By Tom Degun

GilesLongandDannyCratesDecember 7 - Retired Paralympians Giles Long and Danny Crates, who both played major roles in Channel 4's coverage of the London 2012 Paralympics, have each been awarded Honorary Doctorates of Science from the University of London's (UEL) School of Health, Sport and Bioscience at the North Greenwich Arena.

Long (pictured top right) is a former swimmer who won three Paralympic gold medals in a glittering after losing limb movement following cancer as a young teenager while athletics star Crates (pictured left) took gold in the 800 metres T46 at Athens 2004 after losing his right arm in a car accident.

Long's award come partly due to his role in recognition of his creation of the "Lexi Decoder" (LEXI) - a Paralympic sport classification aid.

LEXI is made up of graphics which broadly illustrate disability types within sporting classes, with the type and level of impairment illustrated through the use of a colour palette.

LEXI Giles Long has been honoured by UEL for creating the ground-breaking LEXI system that helps explains the classification system  in the Paralympics

It was a key component in Channel 4's coverage of the Paralympics and research carried out by BDRC Continental found that 85 per cent of viewers felt the LEXI classification was being explained well in the Channel 4 coverage.

"Good ideas are something that the UK is a world beater at," said Long, as he discussed the LEXI system upon receiving his Honorary Doctorate.

"If you have an idea, pursue it, because you never know if it might be an idea that changes the world.

"If something that I invented helped people to enjoy the London 2012 Paralympic Games, then that's pretty cool."

Meanwhile Crates was a key on-air presence for Channel 4 during the Paralympics and received widespread plaudits for his performance.

"Thank you for this award," said Crates.

"You don't understand how important it is for me to be receiving this honorary degree alongside Giles.

"We are both local lads, we are both Paralympic medallists and we both embarked on television careers for Channel 4 this year.

"If you had given it to one of us but not the other, believe me, you would have heard about it!."

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