Tag Archives: athlete

Jessica Ennis becomes TV interviewer in park – VIDEO

Which Olympic champion turned TV interviewer with an impromptu workout in the park (she's not really a blonde)

and a dazzling gold medal winner, but she wasn't easily recognised when she put on a wig and took a microphone into Hyde Park.

For regular morning fitness fanatics the last thing you expect is to bump into Sheffield's finest, Jessica Ennis. But one runner got more than he was expecting when she stopped him for a chat – and then offered an impromptu workout.

Scroll down to watch the video

Disguise: Jessica Ennis has a wig fitted as she prepares to undercover and surprise runners in London

Disguise: Jessica Ennis has a wig fitted as she prepares to undercover and surprise runners in London

Disguise: Jessica Ennis has a wig fitted as she prepares to undercover and surprise runners in London

Ennis initially donned a wig, grabbed a microphone and film crew and questioned runners in London's Hyde Park about their training habits.

Then, having revealed herself to one unsuspecting participant, the 27-year-old Olympic heptathlon gold medallist spent an hour showing him ways to improve his fitness.

Using equipment ranging from a medicine ball to a park bench, the amateur athlete is put through
his paces.

The video was shot as part of a new Powerade campaign: ‘You Have More Power Than You Think'.

And with Sunday's London Marathon fast approaching, what better time to pick up some last-minute tips

For more information and to download the training tips, click here.

Up close and personal: Ennis stopped unsuspecting runners to quiz them on their fitness regimes

Up close and personal: Ennis stopped unsuspecting runners to quiz them on their fitness regimes

Surprise: Ennis reveals her true identity to one runner before taking him through a workout

Surprise: Ennis reveals her true identity to one runner before taking him through a workout

Working out: Ennis takes the amatuer athlete through a session involving a variety of exercises

Working out: Ennis takes the amatuer athlete through a session involving a variety of exercises

Working out: Ennis takes the amatuer athlete through a session involving a variety of exercises

Working out: Ennis takes the amatuer athlete through a session involving a variety of exercises

Andy Murray, Jessica Ennis and Sebastian Coe win at Laureus Awards

Ennis, Murray and Coe honoured at Laureus Awards ceremony in Rio after stunning year for British sport

party just a little while longer.

British athletes, past and present, dominated at the Laureus World Sports awards in Rio de Janeiro on Monday night, as the world of international sport gathered at a glittering ceremony to celebrate an unforgettable year.

Britain may have handed over the Olympic and Paralympic flames to the 2016 host city, but the memory of London 2012 still burnt particularly bright 6,000 miles away in south America on Monday night.

Congratulations: Track and field athlete Jessica Ennis receives her award for 'Laureus Sportswomen of the Year' as presenters Nadia Comaneci and Eva Longoria look on

Congratulations: Track and field athlete Jessica Ennis receives her award for 'Laureus Sportswomen of the Year' as presenters Nadia Comaneci and Eva Longoria look on

Couldn't make it: Andy Murray accepts his award on video because he was in Indian Wells to face Evgeny Donskoy

Couldn't make it: Andy Murray accepts his award on video because he was in Indian Wells to face Evgeny Donskoy

Ennis

Actress Maggie Cheung with Laureus Academy Member Martina Navratilova announce Andy Murray as the winner of 'Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year'

The winners…

World Sportsman of the Year – Usain Bolt

World Sportswoman of the Year – Jessica Ennis

World Breakthrough of the Year – Andy Murray

World Comeback of the Year – Felix Sanchez

World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability – Daniel Dias

Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award – Michael Phelps

Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award – Sebastian Coe

World Team of the Year – European Ryder Cup Team

World Action Sportsperson of the Year – Felix Baumgarter

Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis was crowned World Sportswoman of the Year, while Andy Murray won World Breakthrough and Sebastian Coe received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Ian Poulter also accepted the Team of the Year prize on behalf of his European Ryder Cup team-mates.

Tony Blair called Lord Coe one of the ‘giants of British sport’ as the chairman of the London 2012 organising committee and double Olympic champion received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Edwin Moses and was honoured with a standing ovation.

