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  1. ITV Report

Olympians and Paralympians honoured at Women of the Year Awards

Katherine Grainger, Josie Pearson and Sarah Storey, part of the group of athletes who collectively won the Outstanding Achievement Award. Photo: PA

Great Britain's Olympic and Paralympic female medallists were among the victors at the Women Of The Year awards today, prompting one champion to say they had "inspired every generation".

Doreen Lawrence, mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, author PD James, women's rights activist Zainab Salbi and singer Kate Woolveridge were the four other winners of the Women Of The Year awards.

(L-R) PD James (Lifetime Achievement Award), Doreen Lawrence (Special Award) and Zainab Salbi (Women of the Year) Credit: PA

At a glitzy ceremony at a hotel in London's exclusive Park Lane, the five awards were presented to women who each proved an inspiration to others through their courage, selflessness, dedication and achievement, organisers said.

Women of the Year 2012 Winners

  • Zainan Salbi - Woman of the Year
  • PD James - Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Doreen Lawrence - Special Award
  • Kate Woolveridge - Inspirational Woman of the Year
  • Team GB and Paralympics GB - Outstanding Achievement Award

Katherine Grainger, who won gold in the Olympic rowing double sculls, said: "The slogan 'inspire a generation' was about kids. In all honesty, it's inspired every generation.

"I've met people all ages, all different backgrounds, all over the country, everyone's been inspired, touched, moved motivated and there's people doing things they would never have thought of before."

She was joined at the ceremony by stars from the Olympic and Paralympic teams, including Rebecca Adlington, Beth Tweddle, Christine Ohuruogu and Sarah Storey.

(L-R) Sarah Storey, Harriet Harman MP and Rebecca Adlington at a reception during the 57th annual Women of the Year lunch and awards. Credit: PA

Lindsay Nicholson, editorial director of Good Housekeeping magazine, who presented their Women Of The Year award to Great Britain's summer medallists, said the athletes showed young women there was more to aspire to than being "size zero".

She said: "London 2012 was, undeniably, the women's Olympics.

"Our incredible Olympians and Paralympians broke new records and won more medals than ever before. But, for me, most importantly they sent out a message to all young women that there is so much more to aspire to physically than being size zero."

Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James attended the ceremony. Her books have sold more than 40 million copies in just over a year. Credit: PA