After earning two Paralympic gold medals and one silver in 2008, British cyclist Simon Richardson was selected for another honor, this time from the Queen of England. He was awarded an MBE as part of the New Year list along with many of his fellow medal-winning Olympians. The MBE is membership status in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
"Beijing for me was an incredible experience and taking the medals was a great reward for the hard work by both me, my family and my support team," said Richardson. "To be awarded an MBE as well, really is the crowning glory of a successful year."
Richardson was seriously injured in an accident in 2001, when he was struck from behind by a car doing 60 mph. Richardson shattered his leg and broke his back in two places and has a metal ratchet support system in his spine that bends to allow him to get into a racing position.
In Beijing, he was part of the highly successful Great Britain Paralympic team The British team recently carried off the prestigious BBC sports personality of the year awards in Team and Coach categories. Star Chris Hoy also took the individual award.