The 12 contenders for this year’s Sports Personality of the Year have been announced and there is no surprise that some of the hero’s from the Olympic and Paralympic Games have dominated the field.
There is in fact only one person who was not involved in London 2012 on the shortlist – world number one golfer Rory McIlroy. On many other years, the Northern Irishman would have been a big favourite, but 2012 was a special one for British sport and it would be a slight shock if he picked up the award.
Tour de France winner and time trial gold medallist Bradley Wiggins is of course included, along with Britain’s most decorated Olympian, Sir Chris Hoy.
Athletes Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis will be big contenders and world number three tennis player Andy Murray is also on the list.
Paralympic stars David Weir, Sarah Storey and Ellie Simmons have also made the list and are sure to be in contention after incredible performances, whilst three more Olympians, Ben Ainslie, Katherine Grainger and Nicola Adams, make up the 12 names in contention.
It is going to be tough for to pick a winner from this list as all twelve candidates make a fantastic case for deserving the top prize.
When you consider that other Olympic gold medallists such as Laura Trott, Victoria Pendleton and Greg Rutherford have not been picked by the panel – it shows what an incredible sporting year it has been.
Also, Europe’s winning Ryder Cup team hero, Ian Poulter, has been overlooked when any other year he would have been one of the front-runners.
At the moment it is Wiggins who many believe will claim the prize, and who could argue with that? He ended the wait for a British Tour de France winner and just days after stormed to victory is his home Games.
However, with 5000m and 10,000m Olympic Champion Farah, heptathlon winner Ennis and Murray, who won gold and then the US Open this year all in big contention, how can you possibly call it? The night itself should not be about which sporting hero of 2012 is the best, but a celebration of a year many will never forget.
It has been six years since an English man or women has won the trophy, which might surprise a few as before that the event had been dominated by the English.
Who was that hero from England to last win the Sports Personality of the Year? Zara Phillips.