The Queen's New Year honours list in the UK is kept a closely guarded secret. As the day draws near there is media speculation and finally revelations. Perhaps for her 2012 New Year honours list it should be no surprise that Olympians feature well.
The British honour system is designed to recognise the often unsung heroes and heroines of the UK. The men and women who put their lives on the line in their daily work but also those who diligently work in often mundane, low paid jobs. Although the honours bestowed by the Queen of England contain a smattering of lowly individuals the bulk tend to be awarded to former politicians, celebrities and sports personalities.
Whilst it may be no surprise that the UK 2012 Olympians feature prominently in this year's New Year's honours list it was not a done deal. In the Summer of 2012 there were calls to limit the number of Olympians receiving honours. Many people felt that they had been rewarded enough with medals and a high level of publicity in the UK.
Medal winners wanted to recognise the army of volunteers who helped make London 2012 a huge success. They joined forces with politicians to welcome a Sunday Telegraph initiative to recognise volunteers. Without the huge number of willing and able volunteers used during the 2012 Olympics it is doubtful that the games would have been so successful.
The news that Bradley Wiggins, "Wiggo" has received a knighthood is tremendous. It is hard to imagine that this honour will receive any objections. Bradley not only proved a valuable British sporting asset during the Olympics but during the 2012 Tour de France. Bradley told SkyNews: It's an incredible honour and it's an incredible thing to have. It's still not something that sits incredibly easily with me, I don't think it's something I'm going to use in daily life. (It's) an amazing thing to have in the drawer for my wife my kids and my family. It's topped the year off really.
What could prove a step too far though is the news that every British Gold Medal winner will receive an honour, unless they have done so previously. According to the BBC gold medal winning paralympians will also receive honours. As these individuals have often surmounted huge physical and mental challenges to compete who could argue with that.