On Tuesday, gold medal Team GB Olympians Laura and Jason Kenny were at Buckingham Palace accepting CBEs from Anne, Princess Royal. They were just two of several athletes at the Palace to be recognised for their athletic achievements. Among them were showjumping champion Nick Skelton, who became Britain’s second-oldest gold medallist with victory at the Rio Olympic Games at the age of 59; Skelton retired from the sport earlier this month. Paralympians, including archers Joanna Frith, John Walker and Jessica Stretton, were also honoured at the ceremony; gold medal winner for cycling and rowing, Rachel Morris also received an award.
Other athletes from Great Britain were honoured at the investiture ceremony. Olympic sailor Hannah Mills and England footballers Alexandra Scott and Karen Carney were all awarded MBEs; rowers Scott Durant, Paul Bennett, Matt Gotrel, Phelan Hill and Pete Reed were also honoured after their team won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Laura, 24, and Jason, 28, married in September and are currently expecting their first child. Laura wrote on social media about the experience: “What a wonderful day collecting our CBE’s together.”
She told ITV News that “nothing compares” to getting the award. She added: “I almost feel like I don’t deserve it – there’s service people, and it’s such a huge honour, but I feel like all I do is ride a bike.” Jason described the event as “mega.” He is still deciding on whether to aim for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Laura also said: “It’s nice [being awarded by the Princess Royal] because obviously, she comes from a sporting background, so she understands it [the pressure].
“She thought it must be odd for me to be having a break because we’re having a baby; so it’s nice for her to recognise that and actually know what it’s like.”