Paralympians recognised with New Year’s honours

Arise Sir Lee Pearson in Great Britain, whilst Canada’s Benoît Huot named to the Order of Canada. Paralympians in New Zealand also recognised. 31 Dec 2016
a man smiles on a horse

Great Britain's Lee Pearson was knighted for his services to sport and his charity work


A number of Paralympians and Para sport administrators have been recognised for their careers and achievements at Rio 2016 in New Year’s honours announced around the world.

In Great Britain, a number of gold medallists from September’s Games were named in Queen Elizabeth II’s New Year’s Honours list.

Para equestrian rider Lee Pearson, Great Britain’s flagbearer at the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony who went on to win the 11th gold medal of his career, has been awarded a knighthood.

The five-time Paralympian already held the Member of the British Empire (MBE), Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to equestrianism and to disabled sport.

"For me, born with a severe disability, I've had 15 major operations to iron me out and to be here today receiving this, it's just really, really surreal," Sir Lee Pearson said to BBC Sport.

The significant contributions of Para equestrian rider Sophie Christiansen (CBE), swimmer Sascha Kindred (CBE), Anne Dunham (OBE) and cyclist Jody Cundy (OBE) over many years to their respective sports and to the Paralympic team have also been recognised.

ParalympicsGB’s Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe, who led the ParalympicsGB team in Rio, will receive an OBE, while Tim Reddish, BPA Chairman, receives a CBE and Tim Hollingsworth, BPA Chief Executive, an OBE.

Tim Reddish, Chairman of the BPA, said: “It gives me great pleasure as Chairman of the BPA to see that so many people involved in the success of ParalympicsGB in Rio have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours. I am also very pleased that the hard work and achievements of BPA staff members Tim Hollingsworth and Penny Briscoe has been recognised. I congratulate all recipients on their richly deserved recognition.”

In Canada, Benoît Huot, a Para sport ambassador and Paralympic swimmer who has won nine Paralympic gold medals has named to the Order of Canada.

The award was established in 1967 and is one of Canada's highest civilian honours. The Order of Canada celebrates Canadians who have excelled in their field or who have demonstrated exceptional dedication or service to their country.

“It is with emotion and humility that I get the appointment to the Order of Canada,” tweeted Huot soon after the announcement.

In New Zealand, Para athletes Anna Grimaldi and Liam Malone, Para cyclist Kate Horan and Para Swimmer Nikita Howarth were all made Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM)

Full list of ParalympicsGB team members recognised in the Queen's New Year's Honours:

• Lee Pearson – Knighthood

• Sophie Christiansen – CBE

• Sasha Kindred – CBE

• Tim Reddish – CBE

• Penny Briscoe – OBE

• Jody Cundy – OBE

• Anne Dunham – OBE

• Tim Hollingsworth – OBE

The following have all been awarded MBEs:

• Hollie Arnold

• Stephen Bate

• Will Bayley

• Paul Blake

• Daniel Brown

Joanna Butterfield

• Jon-Allan Butterworth

• Claire Cashmore

Jeanette Chippington

Libby Clegg and guide Chris Clarke

• Grace Clough

• Kadeena Cox

• Karen Darke

Robert Davies

• Anne Dickins

• Adam Duggleby

• Lora Fachie

Bethany Firth

• James Fox

• Joanna Frith

• Megan Giglia

Sophie Hahn

• Corrine Hall

Georgina Hermitage

• Oliver James

• Michael Jones

Andrew Lewis

• Stephanie Millward

• Aaron Moores

Rachel Morris

Gordon Reid

• Pam Relph

• Eleanor Robinson

• Susannah Rodgers

• Louis Rolfe

• Lauren Rowles

• Hannah Russell

• Helen Scott

• Stephanie Slater

David Smith

Jessica Stretton

• Alice Tai

• Sophie Thornhill

• John Walker

• Laurence Whitely

• Matt Wylie

Emma Wiggs

• Jonathan Norfolk (Head Coach British Para cycling)