1. ITV Report

Paralympian Lee Pearson 'humbled' at knighthood

Photo: PA

Lee Pearson said it will take some time for him to get his head around the "enormity" of being given a knighthood in the New Year Honours for services to equestrianism.

The honour made for a memorable end to 2016, which saw him win an 11th Paralympic gold at the Rio Games, taking his overall tally to 14 medals spanning five Paralympic Games.

Pearson, who carried the flag for Great Britain at the opening ceremony in Brazil, added the Individual Freestyle grade Ib gold as well as silver in the dressage at Deodoro Park in Rio.

The 42-year-old from Stoke-on-Trent said:

I am deeply humbled and truly delighted to have received this prestigious honour of knighthood.

To all the horses I've ever ridden, trained and competed, thank you for lending me your dancing legs, my own were never made for dancing!

– Lee Pearson
Credit: PA

Born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita - a condition which sees scar tissue form instead of healthy muscle, leaving limbs twisted - Pearson had been appointed MBE in the 2001 New Year Honours for services to disabled sports.

Following his continued success at the highest level, Pearson was again honoured with the OBE two years later and received the CBE in the 2009 New Year Honours.

Whilst this honour acknowledges achievement, it's as much about recognising the story and the struggle of the Paralympic movement and people with disabilities.

– Lee Pearson

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