‘I’m surrounded by the most extraordinary group of people, global icons,’ said Lord Coe, ‘and I realise that there is a commonality in the unshakeable belief we have in sport and the fact it transforms lives. This is extraordinary. I’m very, very flattered.’

Ennis beat off competition from fellow Olympic track and field gold medallists Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Allyson Felix, swimmer Missy Franklin, skier Lindsey Vonn and tennis star Serena Williams to win her award, which was presented by former gymnast Nadia Comanechi.

A few hours earlier in a luxurious Rio hotel, Ennis had been discussing her shock and sadness at the closure of Don Valley Stadium in her hometown of Sheffield. Yet she looked equally composed collecting her award at the city’s dramatic Theatro Muncipal last night, during her 36-hour trip to the city in which she will aim to defend her Olympic title in three years’ time. We all know about the extraordinary pressure Ennis was under as the poster girl of London 2012, but it was poignant to see how the sporting world has realised it, too.

‘There was a lot of pressure in London,’ she said. ‘I looked back to what Cathy Freeman achieved in Sydney in 2000 (winning the 400 metres) and I really wanted to emulate that. I have incredible support from my friends and family and I was able to do it.’

Seb Coe

Usain Bolt

Triumphant: Lord Sebastian Coe (above) won the Laureus Lifetime Achievement award while Usain Bolt (right and below) was crowned World Sportsman of the Year

Victory: Usain Bolt

The winners are chosen by the Laureus Sports Academy, comprising 46 of the ‘greatest living sportsmen and sportswomen’, including Sir Bobby Charlton, Daley Thompson and Sir Steve Redgrave, who were all in Rio. Double Olympic decathlon champion Thompson, however, was the only Academy member in a T-Shirt and tracksuit.

Thompson said: ‘Jessica’s performance was majestic. She had the whole weight of the country’s expectation on her shoulders. Despite that, she certainly delivered.

‘She not only produced a wonderful display in her events but she gave the British team an enormous lift. Jessica showed she could win a gold medal, so everyone who followed her also felt they could do it as well.’

Murray was another British winner, receiving the Laureus Breakthrough award after winning Olympic gold and silver and his first Grand Slam at the US Open champion last September.

The Scot, 25, did not attend the ceremony owing to playing commitments in Indian Wells, but said: ‘It was an amazing year: my first Grand Slam in New York and two medals at the Olympics in my home country.

Chit chat: Usian Bolt talks to Laureus Academy Member Michael Johnson as he accepts his award

Laureus Academy Chairman Edwin Moses hands the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award to Coe

Acceptance: Bolt takes his award from Michael Johnson, while Laureus Academy chairman Edwin Moses hands the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award to Coe

Seb Coe with his trophy

'I would have taken that at the start of the year, that’s for sure. Winning an award like this will definitely make me more determined to come back and do better in 2013.’

A video was shown of Poulter receiving the Team of the Year award to mark Europe’s thrilling comeback to win the Ryder Cup.

‘With the legends in sport that have voted for us, it truly is a special trophy to put our hands on,’ he said.

Redgrave presented Michael Phelps with
the inaugural Exceptional Achievement Award, while Mark Spitz also paid
the American a tribute via video link. Phelps, though, was emphatic he
has no intention of trying to add to his 22 Olympic medals in Rio in
2016.

Other winners included
Usain Bolt, who won gold in the 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay in London
and became Sportsmen of the Year for the third time, and Felix Sanchez,
the Olympic 400m hurdles champion in 2012 – eight years after his
Olympic title in Athens.

Brazilian
swimmer Daniel Dias, who won six individual gold medals at the
Paralympic Games, fended off competition from Britain’s David Weir to
win Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability. Austrian skydiver Felix
Baumgarter, who became the first human to go through the sound barrier
when he completed a 24-mile free fall over New Mexico in October, was
named World Action Sportsperson of the Year.

