by Lindsey Bell
Stephen Park, the man who led Britain’s sailing team to their record-breaking medal haul at the Beijing Olympic Games, has been honoured by the Queen.
Stephen Park OBE
The Royal Yachting Association’s Olympic Manager received his OBE for services to sport at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday (2 June).
Park, 41, was at the team’s management helm for the second consecutive Olympic Games, overseeing Britain’s most successful ever Olympic sailing campaign in China with his charges winning six medals – four golds, one silver and one bronze – to add to their clutch of five medals from the Athens Games four years previously.
'It was a fantastic day, and a very proud moment,' said Park.
'Obviously it was a great honour for me personally, but I also consider it recognition for all the hard work and commitment of everyone involved with the team – not just at the Olympics last summer, but also in supporting the efforts of all of Skandia Team GBR’s sailors day in, day out and at the many other regattas they compete at during the year.'
Park revealed the Queen had said she was ‘particularly pleased’ to have been presenting him with his award in light of the sailing team’s achievements at recent Olympic Games, and especially given the difficult conditions the sailors had faced in Qingdao.
'It’s a thoroughly deserved honour following eight fantastic years leading our sailors to 11 Olympic medals at two Olympic Games,' said RYA CEO Rod Carr, himself an OBE recipient in 2005.