Swan song as Lizzy, 29, retires with second medal

Winter Olympic double gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold after receiving her OBE
Winter Olympic double gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold after receiving her OBE
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She had announced her retirement only a few days before, so her appearance at the Palace was something of a swan song.

Lizzy Yarnold, just 29, is Britain’s most decorated Winter Olympian, and it fell to another former champion, the Princess Royal, to bestow an OBE upon her at Buckingham Palace.

Ms Yarnold, a skeleton racer originally from Kent, won gold at both the Sochi and Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.

She described her latest honour as “a very emotional moment”.

“Many people say they’re receiving the award on behalf of other people, it’s true. I’m not an individual, I’m part of a team, and I’m hugely grateful to everyone,” she said.

She had received an MBE in 2014 but said Princess Anne’s affiliation with Olympic sport made her second medal even more special.

The Princess is president of the British Olympic Association, and Ms Yarnold said: “She came out to Sochi and Pyeongchang, so to receive the award from her specifically was really wonderful.

“The Royal family are those that lead our country. When I compete I want to stand on the podium with the national anthem playing and the Union Jack behind me.”

Ms Yarnold also took time to praise the ongoing support the Winter Games receive from the Association.

She said: “Even though the Winter Olympics is still the little brother of the summer, we as athletes feel just as special.

“We have had fantastic funding. We’re just thankful for the support that we’ve got.”

Among the other beneficiaries at yesterday’s investiture ceremony was the jazz trombonist Dennis Rollins, who was raised in Bentley, Doncaster.

He studied and played with the town’s Youth Jazz Association for several years before moving to London in 1987.

Eight years later, he formed his own jazz-funk band, performing at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, the London Forum and Brixton Academy.

The entrepreneur Sharmadean Reid received an MBE for services to the nail and beauty industry.

The 34-year-old founder of the Soho nail boutique, WAH Nails, was named in 2009 as “one of the 15 people who will define the future of arts in Britain”.

Two years ago, she launched a fashion range which, she said was inspired by Diana, Princess of Wales.