Among the many household names receiving gongs in the New Year Honours List is perhaps the lesser-known one of Olly de Vere Glenholme-Potts, who is probably Britain’s most under-the-radar current reigning World Champion.
Not for Olly footballing, F1 or grand slam-winning tennis or golfing prowess – his chosen sport is the hitherto unknown world of Quilted Body Warmer Folding.
Olly, or Sir Oliver as he will be known after his investiture in April explains: ‘Taking my lead from the Americans who talk about Word Series Baseball when they’e the only ones who compete, and also those rowers a few years back who got knighted for being the best two out of the three or four in the entire world who were actually any good, I just thought, I’m having some of that.’
So inventive Olly then set up The World Quilted Body Warmer Authority and held the inaugural World Championships in his back garden this September. And amazingly competing only against himself he emerged victorious, not only winning the event at his first attempt, but at the same time setting new National, British, Commonwealth and World records.
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright, has been quick to hit back at those suggesting Olly’s knighthood is yet another example of recognising so-called ‘rich-boy minority sports’ in an attempt to make us seem a greater sporting nation than we perhaps are.
‘That’s nonsense. I was there when Olly won his World Crown and I can tell you that it was the product of an endless half-hour of inventing the sport, competing aggressively against the best in the world…himself, and then ultimately dominating it. Thirty-two gilets folded to Burberry Standard in 47.98 seconds was just amazing. In my view he’s just as worthy a recipient of his knighthood as were Philip Green, Fred Goodwin and Robert Mugabe