Arise Sir Ben
Today was, in the words of the newly knighted Sir Ben Ainslie, CBE, “the proudest day of my life”.
Ainslie’s knighthood marks the culmination of over 20 years dedicated to the Olympics and the pursuit of gold. At London 2012 after securing his fourth gold medal Sir Ben Ainslie became the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, with four golds and one silver in total from five Olympic Games.
Speaking outside the Palace after the ceremony Sir Ben said: "’It’s been a great day. There were lots of familiar faces here today including Lord Coe, Katherine Grainger and David Weir so it was great to cacth up with some old friends and also very proud to see all the people there who have done some amazing things.
"For me, it is probably the proudest moment of my life and its even more special to be able to share it with my family and friends. It’s a huge honour and a day to remember, but life moves on to the future and the next project and challenge. For me it’s the America’s Cup, it started in Britain in 1851 and yet we have’t won it and that’s something I feel is missing from our maritime history so it would be great if we can achieve that. We have a lot of great sailors in the UK so I hope that we can win the Cup, that’s the next challenge."
Ainslie’s visit to the UK is just a pit stop. He will now head back out to San Francisco to continue his America’s Cup training. He will return to Europe in April to compete in the next America’s Cup World Series event, it will be the final event of the 2012/13 series and his team J.P.Morgan BAR will be looking to clinch that elusive event victory, racing starts in Naples on Thursday 18 April.