Sports Personality of the Year 2012

 

A year after Mark Cavendish won Sports Personality of the Year, the nominations for 2012 reveal that the sport of cycling continues to enjoy its greatest ever profile.

 

Sarah Storey

 

In a year when British sport has notched up some truly memorable and undoubtedly historic moments, highlighted by the Olympic and Paralympic games, it is cycling that is revealed as the most highly represented sport.  Incredibly there are no footballers, cricketers or Formula One drivers in the nominations –sports which enjoy a disproportionate amount of television coverage and marketing spend.

 

The shortlist this year has been pulled together by experts including former SPOTY nominees Steve Redgrave, Denise Lewis and Tanni-Grey-Thompson, a departure from previous years when votes from newspapers and magazines have resulted in there being no female nominees at all.

 

Interestingly, three of the nominees are Paralympians and five of the 12 athletes are women.  Unsurprisingly, Olympic sports dominate with seven of the athletes competing in disciplines – sailing, women's boxing, rowing, Paralympic sports – that are given minimal coverage outside of the Olympics.

 

Commenting on the cyclists included, British Cycling’s President, Brian Cookson OBE, said “It’s phenomenal news that three of our cyclists are up for the UK’s most prized annual sporting award. To be nominated for Sports Personality – especially after such a spectacular Olympic year for Team GB – is an amazing recognition of what has been achieved across our sport. Bradley Wiggins, our first winner of the Tour de France, Sir Chris Hoy, now Britain’s most successful Olympian, and Sarah Storey – whose 11 Paralympic golds match Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s record - all thoroughly deserve their place on the shortlist. This comes a year after Mark Cavendish won the award and if a cyclist can do it again, it will further highlight just how mainstream our sport now is”

 

For her part, Sarah Storey said she did not expect the nomination and said she was “a bit lost for words!”

 

The winner will be decided by public vote during the usual live BBC1 show, which will gather sporting celebrities at the ExCel Arena on Sunday 16th December and according to the William Hill, the smart money is on Bradley Wiggins.

 

 

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