GOLD-WINNING Lauren Price says being awarded an MBE for services to boxing is the “icing on the cake” after a dream year – and she’s hungry for more in 2022.

The 27-year-old from Hengoed has been given the honour after becoming the first Welsh fighter to win Olympic boxing gold in August.

Price fulfilled her aim of topping the podium in Tokyo when she beat China's Li Qian in the middleweight final.

Her golden exploits led to her being voted as the inaugural Olympian of the year in the National Lottery Awards and earlier this month she was named as BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year.

There was still one honour to come, albeit it took while to find out about the MBE.

“I’ve had a fantastic year and this is the icing on the cake,” said Price, who won Olympic gold to go along with world European and Commonwealth titles.

“I came home and my nan said that there was a letter for me but I didn’t open it for about three days, when I did it was a complete shock.

“I am overwhelmed because it was an amazing 2021. My main aim was to qualify for the Olympics but I managed to win gold, then win other awards and now this is another reward after all that hard work.”

She added her late grandfather would have been the “proudest man in the valleys” to hear about her award.

“He would have been the proudest grandfather ever," she said. "He would have been the proudest man in the Valleys.

“It’s a shame he wasn’t here when I came home from Tokyo, he hadn’t long passed, he always supported me… it was such a massive part of my career, to have received this award he would have been more than proud.”

Ms Price has been weighing up whether to turn professional or go for gold again at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Her decision is set to be revealed in the coming weeks but the hard graft has already restarted.

“Things went a bit crazy after the Olympics but I had some time to switch off and go on holiday,” said Price.

“I had some down time but I’ve been ticking over and was back in the gym and have been going for runs. I’m back in camp next week and I am looking forward to setting some new targets.”

Congratulating Ms Price, Welsh secretary Simon Hart said: “Lauren’s exploits for Team GB in Tokyo over the summer thrilled millions of people back home in Wales and the rest of the UK. Lauren is an exceptional athlete and a true inspiration to others. Her successes in kickboxing, football and boxing demonstrate her outstanding commitment, skill and drive.

“Congratulations to Lauren on this well-deserved honour.”