Maidenhead Olympic swimming champion Tom Dean was awarded an MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

He won gold in two competitions at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics despite contracting Covid twice shortly before trials began.

The athlete said if somebody told him aged eight at Maidenhead Marlins Swimming Club that he would be honoured for services to swimming at 21 years old, he would have told them they’d got the wrong person.

“I never would have believed them in a million years. I didn’t even think this would be a career of mine, it was always a hobby alongside my school work,” said Dean.

Read more: The Berkshire superstars named in the Queen's New Year Honours 2022

He said: “In the lead up to the games there’s so much dedication and commitment that it’s so nice to get something like this and to be recognized for all the work we’ve done, so I was honoured when the letter came through the door.”

Dean spent ten years with Maidenhead Marlins before training in Bath and going on to win gold and silver medals at the European Junior Championships in 2017 and 2018.

Read more: M4 closures and diversions planned on New Year's Day

The rising star caught Covid-19 in September 2020 and again in January 2021. Just two months before trials for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“I was really worried. To be honest I didn’t think I was going to make the Olympic team.”

He added: “I knew I had such a momentous task ahead of me.”

Despite the setback, Dean went on to win the 200 metres Freestyle and the 4x200 Freestyle relay.

He made history by becoming the first male British swimmer to win two gold Olympic medals at the same games in 113 years.