Olympic hero Mary King awarded MBE
Sidmouth’s Olympic hero Mary King said being awarded an MBE was ‘the icing on the cake’ after a busy year’.
She received her award for services to equestrianism, which commemorates a lifelong affinity to horses that blossomed in East Devon.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to bits – over the moon,” she said.
“I always hoped it might happen.”
The silver medallist was among 127 Olympians named in the New Year’s honours list after the summer’s games on home soil.
“There was a huge expectation this summer so there was a huge feeling of relief, but then just pride,” she said.
Mary won her third Olympic medal in six games, and given a hero’s welcome when she her returned to Sidmouth.
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There was a parade attended by thousands held in Mary’s honour, and she was named Honorary Freeman of the town.
She rode Imperial Cavalier, who will be retiring this year, but Mary has no plans to hang up her saddle.
A former student at The Kings School, she hopes to break the record she currently shares with Tessa Sanderson by competing in her seventh Olympics in Rio in 2016.
“I’ve always had this love of horses and wanting to compete at the top level is the best motivation,” she said.
This year she is also looking ahead to European championships and being able to ride alongside her daughter Emily, who will join her competing full time when she leaves school.
In the shorter term, she will be launching the new Stagecoach service with another parade through Sidmouth.