Olympic superstars honoured for their sporting achievements

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OLYMPIC heroes were honoured by the Queen for their sporting achievements in the London 2012 Games.

Leeds’s queen of the ring, Nicola Adams, was among those recognised in the New Year Honours List. The 30-year-old, who grew up in the Burmantofts area of Leeds, made history when she became the first female to win an Olympic boxing gold medal. The flyweight, who now hopes to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympics, collected her MBE from Buckingham Palace yesterday alongside a host of Olympians.

She said: “I just didn’t want to get anything wrong meeting the Queen and receiving my MBE. I think it was a bit of a mixture of excitement and nerves rolled into one. Usually I’ll listen to music and my friends but today I was talking to some of other guests receiving honours and they were just as nervous as I was. We were all calming each other down.”

Sprint cyclist Jason Kenny, 24, was awarded an OBE, with MBEs going to long jumper Greg Rutherford, 26, and cycling team pursuit gold winner Joanna Rowsell, 24.

Performance director of British Cycling David Brailsford received a knighthood for services to cycling and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Sir David led Britain to eight cycling gold medals for a second successive Olympics and Team Sky to a historic one-two in the Tour de France in 2012.

He said: “I’m honoured. It means so much and is such a humbling experience. I’m very proud. The Queen congratulated me on my birthday, which is actually on the 29th, which made her chuckle. We talked about the Olympics and how proud everyone was and what a great event it had been.”

Former Glamorgan and England spin bowler Robert Croft, 42, was awarded an MBE, while Cherie Blair received the CBE for services to women’s issues and charity.