New Year honours for rowers
The British and New Zealand 2013 New Year Honours lists have acknowledged their country’s top Olympic rowers.
In New Zealand Olympic gold medallists in the men’s pair, Eric Murray and Hamish Bond capped off a phenomenal 2012 year with a MNZM – Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit for their services to rowing. Murray and Bond were also awarded the Lonsdale Cup. The Lonsdale Cup is awarded to an active athlete(s) who has made an outstanding contribution to an Olympic sport.
The Olympic gold medal men’s double sculls of Joseph Sullivan and Nathan Cohen were also awarded the MNZM for their services to rowing.
All four of these New Zealand athletes have committed to continue rowing through to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
In Great Britain, Katherine Grainger, winner of the women’s double sculls at the London Olympic Games was honoured with a CBE, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Grainger is Great Britain’s most successful female rower and her 2012 Olympic gold comes after winning silver at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.
All other British Olympic and Paralympic gold medal rowers received the MBE, Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, unless they had already received one following the Beijing Olympics.
Great Britain’s performance director for rowing, David Tanner received a knighthood earning Tanner the title of ‘sir’. This recognises Tanner’s part that he has played in Great Britain being the top rowing nation at London and the Beijing Olympics.
Two British coaches were also honoured. Paul Thompson, chief coach of the women and lightweights and coach Robin Williams both received MBE’s.