To British Olympic Cyclist Bradley Wiggins, being knighted is, in some ways, just a big joke.
In fact, the whole thing makes Wiggins a little uncomfortable, he said.
"I've always been uncomfortable with the title of it and using it and elevating myself above other people with having a name in front of your name," Wiggins said during a interview with MSN. "I may get used to it over time, and I'll probably use it in a very comedy way, but not in a serious way. I certainly won't be using it to take myself too seriously with it. That's for sure."
Wiggins was knighted at the end of 2012, following a spectacular year in which he won the Tour de France and earned his fourth Olympic gold medal.
In total, Wiggins has won seven medals in four Olympic Games, which makes him one of the most decorated British Olympians in history. Only fellow cyclist Chris Hoy has as many medals. Hoy also has been knighted.
Though Wiggins is a bit uncomfortable with his knighthood, he believes it's nice to be recognized for his accomplishments, he said.
"In terms of recognition and an accolade, as a sportsman in this country it's probably the highest honor because of what we do. We go out there and win races … to get that recognition," Wiggins said during the interview with MSN. "It's the result of years of performing and years of hard work. … It's the reward for that, I guess, from your country, so it's an incredible thing to have."
Wiggins has competed in both track and road cycling, and he's done fairly well in each, though many believe 2012 to be his best year yet. In addition to his Olympic medals and his current Tour de France title, Wiggins also has finished third in the Vuelta a España (2011) and third in the Tour de France (2009). Next, he'd like to win the Giro d'Italia, he said.
In the meantime, the 32-year-old plans to continue training and continue focusing on upcoming races, he said.
"It's an incredible thing to (be knighted) and to be and active sportsman and to have that," Wiggins said. "I mean, there's only been Sir Chris Hoy to this point, so to continue now for a couple of years and to have that is a great honor."
Read more from this author: Cyclist Bradley Wiggins Has Not Yet Decided on Future Olympic Games
Sandra Johnson is a longtime fan of Olympic sports. While working for the United States Olympic Committee and living in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., Johnson had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46
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