Nice work: Michael Phelps poses with the Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award in the winners studio at Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro

Nice work: Michael Phelps poses with the Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award in the winners studio at Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro

Nigel Levine wins silver medal in 400 metres at the European Indoors championships

Levine wins 400m silver medal in Gothenburg but Meadows misses out

after suffering an achilles injury in September 2011, but had targeted a medal in the event she won in Paris two years ago. The Wigan athlete was only awarded her title two weeks ago after Russia's Yevgeniya Zinurova received a backdated doping ban.

Meadows said: 'I feel a bit silly to say I feel disappointed that I came fourth – it’s an amazing achievement – but I’ve tried to keep my lack of preparation at the back of my head. If I stood on the track thinking that, I probably wouldn’t have even got to the final.

'A medal would have been a bonus and I was good enough to get a medal. I’ve let myself down a little bit tactically but I’m fit and healthy and in one piece and it’s a way forward for the summer.'

Lance Armstrong drug confession saddens Roger Federer

Armstrong has damaged all sports… not just cycling, says 'saddened' Federer

By
James Andrew

PUBLISHED:

05:37 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

05:37 GMT, 20 January 2013

Roger Federer has expressed his sadness at American cyclist Lance Armstrong's admission that he cheated his way to seven Tour de France wins and believes it will have a negative impact on all sport.

Armstrong confessed in a televised interview with chat show host Oprah Winfrey this week to using banned performance-enhancing substances to establish himself as one of the biggest names in sport.

'What a sad story,' 17-times grand-slam winner Federer said after reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Sad times: Roger Federer says Lance Armstrong's confession has hurt all of sport

Sad times: Roger Federer says Lance Armstrong's confession has hurt all of sport

'I don't know what to say. It just really saddens me to see that someone did this for such a long time.

'Obviously he's hurt his sport in a big way, even though he helped it in the beginning. But now the burden they live under, all other sports maybe as well.

'I'm an active athlete right now and it's not fun times really to be in sports to a degree. I guess all I needed to see was the first few minutes of the interview and then I knew what was the deal, and the rest I don't really care.

Coming clean: Disgraced cyclist Armstrong reveals all to Oprah Winfrey

Coming clean: Disgraced cyclist Armstrong reveals all to Oprah Winfrey

'It's just very saddening this story, to be honest.'

Serena Williams, who has won 15 grand slam titles, earlier admitted she had been 'glued' to the televised confessional.

'I think as an athlete, as someone that works really, really hard since I was four or three, I think it's a sad day for all athletes in general,' the American said.

Lance Armstrong

Roger Federer

Questions: Federer fears that Armstrong's admission will lead to people questioning other great athletes

'But I think overall it's even more disappointing for the people that were adversely affected through everything. You can only just hope for the best for them.

'Unfortunately, I think a lot of people now look and are like, okay, if somebody that great (has been cheating) what about everyone else in every other sport'

Dedicated: Serena Williams says the Armstrong saga was a sad day for athletes

Dedicated: Serena Williams says the Armstrong saga was a sad day for athletes

Paul Wood is to wear a box after rupturing his testicle and has moved in with Holly Henderson

Boxed in: Wood relieved to be back after ruptured testicle but not so happy about his extra protection

By
Ian Laybourn, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

17:07 GMT, 8 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:10 GMT, 8 January 2013

Warrington forward Paul Wood, who played on in the Grand Final with a ruptured testicle, has decided to take further precaution this season by wearing a box.

Wood was dubbed the toughest athlete in the world after the incident and was back in training within a week of surgery.

He cannot wait to play again and said: 'I had a box fitted but whether I play in it all year I don’t know.

Hard nut: Paul Wood carried on playing in the Grand Final against Leeds after rupturing a testicle

Hard nut: Paul Wood carried on playing in the Grand Final against Leeds after rupturing a testicle

'I’ve tried it out. I prefer not to
play in it but, once I get a bit of confidence, I’ll probably take it
off, especially when it gets warm.'

Warrington head to Tenerife next
week for a warm-weather training camp ahead of their opening Super League match
against Castleford on February 3.

