“I said it wasn’t a medal from a palace that I dream of when I raced my bike, that it felt like a social rating and a hierarchy that I didn’t want to involve myself in”
Olympic and world champion, Katie Archibald got into cycling after winning handicap races on a Highland Games grass track. She writes a column for Cycling Weekly each week
I have an MBE. Actually I guess “I am an MBE” is the proper wording. I don’t say the sentence often; it embarrasses me a bit. But the letters are there after my name and I have the necklace and certificate and the like.
Before being offered an MBE (in my case for services to sport) you get sent a letter asking whether you would accept such a thing were it offered. This came along after the Rio Olympics, like a bonus cheque where the currency is your social stature. I ignored the letter for a long time, fairly indifferent. This was rude.
Since I didn’t respond, the palace (or more likely someone working in a slightly less elaborate building, but one with cornices and gargoyles nonetheless) contacted an agency I’m attached to. Now a third party, a party with my email address, knew about the letter and I had to reply.
It took me a further couple of weeks to decide what that reply would be.
During that time I had dinner at my mum’s house. How