today is Sep 27, 2022

Skiing brothers Neil and Andrew Simpson from Banchory in Scotland have been made MBEs in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee birthday honours list.

Para alpine skier Neil, 19, with his brother Andrew, 21, his guide, became the first male Team GB skiers to win Paralympic gold while competing in the Super-G in Beijing.

“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,” said Neil, who competes in the B3 category due to a visual impairment.

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,” Andrew added.

The brothers also took the bronze medal in the Super Combined race and were then chosen as  Team GB’s flagbearers at the closing ceremony.

Another name in skiing from Northeast Scotland has also been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.  Roy Young received the British Empire Medal (BEM) award for “services to Nordic Skiing and to the community in Huntly.”

Mr Young and a group of other enthusiasts developing the Huntly Nordic Ski Centre, which recently marked its 30th anniversary. He established a junior development squad which is still going strong and has given youngsters the opportunity to represent club and country up to World Cup/ Championships and Winter Olympics level. This also led to the re-establishment of a cross country skiing programme  for the British Olympic Association after a twenty year gap.