'It will be good to get back on the
field and get some normality back,' he added. 'It’s good when you’ve got
something to focus on throughout the week. You’re a bit lost without
the games.

'Once the season is finished you’re
glad because you can get over your aches and pains but once you’ve had a
couple of weeks off you’re ready to get back into it.

'I can’t wait for the season to
start. I’m out of contract this year and I’d like to sign another
extension and finish my career at Warrington.

'It’s going to be a big year for me. I need to have the best year I’ve had.'

Wood has also had to endure shocking revelations about his personal life since getting injured.

He opened up about his obsessive compulsive disorder in the build-up to the Challenge Cup final last summer.

Wood has found stardom, and with it a new celebrity girlfriend in Holly Henderson

Lovers: Wood has found stardom, and with it a new celebrity girlfriend in Holly Henderson

And the 31-year-old prop hit the headlines last week when he was alleged to have left his wife Shelley and two young children to move in with local celebrity Holly Henderson, who used to date Manchester City footballer Mario Balotelli.

Wood might have been forgiven for keeping a low profile at Warrington's pre-season media day but he was happy to fulfil his duties at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

'I thought I’d face the music,' he said. 'I’ve nothing to hide.

'There’s been some truth in the papers and there’s been some lies as well but I’m not going to broadcast my personal life. I’ll leave it as it is.

'The people who are close to me know exactly what’s gone on and they’re the people that count.'

Wood was a little more forthcoming over the injury that brought him worldwide fame.

The tough-tackling forward played on for 20 minutes after accidentally being kneed in the groin by Leeds centre Kallum Watkins at the start of the second half of the Grand Final.

He made no mention of the injury in post-match interviews but was subsequently taken to hospital for surgery to have the testicle removed and later made light of his misfortune, tweeting: 'Just coming out of hospital to go home … Seriously feel like I’ve left something'.

Wood (left tackler) has always been known as a no-nonsense player

Strongman: Wood (left tackler) has always been known as a no-nonsense player

The tweet soon went viral and, for the first time in a 13-year career at the highest level of domestic rugby league, Wood was a man in demand.

'The reaction was absolutely unbelievable – everyone wanted to talk to me,' he said.

'The weirdest thing was seeing my story come up as a question on The Million Pound Drop with Davina McCall.

'It was good for rugby league. It’s probably had more coverage than anything else over the last few years.

'Someone told me I was among the five best sporting moments of the year in a magazine so again it’s just good for rugby league, that people appreciate how hard the game is.'

Twitter in 2013: Who to look out for

Who should you be following in 2013 Ten rising sports stars to track on Twitter

. Who are the rising stars of 2013

Sportsmail takes a look at whose Twitter feed will be worth following this year.

Chris Froome – @chrisfroome

No-one is quite sure yet who the cycling top dog will be in 2013, but Chris Froome is determined to be Britain’s main man in the Tour de France. As last year’s runner-up, and having held back on a break for the yellow jersey himself at the behest of Sky’s management, Froome is itching to get his chance to shine.

He has already confirmed that, if asked to, he will repeat the task this year. But he has also made it clear that he believes his time is now, and he is organising his schedule around the assumption that he will be leading the team.

Should he miss out on that chance, this Twitter account may be one that features a few expletives in 2013.

Uncertain: Bradley Wiggins (left) and Chris Froome will bid to lead Team Sky in the Tour de France

Uncertain: Bradley Wiggins (left) and Chris Froome will bid to lead Team Sky in the Tour de France

Michelle Cound – @michellecound

Not technically an athlete, but if anyone wants an insight into tensions in the Sky Team camp as the Tour de France approaches, this woman’s Twitter account is the one to watch. The loyal girlfriend of Chris Froome garnered considerable attention in 2012 when a spat erupted between herself and Catherine Wiggins.

The pair traded digs relating to Wiggins’ domination of the race and the demands from Team Sky that Froome take the back-seat supporting role. 'Team work is also about giving the people around you, that support you, a chance to shine in their own right,' the sports photographer tweeted after Stage 11, in which Froome was asked to hold back to allow Wiggins to retain the yellow jersey.

