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New Year's Honours for Olympic heroes Grainger and Riches
OLYMPIC rowing legend Katherine Grainger has been awarded a CBE in a New Year’s Honour’s list dominated by London 2012 heroes.
And Paralympic gold medallist Naomi Riches was awarded an MBE for her services to rowing.
Marlow rower Grainger earned her place on the list after taking gold at Eton Dorney in one of the great stories of this year’s Games.
Silvers in the three previous Olympiads meant she went to London 2012 as one the greatest sportswomen of her generation, but with a gaping gap on her CV.
Her quest for gold captured the imagination of the nation and made for one of the many memorable highlights of London 2012 when she stormed to victory with Anna Watkins.
Grainger, also previously a three-times silver medal winner since 2000, said of her CBE: “This wonderful honour is a fantastic conclusion to the most incredible year for me. We have all seen the positive influence that sport, volunteering and public support made this summer and I hope that influence will continue for a very long time to come.
“For me personally it was a year that far exceeded all of my hopes and dreams and to be recognised in this way has made the year even more special, something I didn't think possible”.
The 37-year-old has since been named the Sunday Times Olympian of the Year and also won the World Rowing Female Crew of the Year gong with Watkins.
She was also on the shortlist for the 2012 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Naomi Riches, also from Marlow, took gold in the mixed cox four, alongside Pam Relph, James Roe, Dave Smith and cox Lily van den Broecke.
All were awarded MBE's.
Naomi said: "It is a perfect end to an incredible year and I feel very privileged to be counted among those who will receive New Year Honours. 2012 has truly been a year to remember."
The 29-year-old started rowing for Great Britain while she was studying at Buckinghamshire New University in 2006.
Bronze in Beijing followed two years later, before she reached the pinnacle of her sport in London.
She’s not finished yet though, and the 2013 World Rowing Championships in Seoul is her next target.
Other Olympic heroes on the list included Tour De France winner and gold medallist Bradley Wiggins and Ben Ainslie, the most decorated sailor in Olympic history, who both received knighthoods.
Other CBE recipients included such high profile gold medallists such as runner Mo Farah, cyclist Victoria Pendleton and athlete Jessica Ennis.