Sarah Storey becomes a Dame in the New Year Honours after winning four Paralympic golds
Cyclist Sarah Storey becomes a Dame after playing a starring role at the Paralympics.
Last Updated: 29/12/12 2:27pm
Cyclist Storey finished with four gold medals at London 2012 and carried the Union Flag at the closing ceremony along with wheelchair racer David Weir, who has been awarded a CBE.
Storey is honoured for an amazing Paralympic career which began as a 14-year-old in Barcelona in 1992, where she participated as a swimmer, and featured four Games in the pool before she switched to cycling before Beijing in 2008.
"Wow, I am speechless but incredibly honoured and extremely proud to be able to accept the DBE," said Storey.
"I never expected any additional awards after my sporting success. I love competing for my country and that is a huge honour in itself.
"Now to be a dame is beyond anything I could have ever imagined and I cannot thank my family, friends, coaches and support staff over all the years enough for their devotion in helping me to follow the path of becoming the best athlete I can possibly be."
ParalympicsGB won 34 golds and 120 medals in all, ensuring the success of the Games continued right the way to the final day's action.
Weir, like Storey, contributed four golds, capping a simply brilliant set of results by winning the marathon on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace on the last day of competition.
His athletics team-mates featured heavily, with MBEs for sprint stars Johnnie Peacock and Hannah Cockroft, discus thrower Aled Davies and Richard Whitehead, whose world record in the final of the 200 metres was one of the highlights of the summer.
Swimmer Ellie Simmonds, one of the faces of the Games and winner of two more gold medals, is awarded an OBE along with Sophie Christiansen, who won three equestrian golds at Greenwich Park.
All the remaining London 2012 Paralympic gold medal winners were honoured apart from those who had been previously honoured, a list that includes Storey's husband Barney , whose tandem cycling partner Neil Fachie was awarded an MBE.
Boccia player Nigel Murray was also given an MBE for his long and distinguished career which has featured two Paralympic titles and bronze from the London Games.
Tim Hollingsworth, chief executive of the British Paralympic Association, said: "The recognition of our Paralympic athletes is a wonderful way to bring this remarkable year to a close.
"Their performances on the field of play not only received rapturous applause from the crowds at London 2012 and viewers of the TV coverage, many of whom were experiencing Paralympic sport for the first time, but the 11 days of sport that we witnessed this summer also gripped the nation and changed many peoples' perception of disability sport.
"It is fitting that so many of our gold medallists are today offered some of the highest tributes possible which reflect not only their sporting talent but also the sheer hard work and dedication that they put into preparing for their home Games. We are extremely proud of their achievements."