On the move Wilfried Zaha is bound for the top

On the move Wilfried Zaha is bound for the top

Wilfried Zaha – @wilfriedzaha

The humble 20-year-old said this week that his friends in the Premier League have been asking why it’s taking him so long to get there.

This January, Zaha will be a stranger to the top flight no more, and the Crystal Palace striker is looking forward to the challenge.

Manchester United and Arsenal are ready to start the bidding at around 10million.

It’s not likely to be a completely smooth transition. Zaha admitted that training with the England team was a shock to the system and showed him the intensity that is required at the top level.

This year will definitely be the biggest of his career.

Laura Robson – @laurarobson5

It was back in 2008 that a fresh-faced Laura Robson held the junior Wimbledon trophy aloft. At the tender age of 14, the youngster had the expectations of a nation craving Grand Slam glory on her shoulders.

She took some time to make her mark on the seniors tour, but now Robson is starting to come into her own.

She rode the wave of Olympic euphoria to win a silver medal in the mixed doubles last summer, alongside Andy Murray. During 2012 she rose from No 113 to No 53 in the world rankings, and she now sits only four places down from Heather Watson, Britain’s No.1.

She also took Hsieh Su-wei to three sets in her first WTA final at the Guangzhou Open. Most of her tweets involve pictures of cute animals, so there’s another reason to keep an eye on this rising star’s Twitter in 2013.

Moving up: Laura Robson enjoyed a remarkable year in 2012 and will be hoping for more of the same

Moving up: Laura Robson enjoyed a remarkable year in 2012 and will be hoping for more of the same

Max Chilton – @maxchilton

Chilton’s time will come in 2013 as the 21-year-old joins Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Paul di Resta as the fourth Briton on the Formula One grid.

He was appointed as a reserve for the Marussia team last September, but has been called in to fill the gap left by Charles Pic, who recently joined Caterham.

So far Chilton doesn’t seem to have been intimidated by the prospect of joining the elite circuit. After receiving the news he tweeted: ‘It's hard to put into words how I am feeling but I know I am full of energy and ready give it my all next year in my first F1 season! #f1.’ Keep an eye on this young racer in the coming year.

Inspired: Manu Tuilagi will be crucial for England

Inspired: Manu Tuilagi will be crucial for England

Manu Tuilagi – @Manutuilagi

2011
was a year of disappointment for Manu Tuilagi, as an ill-fated dive in
the Auckland dock brought even more criticism from those back home who
had just witnessed England crash out of the World Cup.

But last year
brought a little more cheer for the Samoan, especially after his
starring turn against the All Blacks in the Autumn internationals.

His
magnificent interception and flight up the left wing sealed victory for
the England squad against the supposed insurmountable New Zealanders,
salvaging a considerable amount of dignity for the home side.

This year’s Lions tour is likely to see the spotlight settle on him once
more.

Yohan Blake – @YohanBlake

Usain Bolt is such a presence in athletics that it is sometimes easy to forget those running alongside him. But Yohan Blake is becoming a big enough personality alongside his fellow countryman that he is making himself hard to ignore.

He was the third runner in Jamaica’s team when they won the 100m relay last summer in a world record-breaking time.

In the 200m final he had to make do with coming second to Bolt, just as he did in the 100m. But he gave his compatriot much more of a challenge than any other athlete so far.

He has beaten his training partner on the smaller stages – at the Jamaican Olympic trials in June. Could this be the year that Blake overcomes his greatest rival while the world watches

We’ll have to wait for the World Championships in August to find out.

Fierce competition: Yohan Blake looks set to push Usain Bolt all the way in both the 100m and 200m

Fierce competition: Yohan Blake looks set to push Usain Bolt all the way in both the 100m and 200m

Dan Greaves – @DiscusDan

The British discus thrower actually trained for able-bodied competitions, and competed in them, before realising that his Talipes feet qualified him for the Paralympics. He has taken home a medal in every Games he has competed in – gold in 2000 and 2004, bronze in 2008 and silver in last year’s Summer Games.

