Laura Kenny and her husband Jason Kenny head the list of British cyclists recognised in the New Year Honours published this evening following their record-breaking performances at the Tokyo Olympics this summer – respectively being made a dame and a knight.
Jason retained his men’s Keirin title in Japan to take his seventh Olympic title and move him one ahead of former team-mate Sir Chris Hoy to become Great Britain’s most successful ever Olympic athlete.
He’s also won more gold medals than any other cyclist in Olympic Games history, and across all sports ranks 15th equal on the list of multiple champions headed by the American swimmer Michael Phelps.
Laura, partnering Katie Archibald, won the women’s Madison in Tokyo taking her total haul of gold medals to five, after winning the team pursuit and omnium at London 2012 and retaining both titles in Rio four years later.
She is the most successful female cyclist and British woman at the Olympics, and no married couple has won more titles at the Games than she and Jason, with whom she had a son, Albie, in 2017.
The Kennys – or Dame Laura and Sir Jason as we should perhaps now get used to calling them – head the list of members of the Great Britain Cycling Team who have been honoured following their performances at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo earlier this year.
Jody Cundy was made a CBE, while Kadeena Cox received an OBE as they took their respective Paralympic gold medal hauls to five and four in Tokyo, where both were part of the Paralympic GB line-up that won the C1-5 mixed team sprint in Tokyo, together with Jaco van Gass, who has been awarded an MBE. Cox also won the women’s C4-C5 time trial at the Games.
Also awarded MBEs are Tom Pidcock, Beth Shriever, Matt Walls, Ben Watson and Charlotte Worthington, all of whom won gold in Tokyo.
Pidcock and Walls triumphed at the Olympics in the men’s mountain bike cross country race and men’s omnium, respectively, while Shriever won the women’s BMX race and Worthington the women’s BMX Freestyle event, which made its debut in Tokyo.
Watson, meanwhile, won Paralympic gold in both the men’s C3 Time Trial C3 and the C1-C3 Road Race.
Great Britain Cycling Team performance director – himself awarded a CBE today – said: “Not only are Jason and Laura true masters of their craft, they are also wonderful team-mates, role models and ambassadors for our sport.
“I’m personally delighted that their remarkable performances have been recognised in the New Year Honours list and they should both be incredibly proud of what they have achieved.
“While Jason and Laura will rightly take the plaudits, we should also take this opportunity to acknowledge all of those in our coaching and support teams who have worked so hard over the years to set them on the path to success.
“Our country simply could not produce such great champions without them,” added Park, who had previously been awarded an OBE after leading Team GB’s sailing team to four gold medals at Beijing in 2008.
Frank Slevin, chair of British Cycling, said: “I’m delighted to see Jason and Laura’s names added to a growing list of cycling’s Knights and Dames, reflecting both the unprecedented success we have enjoyed over recent years and our sport’s ever-growing place in the nation’s hearts and minds.
“Behind every Olympic and Paralympic champion is an army of grassroots volunteers, coaches, organisers and officials, many of whom will have been proudly serving the sport since long before Jason and Laura took their first pedal strokes on the track at the National Cycling Centre and Welwyn Wheelers’ velodrome.”
He added: “We know that by continuing to offer welcoming and accessible opportunities and facilities for people to get on their bike, and the support they need to fulfil their talent, we can play our part in developing the champions of tomorrow and inspiring millions more to discover the joy of our sport.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.