29/12/2012 00:00 GMT

Bradley Wiggins Knighted In New Year's Honours List

Bradley Wiggins, Britain's first ever Tour de France winner and London 2012 Olympic gold medalist, has been knighted in the 2013 New Year Honours.

It completes a phenomenal year for Sir Bradley, who earlier this month won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in a fiercely competitive field following the success of London 2012.

The cyclist heads a sparkling list of Team GB sporting heroes, including Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie, who gets a knighthood, para-cyclist Sarah Storey, who is made a dame, and Jessica Ennis, Victoria Pendleton, Mo Farah and David Weir, who all receive CBEs.


Wiggins celebrates his fourth Olympic gold in August

Wiggins said: "I never ever imagined that I would ever become a knight so it's an incredible honour.

"But there's a slight element of disbelief and it will take a while to sink in.

"It's not something I'll use on a daily basis, but it's nice to have in the trophy cabinet as the ultimate accolade as a sportsman, being knighted by your country for not only the success this year but 12 years now of consistent work and performing - four Olympic Games, seven medals."

The 32-year-old added: "There was never any doubt whether I'd accept it or not, it was more a case that I never saw myself as a sir, and I probably never will."

Wiggins' response to the possibility of a knighthood has not come back to haunt him.

After the Londoner took gold in the London 2012 Olympic road race, he was asked about the possibility of becoming 'Sir Bradley Wiggins' and did not sound too enthused.

"How does Sir Wiggo sound? It doesn’t quite sound right, does it?" Wiggins replied.

"It is what it is. As much as it would be an honour to receive something like that, I don’t think I would ever use it. I’d just put it in the drawer. I’ll always just be Brad."

The galaxy of sporting stars who achieved so much during London 2012 meant that a special honours list was added this year.

A total of 1,223 people were recommended to the Queen for an award, 1,068 at the level of MBE, OBE and BEM - the British Empire Medal, which was reintroduced after 20 years in 2012 to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Sportsmen and women make up 10% of the total honours, which features a special London 2012 and Paralympic Games list to recognise one of British sport's most memorable summers.

Dame Sarah Storey is honoured for services to para-cycling after winning four gold medals at London 2012. Now expecting her first child, she holds a Paralympic gold medal total of 11, Storey, equalling Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Dave Roberts' winning records.

sarah storey

Storey celebrates at the London 2012 velodrome

Storey, 35, beamed: "Wow, I am speechless but incredibly honoured and extremely proud to be able to accept the DBE.

"I never expected any additional awards after my sporting success, I love competing for my country and that is a huge honour in itself.

Team GB New Year's Honours Recipients

"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."

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie, whose success at the 2012 Games made him the most decorated sailor in Olympic history with four consecutive wins, earns a knighthood along with Dave Brailsford and David Tanner, performance directors at British Cycling and British Rowing.

ben ainslie

Ainslie has won four golds in a row but will not feature at Rio 2016

Cycling performance director Brailsford, the recipient of the SPOTY Coach of the Year award, played a significant role in Britain's rise to the top of world cycling as they took home eight golds from London 2012. He is also the team principal of Team Sky, who Wiggins rode for at the Tour de France.

As performance director of British rowing, Mr Tanner was behind Team GB's new Olympic record of nine medals, four of them gold.

CBEs go to rower Katherine Grainger, who finally won her first Olympic gold, heptathlete and London 2012 poster girl Jess Ennis, retired cyclist Victoria Pendleton, and wheelchair athlete David Weir.

The iconic Mo Farah, who captured the nation's hearts with his double gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m, joins them.

mo farah

Farah's wins were arguably Team GB's highlights at London 2012

OBEs go to double Gold medallist Laura Trott and her cycling partner Jason Kenny, equestrian Sophie Christiansen, Great Britain's first triple gold medal winner of Paralympics 2012, her fellow equestrian Charlotte Dujardin, Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds and tennis sensation Andy Murray, who took gold at the Olympics and ended Britain's 76-year wait for a Grand Slam men's singles title at the US Open.


Trott only turned 20 in April

The first ever female Olympic gold medal boxer Nicola Adams Among is among those to to get an MBE. She is joined by canoeist Timothy Baillie; equestrians Laura Bechtolsheimer and Carl Hester; rowers Katherine Copeland and Helen Glover; wheelchair racer Hannah Cockcroft; and Paralympic swimmer Josef Craig.

Triathlete Alistair Brownlee also gets an MBE after his triathlon success but brother Jonathan, who took bronze, misses out on an honour.


Katherine Grainger finally got her hands on an elusive Olympic gold

Welsh Tae Kwon Do gold medallist Jade Jones, boxer Anthony Joshua, Paralympic sprinter Jonnie Peacock; long jump hero Greg Rutherford and gymnast Louis Smith are also given MBEs.

The honours do not only recognise Olympians, Paralympians and their coaches, but also those who contributed to London 2012 in a "non-sporting capacity". Locog chair Lord Coe becomes a Companion of Honour (CH).

One notable absentee from the roll is Danny Boyle, the Oscar-winning director who helmed the spectacular opening ceremony to the Olympics. The Trainspotting director is believed to have rejected a knighthood.