He also broke the world record with his second gold in Athens, and then went on to break it three times in 2011, as well as winning his third World Championship gold medal. You can bet that when the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon roll around, ‘Discus Dan’ will be seeking gold once more.

Looking forward: Dan Greaves will be looking for his fourth World Championship gold medal in 2013

Looking forward: Dan Greaves will be looking for his fourth World Championship gold medal in 2013

One to watch: England's Joe Root has a bright future

One to watch: England's Joe Root has a bright future

Joe Root – @joeroot05

The
youthful-looking 22-year-old has been hailed by Michael Vaughn as the
successor to the England captaincy. Now the opening batsman for
Yorkshire, Root made his Test debut against India last month and came
away with an innings of 73, after batting for close to five hours with a
permanent air of calm.

We
may see him included in the squad for England’s next Test against
Dunedin in March, and with back-to-back series against both New Zealand
and Australia in 2013, there’s likely to be a lot of exposure coming the
way of this Yorkshire lad.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson – @JohnsonThompson

Jessica Ennis might have been our golden girl at the Olympics, but look to the future and you’ll see someone ready to take her crown in years to come. Johnson-Thompson has already beaten Ennis’ British junior record by 338 points and her 1.89m in the Olympic high jump was a personal best.

She’s a consistent gold medallist at junior level, but looks set to take her place on the world stage in 2013 after being inspired by the Ennis' success this summer.

Bright star: Katarina Johnson-Thompson has been hailed as the 'next Jessica Ennis'

Bright star: Katarina Johnson-Thompson has been hailed as the 'next Jessica Ennis'

David Weir hits out at New Year Honours system

Weir having to win more medals to get recognised! Paralympic hero hits out at New Year Honours system after CBE

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UPDATED:

11:31 GMT, 29 December 2012

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

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

Olympic cyclist Bradley Wiggins and British Cycling performance director Dave 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.

Golden boy: David Weir won four events at London 2012

Golden boy: David Weir won four events at London 2012

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.

What a summer: Weir played his part in a brilliant period for British sport

What a summer: Weir played his part in a brilliant period for British sport

'Kelly Holmes was made a dame 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.

Sarah Story named Dame in New Year Honours List

Fairy Storey! Dame Sarah and Weirwolf head list of Paralympic heroes honoured

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UPDATED:

00:02 GMT, 29 December 2012

Sarah Storey won Great Britain's first gold medal of a memorable Paralympic Games and has now completed a stunning 2012 by being named a Dame in the Queen's New Year Honours.

Storey, like David Weir, finished with four gold medals from four events and carried the Union Flag at the closing ceremony along with the wheelchair racer, who has been awarded a CBE.

Scroll down for a full list of Paralympic Honours

Stars: Sarah Storey (above) has been named a Dame while David Weir (below) has been awarded a CBE

Stars: Sarah Storey (above) has been named a Dame while David Weir (below) has been awarded a CBE

David Weir celebrates winning Gold during the Men's 800m - T54 Final

Storey has been honoured for a Paralympic career which began as a 14-year-old swimmer in Barcelona in 1992 and featured four Games in the pool before she switched to the bike ahead of the Beijing Games in 2008.

In London, her sixth Games, the 35-year-old from Disley, Cheshire, took her tally to 11 Paralympic gold medals, equalling former wheelchair racer Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson's haul.

Storey and Weir were Britain's most prolific winners at the Paralympics as the hosts won 34 gold and 120 medals in all, while the nation marvelled at the athletes' ability, forgetting the impairment of an individual and concentrating on the sport.

'Wow, I am speechless but incredibly honoured and extremely proud to be able to accept the DBE,' said Storey, who recently announced she was pregnant.

Laden: Storey won four golds in London

Laden: Storey won four golds in London

'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.'

Weir won the last home gold of a memorable summer with victory in the marathon on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.

