Team GB athletes win Women of the Year award for showing girls there"s "more to aspire to than being size zero"

Team GB athletes win Women of the Year award for showing girls there's 'more to aspire to than being size zero'

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UPDATED:

16:29 GMT, 22 October 2012

Team GB's female athletes were honoured for their inspirational endeavours in this summer's Olympic and Paralympic games at the Women of the Year awards today.

London 2012 medalists including swimmer Rebecca Adlington, rower Katherine Grainger and cyclist Sarah Storey put on their glad rags to attend the awards ceremony at a hotel in London's exclusive Park Lane.

Doreen Lawrence, mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, author PD James, women's rights activist Zainab Salbi and singer Kate Woolveridge were the four other winners of the awards.

Glamorous: Rebecca Adlington, left, Katherine Grainger and Sarah Storey, far right, swapped their tracksuits for dresses to attend the awards ceremony

Glamorous: Rebecca Adlington, left, Katherine Grainger and Sarah Storey, far right, swapped their tracksuits for dresses to attend the awards ceremony

Glamorous: Rebecca Adlington, left, Katherine Grainger and Sarah Storey, far right, swapped their tracksuits for dresses to attend the awards ceremony

Inspirational: The athletes were praised for showing young women that it is cool to be sporty

Inspirational: The athletes were praised for showing young women that it is cool to be sporty

Actress Helen Mirren, presenter Lorraine Kelly and popstar Beverley Knight were among the celebrities who attended to present the awards to the women who had proved an inspiration to others through their courage, selflessness, dedication and achievement.

Lindsay Nicholson, editorial director of
Good Housekeeping magazine, who presented the award
to Team GB's summer medallists, said 'London 2012 was, undeniably, the women's Olympics'.

Worthy winner: Doreen Lawrence was awarded for her efforts in campaigning for justice following the murder of her son Stephen

Worthy winner: Doreen Lawrence was awarded for her efforts in campaigning for justice following the murder of her son Stephen

Honoured: Doreen with PD James (winner Women of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award), left, and Zainab Salbi (Women of the Year Award sponsored by Barclays)

Honoured: Doreen with PD James (winner Women of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award), left, and Zainab Salbi (Women of the Year Award sponsored by Barclays)

She added: 'Our incredible Olympians and
Paralympians broke new records and won more medals than ever before.
But, for me, most importantly they sent out a message to all young women
that there is so much more to aspire to physically than being size
zero.'

Grainger, who won gold in the Olympic rowing double sculls, said she's delighted at how the games have inspired all generations – not just young people.

She said: 'I've met people all ages, all different backgrounds, all over the country, everyone's been inspired, touched, moved motivated and there's people doing things they would never have thought of before.'

From left, Helen Mirren, Lorraine Kelly and Esther Rantzen attended the ceremony to present awards

From left, Helen Mirren, Lorraine Kelly and Esther Rantzen attended the ceremony to present awards

From left, Helen Mirren, Lorraine Kelly and Esther Rantzen attended the ceremony to present awards

From left, Helen Mirren, Lorraine Kelly and Esther Rantzen attended the ceremony to present awards

Ms Lawrence won the Women of the Year Special Award for her tireless campaigning for justice and police reform following son Stephen's murder in a racist attack in 1993. Two men were finally convicted and
jailed for life for his murder in January.

Ms Lawrence was presented her award by Beverley Knight. Ms Knight said: 'It is a joy to
present such a quietly courageous, determined and humble woman, as
Doreen certainly is, with an award.

'I have admired her for years, the
grace with which she has dealt with injustice after cruel injustice on
both sides of the law to eventually see some resolution. She is the
embodiment of the saying “never give up”.'

Wordsmiths: Fifty Shades of Grey author E L James congratulates PD James on her award

Wordsmiths: Fifty Shades of Grey author E L James congratulates PD James on her award

Admiration: Popstar Beverley Knight presented Doreen's award saying she's the 'embodiment of

Admiration: Popstar Beverley Knight presented Doreen's award saying she's the 'embodiment of “never give up”'

Meanwhile, Clare Blampied, managing director of Sacla UK, presented best-selling crime writer PD James with her Lifetime Achievement award.

She said: 'Lady James is an
inspirational winner for Sacla, loved by generations for her wonderful
books written over the past 50 years and for her amazing energy, passion
and enthusiasm for everything she tackles.

'Her impressive career is
motivating, if a little daunting for us all.'

Letting their hair down: Sarah Storey, left, and Rebecca Adlington mingle with MP Tessa Jowell

Letting their hair down: Sarah Storey, left, and Rebecca Adlington mingle with MP Tessa Jowell

There is nothing like a Dame: Rowers Sophie Hosking, Heather Stanning and Helen Glover meet Helen Mirren

There is nothing like a Dame: Rowers Sophie Hosking, Heather Stanning and Helen Glover meet Helen Mirren

THE AWARD WINNERS
Women of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award: PD JamesWomen of the Year Special Award: Doreen Lawrence
Women of the Year Award sponsored by Barclays: Zainab SalbiInspirational Woman Of The Year award: Kate WoolveridgeWomen of the Year: Team GB's Olympic and Paralympic team

The only award decided by public vote, the Inspirational Woman Of The Year award, was won by Kate Woolveridge after a poll of viewers of ITV's Lorraine.

The mezzo soprano singer was
recognised for her tireless work to promote awareness of Alzheimer's
disease and dementia in Cardiff through her work with the Forget Me Nots
choir.

Zainab Salbi, the Iraqi-American
activist, author and co-founder of Women for Women International, won
the Barclays Women Of The Year Award.

Baroness Kennedy QC, president of the Women of the Year awards, said: 'The magic of this event and what makes it unique is the way in which it brings together the most fabulous women from the widest range of geographical, social, ethnic and political backgrounds – from the very well-known to unsung heroines doing outstanding work in their community.'