Britain’s Ben Ainslie to become Sir Ben in Queen’s New Year’s Honours List
Seven world titles (one in the Laser and six in the Finn) and five Olympic medals (four golds and one silver) – had already made Britain’s Ben Ainslie sailing’s most successful athlete of all time. Now his unparalleled success has earned him a knighthood in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.
Soon to be Sir Ben’s knighthood comes at the end of a year in which he won his fourth consecutive Olympic sailing gold medal on his home waters in Weymouth and Portland at London 2012. Previously Ainslie won Silver in the Laser class in Atlanta in 1996, Gold in the Laser at Sydney 2000, followed by two consecutive golds in the Finn at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.
Soon after his London 2012 gold medal win, Ainslie announced his retirement from Olympic sailing and pledged himself to winning the America’s Cup for Britain. He is currently vying to become the starting helmsman for the Cup holders Oracle USA who will defend the trophy at the 34th America’s Cup to be held in San Francisco in 2013.
After hearing of his inclusion on the list, Ainslie is quoted as saying:
“This is an incredible honour. When I set out Olympic sailing twenty years ago, I never would have dreamed this would happen. I couldn’t have achieved this honour without the support of all the people who have helped me throughout my career and so I hope they can also take some pride in this moment.”
Image credit: Ian Roman