprise, meanwhile, that of the cohort that took England to the Euro 2020 final, only Gareth Southgate’s assistant Steve Holland made the list.
He was awarded an MBE, but no team member was featured, although he reached a first major final since 1966.
Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes received an OBE for the club’s domestic treble