The 33-year-old from Wallington, Surrey, led the athletics team to a series of stirring triumphs, including for amputee sprinter Jonnie Peacock, who won the blue riband event of the Games, the T44 100metres, ahead of the likes of Oscar Pistorius.

Peacock is awarded an MBE, as are fellow athletes Richard Whitehead, Aled Davies, Mickey Bushell, Hannah Cockroft, Aled Davies and Josie Pearson, who all won Paralympic gold to send a capacity 80,000 Olympic Stadium crowd into raptures.

Swimmer Ellie Simmonds was once again the darling of the Games, dealing with the expectation and her image staring down on all entering the Olympic Park from the Westfield Shopping Centre, by taking two titles before her 18th birthday, four years after two wins as a 13-year-old.

Simmonds is awarded an OBE, an honour also bestowed upon Sophie Christiansen, who won three equestrian gold medals in Greenwich.

She said: 'It's been a great honour to be included in the list which caps an amazing year for me personally and for British sport.'

Natasha Baker won two para-equestrian titles and is awarded an MBE along with Christiansen's team-mates in the team championship Deborah Criddle and Sophie Wells.

Ten-time Paralympic champion Lee
Pearson, the fourth member of the winning quartet, did not receive an
honour, having been made an MBE following the 2008 Games.

Sealed with a kiss: Ellie Simmonds (above) and Jonnie Peacock (below) were also among the gold medals

Sealed with a kiss: Ellie Simmonds (above) and Jonnie Peacock (below) were also among the gold medals

Jonnie Peacock

Storey's husband Barney also did not make the list, despite claiming his third Paralympic title in London.

His tandem partner Neil Fachie was awarded an MBE, as was tandem pilot rider Craig MacLean, who won an Olympic medal in Sydney in 2000 and piloted Anthony Kappes to gold in London.
Like Barney Storey, Kappes was not honoured this time around.

Road cyclist David Stone won road race gold at Brands Hatch, but also missed out on a fresh honour, having already been made an MBE.

All other London 2012 gold medal winners were honoured, with boccia player Nigel Murray given an MBE for his long and distinguished career which has featured two Paralympic titles and bronze in London.

PARALYMPIC ATHLETES HONOURED

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 – athleticsNeil 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

SPOTY 2012: Andy Murray should have won, not Bradley Wiggins

If it's really about sport, Murray should have prevailed over Wiggins

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UPDATED:

09:57 GMT, 17 December 2012

You could easily have made a case for half a dozen different winners. And that’s just among those who didn’t make the top 12.

It is inevitable, then, that last night’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year victory for Bradley Wiggins will not represent the end of the debate.

Ah, how glorious it is to argue over which of Britain’s multi-talented, honour-laden, phenomenally successful sporting ambassadors should be named first among equals in a public poll.

At last: Andy Murray won the US Open to end years 76 years of hurt

At last: Andy Murray won the US Open to end years 76 years of hurt

Murray's mint

Martin Samuel also felt the Scot should have won last night

Anyone who knows athletics understands how impossible it should have been for Mo Farah to do the distance double. Or how about Jess Ennis, THE face of London 2012, having missed Beijing through injury

Chris Hoy, Britain’s greatest ever Olympian. The Paralympians who changed attitudes about disability in Britain — and beyond. All held a claim on the crown.

But, if it’s really about the sport, the prize should have gone to Andy Murray. Put bluntly, he didn’t just succeed when it mattered — he also triumphed with the weight of history on his shoulders.

Winner: Bradley Wiggins was crowned Sports Personality of the Year

Winner: Bradley Wiggins was crowned Sports Personality of the Year

That is not something you could say about even Wiggins, as remarkable achievement it was being the first British winner of the Tour de France.

While that historic victory will stand for the ages, it is not as if Wiggo has had to deal with years and years of endless questioning over when one of ‘our boys’ might finally end the wait for a Continent-conquering road warrior to emerge.

As much as we all celebrated the win by a fantastic athlete and all-round geezer, if he had finished runner-up or even ninth, the nation would have shrugged and moved on.

