LONDON 2012 Olympic medal hopeful Jessica Ennis said receiving an MBE has given her a boost.
The Prince of Wales presented Sheffield athlete Jess with the honour during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
The 25-year-old, who won gold in the heptathlon event at last year’s European Championships, said she briefly discussed with Charles how training was going while he presented the award.
“He asked me how training was going and told me he was looking forward to the Olympics,” Jess, of Millhouses, said.
“He said he hoped this was a boost for me. It is a boost, not only for me, but also for athletics to help lift the sport’s profile.”
When asked if the award felt as good as receiving a gold medal, she said: “It’s definitely up there.”
Jess said 2008 had been a disappointing year but it also set the stage for a significant comeback.
The Sheffield-born athlete was forced to pull out of the Beijing Olympics because of a foot injury but she bounced back to win the world title in Berlin the following year.
“I went from one extreme to the other,” she said.
“It was a massive blow to be injured and then going on to be the best in the world has been a major highlight in my career.”
She also won silver in Daegu earlier this year and has been heavily involved in marketing next summer’s London Olympics.