Sporting success: Olympic and Paralympic heroes honoured
SPORTING success for Cornish athletes has led to a glittering array of awards in the New Year Honours.
Ben Ainslie – the champion sailor who learnt his craft near Truro – was knighted after picking up his fourth Olympic gold medal this summer.
Helen Glover, the rower from west Cornwall, was appointed MBE for her part in winning Team GB's first gold medal of the Games, while paralympic swimmer Jonathan Fox said news of his appointment as MBE was "the icing on the cake".
Former Truro School pupil Mr Ainslie, who learnt to sail at Restronguet, said of his knighthood: "When I set out Olympic sailing 20 years ago, I never would have dreamt this would happen. I couldn't have achieved this honour without the support of all the people who have helped me throughout my career and so I hope they can also take some pride in this moment."
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The sailing legend carried the Olympic torch in his home county and carried the Union Flag at the closing ceremony in London.
The 35-year-old retired from Olympic competition after winning his fourth gold in the waters around Portland and is now focused on leading a British boat to victory in the America's Cup.
Miss Glover, from Penzance, said news of her appointment as MBE was "surreal". She and her rowing partner, Heather Stanning, were the first British female rowers ever to win an Olympic gold.
Miss Glover said: "We definitely feel truly privileged to be able to wake up every day and do the sport that we do, and to be honoured as well as privileged is incredible."
The Olympic champion, who received a welcome parade in her home town, only started rowing in 2008.