Paralympians deserve Queen's Honours parity
ALL Paralympic gold medallists should have received New Years Honours, according to the British Paralympic Association.
PARITY: Paralympics GB chief executive Phil Lane OBE and gold medallists Eleanor Simmonds MBE and Lee Pearson CBE (Getty Images)
Every Olympic gold medallist received recognition in the list released today but there was not parity with the Paralympics - although more Paralympians, 18 in total, were honoured than ever before.
Great Britain finished second in the Paralympic medal table behind hosts China - winning 102 medals, including 42 golds.
"We are delighted to see these Paralympic athletes recognised in the honours list for their contribution to British sport and their magnificent achievements," said ParalympicsGB chairman Tim Reddish, who was awarded a OBE for his work as the Performance Director for British Disability Swimming
"We are however very disappointed that not all the Beijing 2008 Paralympic gold medallists could be recognised but we look forward to more athletes being honoured in the future."
Phil Lane, Great Britain's Paralympic chef de mission, was awarded an OBE.
He said: "I am shocked but honoured to be named in the New Year's Honours List.
"2008 has been a superb year for British Paralympic sport and I'm proud of the team's achievements leading into and at the Beijing Games.
"I'm fortunate to lead an organisation with very able staff and extremely talented athletes, whose efforts made our Beijing Paralympic campaign such a success and I would like to dedicate this accolade to them."
Lee Pearson, who has now won nine equestrian dressage golds, and swimmer David Roberts - Britain's most successful male Paralympian with 11 golds - were both upgraded to CBEs.
And 14-year old Eleanor Simmonds became the youngest ever recipient of an MBE for her double swimming gold.