Scotland

Queen honours Paralympic gold medallists at Edinburgh ceremony

Karen Darke Gordon Reid, Joanna Butterfield Image copyright PA
Image caption Athletes Karen Darke, Gordon Reid and Joanna Butterfield all received MBEs from the Queen

Three Paralympic gold medallists have received MBEs from the Queen.

At a ceremony in Edinburgh, wheelchair tennis star Gordon Reid, athlete Jo Butterfield and cyclist Karen Darke were honoured for sporting successes.

The trio all won gold for the ParalympicsGB team at last year's Rio Games.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse event also saw the poet laureate, ProfCarol Ann Duffy, and Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite, honoured.

After receiving his honour, Reid said: "It feels great, it's really a proud moment to receive an MBE from the Queen."

He added that it was great to share the day with his parents and tennis coach, "the three people that have helped me get here the most out of anyone".

Reid won Wimbledon's men's doubles title for the first time last summer, having already triumphed at the 2015 US Open and twice at the French Open.

He also became singles champion at the Australian Open and Wimbledon last year, and landed the Paralympic singles gold medal.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Gordon Reid's tennis triumphs include the Australian Open and Wimbledon as well as Paralympic singles gold

Butterfield said the experience of going to the palace was "a bit surreal", but added: "It's a really nice feeling after what happened with Rio."

She claimed gold at the Games in the F51 club throw.

On her conversation with the Queen, she said: "Obviously we talked about Rio and it being the first Paralympics that I'd been to. It was nice, quite friendly."

Butterfield is now gearing up to defend her title at the world championships in London later this month and says she is looking forward to getting in front of the home crowd.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Jo Butterfield claimed gold at the Paralympic Games in Rio in the F51 club throw

Darke, who won the H1-3 time trial to secure a cycling gold in Brazil, said it was a "great honour" to be made an MBE.

She said: "I think when I'm here about all the people that really helped me get here. I suppose when you're a Paralympic athlete, it's never just about yourself, so there are lots of people I can think of that should be here as well."

Darke is currently training to represent Scotland in the triathlon at next year's Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Karen Darke won gold in Rio last year

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