2012 – What a year for British sport

It’s nearly time for the latest BBC Sports Personality of the Year to be crowned – and I’m very glad that I wasn’t involved in drawing up the shortlist, because how on earth do you choose from all of those who achieved such amazing things this year? In fact, in recognition of all those feats, they’ve increased the number from 10 to 12. The runners and riders were announced this evening, and they are (in no particular order of course):

  • Bradley Wiggins
  • Ben Ainslie
  • Ellie Simmonds
  • Jessica Ennis
  • Chris Hoy
  • Nicola Adams
  • David Weir
  • Rory McIlroy
  • Mo Farrah
  • Andy Murray
  • Sarah Storey
  • Katherine Grainger

Now I’m not the most sports-minded of people, but even I’ve got a pretty good idea of what they’ve all being doing this year, which just goes to show how prominent sport’s been recently (bit hazy on the golf though).

The least surprising thing about this list is that after the furore of last year, there are some women on the list, and it’s a fairly even gender split at that. Also unsurprising is that the most represented sport is cycling, given how well the British cyclists have done this year (and that’s a bit of an understatement really isn’t it). Tour de France 1st and 2nd places, winner of the most Grand Tour stages, and sweeping the board on the Olympic track, despite the rule changes that a cynical person would say were put in place to spoil our party after we did so well in Beijing. And that’s the tip of the iceberg.

So who’s going to win on 16th December? I have absolutely no idea, and if I feel the need to vote (which I don’t usually), I have absolutely no idea who I would pick up the phone for. It’s so hard to compare the different sports and what each person has done. And you can’t even use milestones, because most (if not all) can claim some kind of record. Would I be influenced by my new-found interest in cycling? Or by having seen Mo in the flesh when I went to the Olympics and watched him playing mind games with the opposition in the 5,000m heat? Or is there some other defining criterion I haven’t thought of yet?

So how about an incredibly unscientific opinion poll? Who would you give your vote to? Or who would you have put on the shortlist instead?

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