How many medals does a Paralympian have to win to obtain recognition for his or her achievement? More than it takes a Olympic athlete, if the New Year's Honours List is a guide. Britain's Paralympian team came third in the medals table in 2012, just like its Olympic counterpart, but the rewards for the former look on the parsimonious side – one CBE compared to four for Olympic athletes. No wonder some of those who were hailed as heroes over the summer are now in the winter of their discontent. The former Sports minister, Gerry Sutcliffe, says the Sports Honours Committee, chaired by Lord Coe, has made a "big mistake".
The committee undoubtedly faced dilemmas in awarding honours in a year that saw so many triumphs. At the same time, there is no point talking about parity of esteem if, when it comes to handing out those honours, that principle is cast aside. We should do better next time.Reuse content