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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6 thoughts on “2012 – What a year for British sport

  1. Tricky in terms of the shortlist, I think I’d have put Laura Trott in instead of Sarah Storey. Much as I appreciate the history behind Nicola Adams (and she’s from Leeds) I’m no fan of boxing so I would replace her as well.

    Wiggo has to win though

    • While not taking anything away from Adams’ success, because to win the Olympics in any sport is a real achievement, I do have a slight issue with the thing about her being the first female Olympic boxing champion – after all, isn’t it quite a lot to do with the fact that it just happened to be her match that happened first?

  2. Wiggo for me. A truly astonishing achievement and something I didn’t think I’d see for a long time to come. A brit dominating le Tour, the most demanding bike race on earth.

    Very close year though, and a cracking line-up. Nice to see no footballers in there for a change!

    • I think I’m leaning towards Wiggo to be honest. A true moment of history in France, not to mention all those Olympic medals he also happens to have. And I completely agree with you about the footballers!

  3. I feel a bit sorry for Andy Murray – having that amazing US Open win (the first British man to win a Grand Slam in 500 years or something) in the same year that the London Olympics took place. He’d have been a dead cert for it any other year. So on that basis I think he’ll get my vote.

    • Someone was saying this morning that Murray could get a lot of support, not only because he won the US Open, and the Olympics, and got a silver, but also because he cried at Wimbledon and made us “all” love him. Not sure I’d go that far (!) but I reckon a lot more people will have warmed to him because of it.

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