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Sunday 31 August 2014

Olympic stars honoured by Queen

Published 28/02/2013 | 12:21

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Jessica Ennis and the Queen chatted about the athlete's training regime during the investiture ceremony
Greg Rutherford receives his MBE from the Queen
Nicola Adams receives her Member of the British Empire medal from the Queen

A host of Britain's Olympic stars have been honoured by the Queen for their stunning achievements at the London 2012 Games.

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Used to a starring role, Jessica Ennis, who took heptathlon gold, wowed the crowds at Buckingham Palace in an Antonio Berardi dress.

The 27-year-old received the CBE watched by fiance Andy Hill - who she will marry this year - but confessed she was so nervous she forgot what the Queen said to her.

"It still doesn't feel real, to be honest," she said. "It was just an amazing year for British athletics and British sport and to be part of that in such a big way was incredible."

Ennis, overcoming a cold, was part of a veritable who's who of Olympic champions at the palace.

Sprint cyclist Jason Kenny, 24, was awarded an OBE, with MBEs going to long jumper Greg Rutherford, 26, flyweight boxer Nicola Adams, 30, and cycling team pursuit gold winner Joanna Rowsell, 24.

Performance director of British Cycling Sir David Brailsford received a knighthood for services to cycling and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Sir David led Britain to eight cycling gold medals for a second successive Olympics and Team Sky to a historic one-two in the Tour de France in 2012.

He said: "I'm honoured. It means so much and is such a humbling experience. I'm very proud. The Queen congratulated me on my birthday, which is actually on the 29th, which made her chuckle. I'm 49. We talked about the Olympics and how proud everyone was and what a great event it had been."

For double gold winner Kenny, meeting the Queen was more nerve-racking than competing. He said: "It's the ultimate pressure situation. I'm not very good with words especially when the pressure's on. It's terrible."

Adams was also feeling the nerves, saying she was "more nervous for that than I was going in for my fight", but Rowsell had no such problems. She said: "After the Olympics I don't think I'll ever be nervous for anything again."

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