Banchory brothers Neil and Andrew Simpson have been made MBEs for their services to skiing.
Para alpine skier Neil, 19, and his guide Andrew, 21, made British sporting history while competing at the Winter Paralympics in Beijing, winning Team GB’s first ever male gold medal on snow.
Neil, who has a visual impairment and competes in the B3 category, won gold with guide Andrew in the Super-G, which they followed up with a bronze medal in the Super Combined race just 24 hours later.
The brothers, who were chosen as Team GB’s flagbearers at the closing ceremony in Beijing, are delighted that their achievements have been recognised by the Queen.
Neil said: “It’s a massive honour to be rewarded in this way. Not many people can say they have an honours from the Queen.
“What we did was pretty historical, being the first British male athletes to win a gold medal on snow. It’s very special to be rewarded for what we did at the Paralympics.”
Andrew added: “Even just to go to the Paralympics was amazing, so to get the gold and then to be recognised in this way – it’s something we could never have imagined.
“It’s a huge honour and something that we never expected. We’re just delighted that our achievements have been recognised like this.”
Enjoying success on the slopes
This year has come thick and fast for the brothers, having competed at the Paralympics off the back of winning a silver medal at the World Para Snow Sports Championships.
Despite their busy schedule, Neil and Andrew have been able to enjoy their success on the slopes.
Neil said: “It’s definitely sunk in now. We’ve had a few months to think it over, and it’s still really special to think about the whole experience out in Beijing.
“Thinking about the runs we had on the slopes, and then winning the medals, they are really nice memories to look back on.”
Andrew added: “What we achieved was amazing. The start of the year was such a whirlwind and even since we’ve been back has been incredibly busy.
“It’s definitely all starting to sink in, with what we achieved and how we did it.”
The brothers have a World Championships to look forward to next year, but before then, they’ll be hoping to spend the day at Buckingham Palace with their parents Margaret and Robert.