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
    +4

    Comment number 99.

    Aren't the Olympic medals themselves reward and recognition enough? After all, elsewhere in the world it's these medals that matter not whether someone has an XBE.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 98.

    sallyh - not a hint of jealously in anything I say but every doctor will spend seven years of sacrifice to become qualified to serve people. Yes they get well paid but if they cure someone, safe someones life at a road crash they don't get OBE etc. Every science teacher will study for four/five years to become qualified to teach, many in an inner city setting, not well paid, still no OBE etc ...

  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 97.

    I agree that those who 'consistently' perform at a world class level deserve such honour and recognition. The men and women who inspire are the modern day 'knights' in my eyes, obviously there 'unknown' others that deserve such awards but these atheletes inspired mutliple generations and a nation this summer so let them have their day, but spare a thought (and maybe an award or two) for others

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 96.

    How long before Jonny Rotten or Tony Been get knighthoods? My point is that the honours systems has been so corrupted by the politicians trying to curry faour with the general public that the honours system is worth less than a Blue Peter badge. I suspect actually competing in the Paralympics will mean more to anyone having the misfortune to be nominated.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 95.

    My mother started working since she was 3yrs old straight after WW2. She self employed and pay paid her taxes, never claimed a penny all her life and not entitled to a pension of her own. She is many times more of an Olympian than Jess Ennis ever will and the saddest thing is she will never get a Gong because she is not worthy PR for the powers that be.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 94.

    @82.Jon - and you miss my point. I personally wouldn't applaud or fawn over anyone simply for doing their day job, doesn't mean no-one else should.

    But imo carers, nurses, soldiers, people who do things in the background to enable people to get to where they are, etc. earn the right to applause and honours than someone who, like the athletes, has done something simply for themselves.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 93.

    Utterly ridiculous, and only there for the sound bites. Yes, they've won medals, but isn't that quite enough, or do we soon find ourselves going to even more extremes, such as building commemorative monuments topped by statues of them?

    Both events have been hyped up out of all proportion. Heaven knows how the next ones will be worshipped.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 92.

    If an athlete wins a gold medal then they should get a gong. What a load of rubbish, that is there job. This is all about the government trying to piggy back their success.

    If I do a good job a work am I entitled to a gong, No and at the moment not even a pay rise.

    they have a medal and the honour, that should be it

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 91.

    If it is to be a straight correlation between 'success' and 'recognition' then the whole thing becomes, ultimately, pointless.

    Remember Collingwood receiving an honour in 2005 when his contribution to Ashes success (though subsequently massive) was practically zero. And the Aussie ire there inflamed.

    And yet ANOTHER example of Cameron attempting to bask in reflected glory.

  • rate this
    -7

    Comment number 90.

    Let's not forget the years of commitment athletes put in - sacrificing their personal life and in terms of the disabled athletes that of their families as well. Contrary to other comments this will have absolutely no effect on people who are awarded honours for their dedication in other fields.As usual there is a negative and jealous element to a lot of these comments.

  • rate this
    -11

    Comment number 89.

    Finally the PM has got something right. I hope Stella McCartney is not forgotten when these Honours are served. Well done to all especially the paralympians. Wow!!!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 88.

    If we give regular gongs to Olympics winners it will devalue the honours system for truly deserving, you know all those senior cival servants, Judges, Ambassadors - all those useless overpaid types.

    Time we got rid of the whole corrupt process and abolished the honours system.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 87.

    OK, so they won medals and proved their worth - Great! I don't see how that now gives them licence to clog up my TV on a nightly basis doing the 'celebrity' circuit of chat shows, quiz shows, tv commercials and 'celebrity' versions of 'Come dine with me', 'Antiques Roadshow' etc ad nauseum

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 86.

    Hands up who thinks that all those life peers are there because of their charity work?

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 85.

    @78. Robbo - It's just a bit more than turning up on the day to compete. It's the countless hours of sacraficing time with family training somewhere away from home and then taking the big stage to represent your country. These guys should get some form of honour (and the long-term participants getting bigger honours) for being amazing role models as I'll say again. More people should be like them.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 84.

    Why? They're not doing this for the betterment of society or the glory of Great Britain. They're doing it because it's their job.

    They've already got one medal!

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 83.

    Typical politician cashing in on other people's hard work and success under the guise of "recognising great achievement" in the hope that it makes him seem a better person for it as well as divert attention away from the mess he is making of running the country.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 82.

    Raven you miss my point, you said would not applaud and fawn over them for doing their day job or hobby. Is being a soldier or a nurse or a carer not a day job ? But you see them as being more worthwhile to get rewarded, well as a carer i say your wrong, anybody that earns it deserves it

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 81.

    42 Jon - in my eyes you're a far greater hero.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 80.

    To be serious, the honours system is flawed and, despite changes, still corrupt. The only people who should get any kind of honour are those who show extraordinary and exemplary behaviour far beyond what is normal and at some sacrifice of themselves. Voluntary exemplary behaviour should be worth more than any behaviour in one's job. You should not get any award just for being a "celebrity".

 

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