Recognised: Murray came third and was presented the trophy by Lennox Lewis

Recognised: Murray came third and was presented the trophy by Lennox Lewis

Murray Every time he has ‘squandered’ a Grand Slam opportunity, the wailing and gnashing of teeth has been heard around the world. Oh, how could that serial Scottish loser possibly let Britain down again He alone had lived with the ghost of Fred Perry, British angst, 1936 and all that.

And he’d failed in four Slam finals. No one had ever lost their first five. No other nominee can understand what it’s like to have lived under that kind of expectation for more than just a couple of weeks during one glorious sporting summer.

Let the debate continue, then. Enjoy it. We may never get the chance to argue like this again.

Paula Radcliffe decision to keep on racing welcomed by UK athletics chief

Radcliffe decision to keep on racing welcomed by head of UK athletics

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UPDATED:

13:02 GMT, 10 December 2012

UK Athletics head coach Peter Eriksson has welcomed Paula Radcliffe's determination to resume her career next year, insisting only she knows when it is time to retire.

Radcliffe was unable to compete in the marathon at this summer’s London Olympics due to injury, and lost her Lottery funding as she is no longer seen as a realistic medal contender in global championships.

But despite turning 39 next Monday, the marathon world record holder said she is 'desperate' to return to competition in 2013.

Flying the flag: Radcliffe has vowed to continue racing

Flying the flag: Radcliffe has vowed to continue racing

'I know she had an operation on her foot and it will take some time for her to get back to running, but I see it as very positive if she is still hungry to perform,' Eriksson told the Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC Radio Five Live.

'If she does the right things and doesn’t push it too hard, I think she will be fine.

'The athletes know by themselves when it’s time to retire and they have to come to terms with that on their own, it’s nothing you force people into.

'She is a very talented athlete and if she is hungry to race then I think that’s great for us.'

Eriksson was appointed in October and is helping to oversee UKA’s plans for a single high performance institute in Loughborough.

Loughborough will be used as 'the engine' of British athletics according to Eriksson, but the Swede acknowledged that the likes of Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Adam Gemili will not be required to use the facility on a full-time basis.

Greek tragedy: Radcliffe pulled up during the marathon at 2004 Olympics

Greek tragedy: Radcliffe pulled up during the marathon at 2004 Olympics

Gemili’s coach Michael Afilaka lost his
full-time position with UK Athletics recently and the 19-year-old world
junior champion does not want to move from his London base to work with
another coach in Loughborough.

'I talked to him and he is very
comfortable in his environment,” Eriksson said. 'We have supported his
coach this year and we will find a way to do that in the future.

'We are having coach-based support so there will be some funding going towards Adam’s coaching. He is really keen on staying where he is because he goes to the university, he is close to the training facility and has his coach there so I don’t see a reason to change that at all.

Tough cookie: Radcliffe is desperate to return to competition next year

Tough cookie: Radcliffe is desperate to return to competition next year

'We need to ensure that each athlete and their coach get as much support as we can give them and we need to build a team, but in addition to that we also have a lot of athletes coming up in under-18, under-20, under-23 age groups that are performing really well.

'We need to have those and turn them into medallists and that’s why we try to hire the best coaches and have one central hub that is the engine of the sport.

'You don’t want to take an athlete out of their environment where they are comfortable and have good support, but we also want them to come and be part of the centre. They can come and go, they don’t have to live there, to move anywhere.

'Mo Farah and Jess Ennis have a great environment so why change that We just have to optimise it for them.'

Eriksson also reiterated that, unlike his predecessor Charles van Commenee, he has a good relationship with triple jumper Phillips Idowu, who failed to reach the Olympic final after a controversial and injury-hit build-up.

'He is aiming to bring back a gold medal at the World Championships (in Moscow next year) and I am looking forward to seeing him back on the team again,' Eriksson added.

'If he is fully healed from all his injuries, which he is now, there is no reason why he shouldn’t perform good again so you have to say it’s over now and we have to move forward and do better.'