New Year Honours: Weir says Paralympians have to win more medals to get recognition

David Weir on the gold medal podium at London's Olympic Stadium. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. David Weir on the gold medal podium at London's Olympic Stadium. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.

Saturday, December 29, 2012
9:40 AM

Six-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir has suggested Paralympians have to work harder to earn recognition than their non-disabled counterparts.

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Weir has been recognised with a CBE for winning four gold medals at this summer’s London Games, but the wheelchair athlete from Wallington was not among the five sporting dames and knights created.

Olympic cyclist Bradley Wiggins and British Cycling performance director David Brailsford have both been knighted, as has sailor Ben Ainslie, with Paralympic cyclist Sarah Storey becoming a dame after taking her gold medal tally to 11 to match Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s record.

British rowing performance director David Tanner has also been knighted.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Weir said: “I am absolutely honoured to receive this award.

“I would have been disappointed if Sarah Storey had not been made a dame because she deserves it with 11 gold medals.

“It’s a weird one how they choose it. Sometimes it seems that Paralympians have to win lots and lots of medals to get a damehood or a knighthood.

“Kelly Holmes was made a same when she won two gold medals, but it seems we have to get into double figures to get it.

“Sarah Storey should have been awarded this years ago, and I just feel that sometimes we are left out perhaps because we are not in the public eye.

“It is a bit strange, but I am just honoured to get anything from the Queen for doing a sport I love.”

Weir is the only disabled athlete among five CBEs with only two Paralympians receiving OBEs in the list published today.

LIST OF PARALYMPIC ATHLETES IN NEW YEAR HONOURS

DAME

Sarah Storey - cycling

CBE

David Weir - athletics

OBE

Sophie Christiansen - equestrian

Ellie Simmonds - swimming

MBE

Jessica-Jane Applegate - athletics

Natasha Baker - equestrian

Danielle Brown - archery

Mickey Bushell - athletics

Hannah Cockroft - athletics

Mark Colbourne - cycling

Josef Craig - swimming

Deborah Criddle - equestrian

Aled Davies - athletics

Neil Fachie - cycling

Jonathan Fox - swimming

Heather Frederiksen - swimming

Oliver Hynd - swimming

Helena Lucas - sailing

Craig MacLean - cycling

Nigel Murray - boccia

Jonnie Peacock - athletics

Josie Pearson - athletics

Pam Relph - rowing

Naomi Riches - rowing

James Roe - rowing

David Smith - rowing

Lily van den Broecke - rowing

Sophie Wells - equestrian

Richard Whitehead - athletics

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