This year’s honours list has recognised a number of sports stars, in light of Team GB’s success in Rio. 10% of the list was filled by Olympians and Paralympians, with five becoming sirs and dames.
The list is released on the New Year and honours people who have served the United Kingdom. This service can be in a variety of forms, including through sporting achievement.
Amongst the Olympians to become a Sir this year was World Number One tennis star Andy Murray. 2016 saw him go from strength to strength, winning Wimbledon for the second time. He also brought home gold from Rio and became Sports Personality of the Year for the third time.
Mo Farah was another Olympian to become a Sir. He secured his fourth Olympic gold medal in 2016 and was overwhelmed to receive the honour. He said:
“I’m so happy to be awarded this incredible honour from the country that has been my home since I moved here at the age of eight”.
Team GB’s Paralympic flag bearer Lee Pearson also received knighthood. He took his gold medal total to 11 in Rio, winning individual freestyle.
The list made two of our Olympic sportswomen dames – heptathlon heroine Jessica Ennis-Hill and rowing champion Katherine Grainger. Both athletes have now retired from their sports, having achieved incredible things for Great Britain.
The number of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background recipients was it its highest this year. Individuals from the BAME community make up 9.3% of the list.
Not real heroes?
Since the news of our country’s new sirs and dames, there have been heated discussions surrounding the choices. Some argue that to be a knight or a dame you must have done much more than excel in sport.
It has been noted that many of these sports stars have also been honoured due to their work for charity. However, some still insist that they are too young and haven’t done enough to deserve it.