Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold given OBE

9 June 2018, 09:11 | Updated: 9 June 2018, 09:14

Lizzy Yarnold

Kent's double Winter Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold has been given an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

She made history in Pyeongchang in February when her victory in the women's skeleton made her the first British athlete to defend a Winter Olympic title.

The 29-year-old, who was awarded an MBE after her initial triumph at the Sochi 2014 Games, claimed victory by almost half a second over silver medallist Jacqueline Lolling of Germany.

Yarnold said: "I have seen the news today that I have been awarded an OBE.

"I am hugely honoured as it's been a great year for me and Team GB, and to receive it on the Queen's Birthday Honours list means so much to me.

"I want to encourage future generations of athletes and Olympians and I can't wait to see what the future holds for my sport and for Team GB."

Mike Hay, Team GB's Chef de Mission for Pyeongchang, who led the team to a record-breaking five medal haul, has also been awarded an OBE.

Hay receives his award 14 years after being awarded an MBE for his role as a coach in Great Britain's women's curling gold medal in Salt Lake City.

British Olympic Association chief executive Bill Sweeney hailed the awards to Yarnold and Hay, plus former Olympic heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua, who has also received an OBE.

Sweeney said: "We are incredibly proud of those honoured today for their contribution to Olympism.

"In particular, Lizzy Yarnold and Anthony Joshua are great examples of athletes that were able to fulfil their not only their Olympic ambitions, but give so much back to their communities and country.

"As Chef de Mission, Mike Hay has presided over unprecedented consecutive Winter Games successes, bringing to bear his knowledge and experience in a highly competitive and unpredictable environment.

"His excellent relationships with our winter sports and athletes was self-evident in Pyeongchang and we're delighted he has been awarded an OBE."