Queen rewards Tessa Jowell by making her a Dame in Birthday Honours list
Saturday, 16 June 2012
June 16 - Tessa Jowell, without whom London's bid for the 2012 Olympcis and Paralympics would not have happened, has been made a Dame in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, it was announced today.
It was Jowell who convinced Tony Blair when he was Prime Minister and then Treasurer Gordon Brown to support the bid in the face of fierce opposition within the Cabinet.
It was Dame Tessa's vision for how a successful bid for the Olympics could regenerate the East End of London and boost sports participation across the UK that convinced Blair to back the bid.
It was then her discreet, but persuasive lobbying, of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which played a major role in London beating the favourites Paris.
Dame Tessa, the MP for Dulwich and West Norwood since 1992, is now the Shadow Olympics Minister but has retained her seat on the London 2012 Olympic Board.
"When I got the letter I felt completely overwhelmed and delighted, and today I'm sure I feel like thousands of other people who are lucky enough to have had their contribution recognised by the Queen," she said.
Several other figures have been rewarded for their role in their involvement in London 2012, including Zaha Hadid, who designed the Olympic Aquatics Centre.
The Iraq-born Hadid (pictured), who already holds a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) and has won the UK's Stirling Prize for architecture for the last two years in a row, has also been made a Dame.
"I've met the Queen on several occasions, in Istanbul and here in London, but of course this is quite a different matter and I'm sure one will be nervous," said Dame Zaha.
A number of senior officials involved in the successful planning and building of the facilities for London 2012 are also honoured with OBEs (Order of the British Empire).
They are led by Lorraine Baldry, the chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) Planning Committee, and include other key executives at the ODA.
They are Jerome Frost, head of design and regeneration; Lawrence Waterman, head of health and safety; and Simon Wright, director of infrastructure and utilities.
There is also an OBE for Ian Galloway, programme director and chief executive at CLM Delivery Partner, the consortium comprising CH2M HILL, Laing O'Rourke and Mace, who are the ODA's delivery partner.
"This is a reflection of the terrific work done by so many people to turn the London 2012 dream into reality – an Olympic Park that will host the world's best athletes this summer, then be transformed into a new district for London, in one of the UK's most deprived areas," said Sir John Armitt, the chairman of the ODA.
"The stunning sports venues are at the heart of a regeneration project that will leave a legacy for generations to come – all achieved with an impressive health and safety record and involving all sections of the community."
There is also a CBE for Peter Keen (pictured), now the special advisor for peformance at UK Sport and the man widely credited with having helped turn around Britain's Olympic fortunes, culminating in Beijing four years ago when Team GB finished fourth overall in the medals table with a total of 19 gold medals.
Prior to joining UK Sport, Keen set up the high performance cycling programme based at the Manchester Velodrome.
"This award has reminded just how privileged I have been to have had a 30-year career immersed in something I am passionate about," said Keen, who was awarded an OBE in 2003.
"The opportunity to work with so many extraordinary people doing incredible things across the globe has provided an array of fascinating challenges for which I am truly grateful.
"I have always been proud to represent the UK in and through sport, so to receive such recognition is a great honour."
There is also an OBE for Richard Callicott, the former chief executive of UK Sport, who is now the chairman of the British Volleyball Federation.
Also awarded an OBE is Malcolm Arnold, arguably Britain's most successful ever athletics coach.
He begun his international career by coaching Uganda's John Akii-Bua to victory in the 400 metres hurdles at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.
Arnold also coached Canada's Mark McKoy to the 110m hurdles gold medal at Barcelona in 1992 but is probably best known for being the man who guided Britain's Colin Jackson throughout his career.
There are also OBEs for Albert Wood, the former vice-chairman of the British Olympic Association (BOA) and European President of the International Canoe Union, Ed Warner, the chairman of UK Athletics, and show jumper Nick Skelton, a three-time European Championship gold medallist.
And there is an MBE (Member of the British Empire) for archer Alison Williamson, who will be making her sixth Olympic appearance for Britain at London 2012.