NICK Skelton has been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours.
The 59 year-old showjumper, who lives near Alcester, won individual gold at his seventh Olympic Games in the summer.
He retired 16 years ago after breaking his neck in two places, but two years after his fall, he was back on a horse and was soon on the winner’s rostrum again – winning the British Open Title with Arko in 2004.
And at the London 2012 Olympics he won gold as part of the winning Great Britain team, before repeating the achievement winning individual gold on his horse Big Star in Rio.
He became Britain’s second-oldest ever Olympic gold medallist at Rio, and also came third in this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, which saw tennis star Andy Murray take the title for a third time.
Mr Sklelton said: “To say I feel honoured and overwhelmed would be an understatement.
“I have always felt extremely fortunate that I have been able to build a career within a sport I am passionate about and it is this that has driven me on, no matter what obstacles have come my way.
“I am incredibly proud to have this honour bestowed on me and I hope that I can continue inspiring others, whether it be through my competitive riding or via the charities that I support.”
Paralympic cyclist Megan Giglia from Stratford was awarded an MBE after she won gold in the individual cycling pursuit at Rio 2016 – her first Paralympics.
Megan had been a school sports coach and a regional officer for Badminton England before she suffered a brain haemorrhage in 2013. A year later she was accepted on to the British Cycling Paralympic Development Programme.
Others honoured included Save the Children volunteer Marilyn Payne from Tredington who was made MBE for her charitable work, while Southam’s John Anderson was recognised with British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community in Burton Dassett and Northend.
And Marion Austin’s work with the community in Norton Lindsey, Wolverton and Langley was recognised with a BEM.