Olympians and Paralympians to get own honours list

 
Jessica Ennis celebrates winning heptathlon Gold medal winning heptathlete Jessica Ennis could be among those in line for an honour

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Britain's Olympians and Paralympians are to get their own honours list, rather than simply being included in the New Year's Honours.

David Cameron has decided to place awards arising from the London 2012 Games outside the usual system.

There has been no official confirmation of a separate honours list but Whitehall sources have told the BBC it will happen.

They said it would reflect the scale of achievement by British athletes.

The 29 gold medals at the London games and more than 100 medals so far at the Paralympics had raised expectations that champions such as Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Sarah Storey and Ellie Simmonds would be recognised.

'Good news'

The prime minister's official spokesman said no official announcement would would be made at this stage.

But he added: "The prime minister is very keen to recognise people who contributed to the very successful Olympics and Paralympics."

Johnnie Peacock who won the T44 100m said he was pleased by the decision.

Mr Peacock said: "That is good news. It's good to hear that he's obviously supporting everything and you know this country really has pushed the Olympics and Paralympics and they really are getting behind everyone so it's great to see the support that even he's given."

Dame Tessa Jowell, the former Labour Olympics minister, has also welcomed the move.

"Like any system, of course it should constantly be kept under review and make sure that its rules and the people who are being honoured are the people who reflect just dessert in the broader country," she said.

Public support

There was also general support among spectators attending events at the Olympic Park on Friday for a separate honours list.

Sam Morgan, who is from Australia but now lives in London, said: "I guess the hardest thing is to decide who is going to get the honours.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller: "I think it's a fantastic recognition"

"Difficult to say whether it should just be the gold medallists or all the people who have put in so much work."

Adrienne Hughes, from Suffolk, said: "I think it's a good idea as long as they have some of the Games Makers in that list.

"They are all so lovely, so helpful and smile and the separate list would be brilliant if they do that."

Speculation that Britain's Olympic heroes would miss out on honours was triggered last month by a senior civil servant, Jonathan Stephens, who told the BBC medals would not mean an "automatic gong".

Honours are awarded for exceptional achievement or service, twice every year - at New Year, and in mid-June - and are decided by a Whitehall committee and not the government.

The sport committee, which is chaired by Olympic chief Lord Coe, is strictly limited as to the number of gongs it can award per year.

Baroness Grey-Thompson - herself an 11 time paralympic gold medallist - and sits on the sporting honours committee previously told the BBC that they were able to award "one or two" knighthoods, a "few more" CBEs, "more" OBEs and "up to 45-50 MBEs".

By giving Olympic and Paralympic athletes their own honours list Downing Street can ensure that there is no limit on the number of awards handed out.

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 59.

    It's a load of out-dated nonsense that should be abolished - honouring sports stars (?) is just another example of how celebrity-obsessed the UK has become.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 58.

    Elitist nonsense.......

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 57.

    Ridiculous decision, these extremely talented and inspiring athletes have their gongs, in the form of gold, silver and bronze medals hanging round their necks. Some especially those most celebrated (and therefore most likely to be honoured) will also gain commercial rewards.
    The nation recognises their achievements by continuing the funding that helps them achieve their personal ambitions.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 56.

    #31 I don't believe vomiting is a recognised Olympic or Paraolympic sport, so you will have to do something else to be in the running for the medal you so obviously crave.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 55.

    44. Steve
    say for an actress, it could take a lifetime of work to be made a Dame and yet could the likes of Ellie Simmonds receive the same award which would make a mockery of the ststem.
    ---
    You think Ellie Simmonds hasn't dedicated her life to her sport? She's in the pool 8 hours a day every day. Can you say the same about an actress? (who incidentally have Oscars, Baftas etc too)

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 54.

    I'm not against this, I'm for it. But it's mixed messages from a back bencher committee which criticised the amount of honours given to celebrities and sportsmen and women.

    However, why should party politicals get honours?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 53.

    Nobody should get an honour, simply for doing their job. As stated before, honours should go to people who have gone above and beyond their expectations - people in the emergency services who have dealt with an extra-ordinary situation, volunteers working within their community, that sort of thing. I admire the athletes greatly for their achievements, but all they really are doing is their job.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 52.

    Yes, these athletes may train hard, make sacrifices and such, but so do many others in the outside world with no recognition at all. I do not understand why 'honours' (with one or two exceptions) be given to these individuals.

    Furthermore, to say that everyone is behind the Olympics just isn't true.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 51.

    Is winning a medal not enough for these athletes? This is further evidence of the mad world we live in where athletes who in my opinion are doing something which only benefits themselves are looked on as gods whereas scientists attempting to find cures for diseases which would benefit everyone are rarely mentioned!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 50.

    42.Jon
    ravenmorpheus2k you would not call them Sir for doing their day job
    ---

    No.

    I said I would not applaud and fawn over them for doing their day job or hobby.

    I said I would not call someone Sir simply because they've been handed a pat on the back by government.

    If you are going to disagree with someone's opinion please do so whilst quoting them accurately and understand what they've said.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 49.

    Their honours are the medals they are awarded in the competition.

    Wider honours should be given for work done off the track, field, pool, arena etc in promoting their sport, encouraging others to compete.

    How would those that do not win medals but work selflessly to encourage sport for all feel if they were not recognized?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 48.

    Why are people doing a job for which they have trained and which brings great financial rewards and public acclaim deemed worthy of honours, not only athletes but actors and quiz show hosts,and what exactly is the British Empire.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 47.

    I am a massive sports far and thoroughly enjoyed this exceptional summer of sport, but I simply don't understand why sports people should be knighted because they won a few gold medals or other kinds of achievements. Surely a knighthood is like an exceptional lifetime achievement award! These people are in their 20s or early 30s, hardly a lifetime!

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 46.

    They should not just get honours for winning a medal they must also have contributed to society on a voluntary basis.

    No one should get an award just for doing their job its for exceptional contributions to something or above and beyond the call of duty etc .

    Guess that rules out all the political cronies and contributors.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 45.

    What utter madness. I find it utterly bewildering that our supposed leaders would want to feed the ridiculous celebrity worship that has become so prevelant in our culture in recent times. These people run & jump, is that really a field that requires such veneration? I think not.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 44.

    Whilst I applaud a new sporting honours list system I hope it is not abused. In some case, say for an actress, it could take a lifetime of work to be made a Dame and yet could the likes of Ellie Simmonds receive the same award which would make a mockery of the ststem. This would therefore be little those who have achieved greatness. Lets hope the committee very carefully consider the recipients.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 43.

    i watched the olypics in awe, astounded by the talent britian has produced, however i do not agree with honours for any medalists, its their jobs they get paid to traim/compete vis sponsorship, lottery funding. because they achieved the goal they set doesnt mean they should now ne a MBE or knight, that shoudl be for the people who do real good in the uk, doctors / education etc

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 42.

    Not every athlete will be honoured, people like Ben Ainslie and Sarah Storey should be though.
    ravenmorpheus2k you would not call them Sir for doing their day job, then you say Applaud and award honours to those less self-serving, like carers, nurses, armed forces personnel etc.. I'm a carer, its my day job, i do it 24/7, but in my eyes a disabled athlete is far more worthy

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 41.

    Sorry, but the whole honours system is a mess.
    It should be for recognizing those unglamorous and unsung heroes who do work for this countries society, communities and people.

    Sports gives out its own honours. You just devalue the meaning of an obe by giving them out like confetti.

  • rate this
    -10

    Comment number 40.

    Most honours are awarded to privately educated people who are paid for by the State. So this changes nothing.

 

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