Lizzy Yarnold praises support team amid royal honour days after retirement

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Britain’s most decorated Winter Olympian has paid tribute to her support team as she was honoured days after she announced her retirement.

Lizzy Yarnold collected an OBE for services to Winter Olympic Sport at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

The 29-year-old skeleton racer won gold at both the Sochi and Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.

Describing her feelings about the award, Yarnold said: “Being in such a beautiful place, being honoured by the royal family, it’s a very emotional moment.

“It’s a real celebration of everything my support team have done to help get me here.

Yarnold, who announced her retirement from sport this week, paid tribute to her team after she collected the medal from the Princess Royal.

She said: “Many people say they’re receiving the award on behalf of other people, it’s true. I’m not an individual, I’m part of a team, and I’m hugely grateful to everyone.”

Yarnold received an MBE in 2014 but said the Princess Royal’s affiliation with Olympic sport made this recognition feel even more special.

She added: “This time does feel very different because it was from the Princess Royal, who is our president of the British Olympic Association (BOA).

“She came out to Sochi and Pyeongchang, so to receive the award from her specifically was really wonderful.

“The royal family are those that lead our country, when I compete I want to stand on the podium with the national anthem playing and the Union Jack behind me.

“So to have her support specifically really does give it that special little sign of approval.”

Yarnold also took time to praise the ongoing support the Winter Games receive from the BOA.

She said: “The BOA looks after the summer and the winter Games, so even though the Winter Olympics is still the little brother of the summer, we as athletes feel just as special.

“We have had fantastic funding. We’re just thankful for the support that we’ve got.”

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