Paralympic teenager Simmonds awarded MBE
ELEANOR Simmonds has vowed to keep her feet on the ground after being awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours List.
FUTURE IS BRIGHT: Eleanor Simmonds MBE is vowing to stay focused on her schoolwork and 2012 medal hopes after being named in the New Year Honours list (Getty Images)
The 14-year old was the face of the triumphant British Paralympic team - which won 102 medals in Beijing, including 42 golds, to finish second to hosts China in the medal table.
Simmonds, who was born with achondroplasia, or dwarfism, rewrote the record books this summer, winning the 100metre freestyle final to become the youngest Briton to win an individual gold medal at the Games.
She then set a world record to clinch the 400m freestyle gold.
Since returning from Beijing, she has been one of the stars of the British team's ticker tape parade through London and been named the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year, beating off competition from junior Wimbledon winner Laura Robson.
"The last three months have been a whirlwind and, while feeling as though I am living in a fairy tale," said Simmonds, the youngest ever recipient of an MBE.
"I now want to work hard to keep my feet on the ground and refocus my efforts on my training and my schoolwork.
"However, by 2012 I hope to repay in part the wonderful accolades and affection that I have received, for which I will always remains unendingly grateful no matter what the future holds."
Lee Pearson, who has now won nine equestrian dressage golds, and swimmer David Roberts - Britain's most successful male Paralympian with 11 golds - are both upgraded to CBEs.
Paralympic cyclists Aileen McGlynn, Ellen Hunter, Darren Kenny and Sarah Storey and swimmer Sacha Kindred are all awarded OBE's for following up on Athens success with more golds in Beijing.
Paralympians are also well represented on the MBE list - with cyclists Mark Bristow, Jody Cundy, Anthony Kappes, Simon Richardson, David Stone and Barney Storey, horse riders Sophie Christiansen and Anne Dunham, wheelchair athlete David Weir and swimmer Matthew Walke, in addition to Simmonds, all recognised.
Behind the scenes, Phillip Lane, chief executive of the British Paralympic Association, and Timothy Reddish, national performance director for British Disability Swimming, are awarded OBEs while Paralympic swimming coach David Pye is awarded an MBE