The rower, who is the only British woman in any sport to win medals in four consecutive Olympic Games, made a triumphant return to the city in which she was born.
She said: "It is wonderful to be back in Glasgow and to be in such incredible company," before being presented with a special Editor's Award in honour of her achievements.
Displaying her gold medal to the delighted audience, she received a standing ovation.
She said: "I am shocked, but delighted, to have been given this award. It's a real honour."
Evening Times' editor Tony Carlin said: "Katherine inspired a nation with her courage and determination.
"Like all our finalists, her spirit has allowed her to excel and to meet her challenges head-on.
"In the past decade or so she has had what most people would consider to be a prodigious career.
"But, for her, there was always the nagging doubt about the one that got away. That is until, in her own words, 6½ minutes changed her life.
"Her commitment to excellence and her enduring determination ensured she was finally a winner on the biggest stage of all."
Previously, Katherine had held the room spellbound as she spoke about her gold medal triumph in London 2012 and paid tribute to the inspirational women in her own life – her mum, gran, aunt and sister.
She added: "My mum has always been my safety net – she encourages me to go for it, and if it fails, I know she will be there.
"My gran was such a character and my aunt was a real, independent spirit. She taught me to follow my dreams.
"Those amazing women in my life made it all possible for me.
"Everyone here is special, and whatever your gift, or talent, or passion is, then if you can use it, and make the most of it, then that is when we start to change things.
"That is when we start to realise – anything is possible."