Arise, Dame Katherine: Grainger to be made a dame in New Year honours

Five-time Olympic medallist Katherine Grainger is to be made a Dame in the New Year honours list


Katherine Grainger at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images)

Katherine Grainger’s commitment to sport and charity will see her made a Dame in the New Year honours list.

Grainger has represented Great Britain in five Olympic Games, winning medals at all of them, including gold in the double sculls at London 2012.

At Rio 2016, Grainger became Great Britain’s most decorated female Olympian as she won silver in the double sculls with Vicky Thornley.

She was appointed an MBE in 2006 and a CBE in 2013 for her services to rowing, while this latest honour also recognises the work Grainger has done in the wider sporting landscape and in charity work.

Off the water, Grainger is a board member of International Inspiration, the BOA’s Athletes’ Commission and London Youth Rowing; and honorary patron or vice-patron of a number of sporting and children’s charities. She has also served as chancellor of Oxford Brookes University since March 2015.

Grainger said: “This is an enormous honour and something I could never have imagined when I started my rowing career with British Rowing twenty years ago. It also reflects the fantastic leaps forward our sport has made in that time. I have to thank all of my teammates and coaches and the support staff I have worked with over that time as I wouldn’t have had the success, or this honour, without them.”

Earlier in December, Grainger was voted the Olympian’s Olympian by her fellow British athletes, and admitted she has been Team GB’s “biggest superfan” over the last 20 years. She was also awarded British Rowing’s Medal of Honour.

Annamarie Phelps, British Rowing chairman, said: “Katherine is an amazing ambassador for rowing both on and off the water. Her competitive grit and determination, alongside her commitment to supporting and inspiring excellence in others, are outstanding.

“Katherine has inspired many people, especially women, to get into sport throughout her career and I am delighted that her contribution to rowing, as well as the wider community, has been recognised in this way.”

Performance director Sir David Tanner CBE said: “I am so pleased for Katherine, She has been a trailblazer for rowing since winning silver at Sydney 2000, GBs first ever women’s Olympic rowing medal, and instrumental in the success of British crews since then.

“With her brilliant record of five medals from five consecutive Olympics, she has proved an outstanding role model for the younger members of the team over the past 20 years and I’m sure her achievements will continue to inspire future generations.”

Also honoured were a number of first-time Olympic and Paralympic gold medallists, as well as three-time Olympic champions Pete Reed and Andrew T Hodge, who were awarded OBEs to go with their previous MBEs.