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
    0

    Comment number 139.

    If the Lottery gave away honours too, Camelot could suck in even more cash.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 138.

    @127 Katz_in_Bedford

    Are all of the omplympic/paralympic medal winners going to to be nominated by the public or is 'the government' simply making a blanket nomination/ It read as though medal equals OBE, MBE, knoghthood depending on the colour of the medal. Given the comments here, I guess nominations wouldn't be that thick on the ground for sports 'stars'

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 137.

    Yes the games have been great and a lot of athletes have worked extremely hard and no doubt will be honoured? I've no problem with MBEs etc but Steve Redgrave had to win medals at 5 consecutive Olympics before being knighted. Let's see who's around in 4 years time winning gold in Rio before doling out more.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 136.

    Agree with other posts, a medal is enough for now, honours should follow in years to come once they have proven their ability & helping the community thru sport. Amy Williams age 29, MBE for luge, 2010 winter olympics, now RETIRED; Audely Harrison, MBE = a joke! and dont even get me started on SIR Chris Hoy and DAME Kelly Holmes! Win a medal, get an MBE, win 2 medals get a knighthood!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 135.

    What is it about the British Psyche that means that forums such as these get filled with glass-is-half-empty comments?Of course a gold medal is enough for the majority, but we are talking here about sporting legends multiple winners and in he world's best : Bobby Charlton, Ian Botham,Steve Redgrave, Chris Hoy.

    Sir Bradley Wiggins, Dame Sarah Storey, Sir David Weir, Sir Mo Farah. Any takers?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 134.

    Mr Shield's point (#2). In most cases, a lifetime of Public Service means Civil Service, highly paid, exclusive and often privileged. As several have suggested for athletes, this should be enough. However, although many athletes are semi-professional, they give up much to enhance their AND the Nation's reputation. Ellie Simmons family lived hundreds of miles apart. Which is more deserving? I know!

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 133.

    This is all getting quite ridiculous. Honours have become now so devalued as to be like confetti or a GCSE - worthless.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 132.

    Cannot agree with this, just doing their jobs.. in many cases funded by the UK public.. no more deserving than a civil servant.. Honours need to be for above and beyond.. outside normal day to day life. Yes I applaud their efforts, but just a job at the end of the day.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 131.

    Whilst I do not agree with much of the criticism by the usual gainsayers, I do think the "lifetime achievement" element of awarding gongs should not be diluted by one-offs, not matter the amazing feats such people are performing.

    There are many feats of amazingness that should be recognised before the golds of this one event.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 130.

    It's the failed Tory politicians who get the "honours", I doubt whether any athletes would want to be associated with them.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 129.

    Olympic/Paralympic success deserves many plaudits but not honours. I think the honours system should focus on true service to others. They'll get the gongs for 'services to sport' when in fact it reflects personal achievement, however sacrificial, rather than real service of any kind. Is not every soldier in Helmand more deserving? Where are the OBE/MBEs for them?

  • rate this
    -12

    Comment number 128.

    Ne’er-do-wells such as cameron and the windors, basking in the reflected glory of others!

    I wonder what form of honour a single mum living in poverty who brings her kids up to be moidel citizens should be awarded?

    C McK

    C McK

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 127.

    @ 98.Gren
    To get any of the awards you mention, you have to be nominated for one.

    So, if you feel a doctor or scientist (or anyone else) deserves one, find out how to nominate them and do so.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 126.

    The idea of white, fat Whitehall nobodies deciding who gets gongs makes an utter joke of the whole system.

    Are these the same people that dole out gongs left, right & centre to Civil Servants for turning up to do the day job?

    Honours system makes a mockery of us all. Outstanding Olympians don't need or want 'honours'. They've got something infinitely better: an Olympic gold medal or two.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 125.

    David Cameron has decided Britain's Olympians and Paralympians are to get their own honours list, rather than simply being included in the New Year's Honours.
    Yet his government as done every thing to take money away from the disabled with all the changes to benrfit system

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 124.

    Isn't it time that we had a separate Order for athletes etc: the Order of the British Empire is a bit inappropriate? Perhaps the Order of Royal Champions or the Order of the Lion and Hart (for courage and speed) though that does rather sound like a pub!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 123.

    Cute move !!

    I can't imagine they envisaged so many Olympic / Paralympic medallists, and ' hard choices ' to be made !

  • Comment number 122.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 121.

    Its stupid that they've got their own honours list. They've got their medals, got the recognition, got sponsorship and some will get advertising contracts or be asked to be a spokesman/woman for one company or another, they don't need to have an MBE, OBE etc because they won a gold medal at the Olympics or European Games, There are far more deserving people out there who should be recognised.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 120.

    Why do we care so much about the years of commitment athletes put in? Does anybody care about the years of commitment invested by other people doing "regular" jobs?
    In any case, what real contributions do athletes make to society? Personally, I would say none! The world would function perfectly well without really fast runners, or people that can do a high jump over a bar.

 

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