Queen Elizabeth honours Paralympians in MBE ceremony

ICONINSIDER — Queen Elizabeth has honoured Paralympic gold medallists at a ceremony in Edinburgh.
The 91-year-old monarch held the ceremony at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in the Scottish city on Tuesday (04.07.17), where she bestowed MBE titles upon three Paralympians who brought home gold medals for Great Britain during last year’s Olympic games in Rio.
Wheelchair tennis star Gordon Reid, athlete Jo Butterfield and cyclist Karen Darke were awarded the honour for their sporting successes, as they were joined by poet laureate Professor Carol Ann Duffy, and Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite, who also received the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire title.
After receiving his honour, Gordon said: “It feels great, it’s really a proud moment to receive an MBE from the Queen.”
And Gordon – who picked up his medal in the men’s doubles – noted it was particularly special to have his parents and tennis coach present at the ceremony, as he added: “[They are] the three people that have helped me get here the most out of anyone.”
Jo – who claimed gold in the F51 club throw – insisted meeting the monarch was “a bit surreal”, but enjoyed chatting to her about the games.
She said: “It’s a really nice feeling after what happened with Rio. Obviously we talked about Rio and it being the first Paralympics that I’d been to. It was nice, quite friendly.”
Meanwhile Karen, whose medal came from H1-3 cycling time trial, said it was “great honour” to be made an MBE.
She said: “I think when I’m here about all the people that really helped me get here. I suppose when you’re a Paralympic athlete, it’s never just about yourself, so there are lots of people I can think of that should be here as well.”

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