Olympians Laura and Jason Kenny receive CBEs

Laura KennyImage copyright
PA

Olympians Laura and Jason Kenny have each received CBEs from the Princess Royal for their services to cycling.

“I almost feel like I don’t deserve it,” said four-time gold medallist Laura. “It’s such a huge honour, but I feel like all I do is ride a bike.”

The pair, who are expecting their first child, were both recognised at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

Five Olympic rowers who won gold in the men’s eight at Rio were also honoured.

Paul Bennett, 28, Scott Durant, 29, Matthew Gotrel, 28, and cox Phelan Hill, 37, were made MBEs, while crew-mate Lieutenant Pete Reed received an OBE.

They are among 1,197 people who were recognised for their achievements in the New Year Honours list, many of whom are unknown to the wider public.

Training break

Laura, 25, said “nothing compares” to being named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Speaking after the ceremony, she said Princess Anne had asked her what it was like to take a break from training.

“Obviously she’s from a sporting background herself so she knows what it’s like,” Laura said.

“So that was nice for her to say and actually realise that I haven’t had a break since 2010.”

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Jason and Laura Kenny hold ten Olympic gold medals between them

She added: “Me and Jason are spending a lot more time together.

“We’re doing things we never really did, like going down to my parents’ house, for example.”

Husband Jason, 29, described the day as “mega”, and added that he has the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 in his sights.

Jason, who has six Olympic gold medals, said: “I’m still training, just ticking over, just relaxing, letting the dust settle.

“Obviously we’ve got an extra family member coming at the end of the year.”

Black eye

Show jumper and Olympic gold medallist Nick Skelton was sporting a black eye as he was awarded his CBE by Princess Anne, who is also a horse rider.

Skelton, 59, who announced his retirement earlier this month, said she had asked what caused the injury.

“She said, ‘I hope that was horse-related’.”

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Nick Skelton became Britain’s second-oldest Olympic gold medallist at Rio in 2016

He said: “It actually wasn’t, I fell and hit a wall, and then we were talking about just the horses in general and what I’m doing and what I’m going to do now that I’m retired.”

GB para-archer John Walker was made an MBE, along with England footballers Alexandra Scott and Karen Carney.

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Scott and Carney were both appointed Members of the Order of the British Empire

Carney said it was “massive” to be recognised while Scott said: “I started welling-up a bit.”

She added: “I suppose it brings it all together – what you’ve done and the journey I’ve been on.”

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Para-athlete John Walker was named in the New Year Honours list

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