Bisexual Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams is to be rewarded with a Member of the British Empire award in this year’s New Year honours.
As the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal in women’s boxing this year, Adams is one of 78 athletes to be recognized in the Queen’s annual list.
Speaking to the BBC, she said: ‘I cannot believe how much my life has changed’.
The 30-year-old flyweight said: ‘To think I am going to be a member of the British Empire, it’s fantastic.
‘It’s the kind of thing I used to sit and watch on the TV people being honoured, and you never think for one second that it’s actually going to be you.
‘And to think I’m actually going to be amongst all the great people that have been honoured, I think it’s fantastic.’
Just three years ago, Adams looked like she might not be able to achieve her Olympic dream.
In 2009, she cracked a bone in her back when she tripped and fell down the stairs on her way to training.
It meant Adams was bed-bound for three months and out of the ring for a year, but as soon as she could she got back up and started boxing again.
Among the other gay rights advocates to be recognized this year include Stonewall’s former deputy chair Liz Grant, who was given an OBE, the UK gay rights charity co-founder Simon Fanshawe, also given an OBE, and politician, MEP, and human rights campaigner Michael Cashman, who was given a CBE.
Cashman said it was a ‘big surprise’, adding: ‘I proudly accept this honour and commit to continue the fight for equality.’
Other notable names on the honours list include cyclists Bradley Wiggins, illustrator Quentin Blake, who became knights, and Paralympian Sarah Storey and politician Margaret Becket, who became dames.