Her victory in the 800m race broke a world record set in 1989
Double Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington has been appointed OBE in the Queen's New Year Honours list.
The Nottinghamshire swimmer won gold in the 400m and 800m freestyle events in Beijing and set a new world record.
Adlington, 19, from Mansfield, became the first British swimmer in 100 years to win two Olympic gold medals.
She said: "I'm absolutely delighted to receive and accept the OBE - it is fantastic to be recognised in the New Year Honours list."
She added: "There are so many amazing names on the list, it's something I'll treasure for the rest of my life."
In her 800m freestyle race Adlington set a world record time of eight minutes 18.06 seconds.
Olympic kayaking champion Tim Brabants has been appointed MBE.
He won gold in the K1 1000m race and claimed bronze in the men's K1 500m final.
Other recipients from Nottinghamshire included Elizabeth Fradd who is made a dame for services to nursing and Stuart McNeill who was appointed MBE for voluntary services to young people in the UK and Ghana.
Councillor Joan Taylor has been appointed MBE for services to local government in the East Midlands, and Katherine Davies, strategic director of Nottinghamshire County Drug and Alcohol Action Team, has been appointed OBE for services to disadvantaged people.