Royal medal ceremony for Olympic eventers

  • The British Olympic eventing squad are to be awarded their medals at a unique presentation at Buckingham Palace on Monday 18 October.

    International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and BOA President, Princess Anne, will present the medals to the riders in a special ceremony, which will also be attended by the Queen, the British Olympic Association (BOA) confirmed today.

    Leslie Law and Pippa Funnell will receive their individual Olympic gold and bronze medals, along with the team silver medals they won alongside team mates Jeanette Brakewell, William Fox-Pitt and Mary King in the three-day event.

    The ceremony has been organised following the controversial ending to the Olympic three-day event which saw Germany stripped of team and individual gold medals after Bettina Hoy crossed the start line twice during the show jumping phase of the competition.

    It will take place during a special evening reception at the palace, which will be attended by Britain’s medal-winning athletes from the Athens Olympic and Paralympic Games, following the “parade of heroes” through the centre of London.

    BOA spokesperson Philip Pope told HHO: “We believe this ceremony will be a fitting tribute to the achievements of the athletes, who missed receiving their medals on the podium in Athens.

    “We think it is extremely important that the athletes get to celebrate their achievements in an appropriate setting, and where better than in Buckingham Palace in the presence of the Queen.”

    The eventing squad will be joined by two members of the silver-medal winning men’s team pursuit cycling event, Chris Newton and Bryan Steel, who were originally denied medals after taking part in the heats and not the final.

    Monday 18 October promises to be a day of fantastic celebrations of the British Olympic and Paralympic medal winners’ achievements. The festivities will begin with a parade of sports-themed floats through central London, starting outside the Ritz on Piccadilly at around 1.30pm and finishing at Trafalgar Square at around 3.15pm.

    Medal winners will be presented to the crowds in Trafalgar Square in a series of interviews with BBC Sport presenters, while large screens will show the parade and highlights of the Athens Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    Simon Clegg, chief executive of the BOA, said: “Following what we believe will be a hugely well attended event in Trafalgar Square we are very excited about the prospect of presenting the outstanding Olympic medals to British athletes in front of our Patron, The Queen. This is going to be a unique occasion for all the athletes involved and I am delighted that this will take place with all the other members of Team GB who enjoyed such success in Athens.

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