Dec 29 2012
Swimmer Ellie Simmonds, the poster girl of this year's Paralympic Games, said she was proud to be awarded an OBE.
Simmonds, 18, won two more golds at London 2012 making her a four-time Paralympic champion.
She said: "It's been a great honour to be included in the list which caps an amazing year for me personally and for British sport."
Simmonds, who has Achondroplasia dwarfism, won four medals and broke two world records at London 2012, bringing home gold in the S6 400m freestyle and SM6 200m individual medley. She trains at the Wales National Pool and lives in Swansea.
She also won silver in the S6 100m freestyle and bronze in the S6 50m freestyle.
Standing alongside sprint champion Jonnie Peacock, Simmonds helped to extinguish the Paralympic flame at the London 2012 closing ceremony.
Her quest for London 2012 gold was the British public's most anticipated event of the Paralympic Games.
It led to the unprecedented situation of her being named among three athletes with a disability, alongside cyclist Sarah Storey and wheelchair racer David Weir, in the shortlist for the coveted BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
Simmonds, originally of Walsall, became the darling of the pool when at the tender age of 13 and nine months, she stood on the podium with tears in her eyes at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. In winning the S6 100m and S6 400m freestyle in China, she became the youngest Briton to win an Olympic or Paralympic medal and was later awarded the MBE.
Simmonds, who currently holds five world records, has taken a break from her training regime since the Paralympics but will restart after Christmas ahead of the World Championships in Canada in the summer. She is targeting not just the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, but the 2020 and 2024 Games beyond that.