Recreating the level of sporting greatness that we witnessed here in the UK in 2012 was always going to be a challenge verging on impossible. Last year, we experienced the kind of sporting talent that even the most optimistic of sports fans would never have predicted.
Nevertheless, 2013 has also seen its fair share of sporting success stories and what better time to remind ourselves of them than now, as we prepare for the much anticipated annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.
This year’s shortlist was put together by a group of influential sports bods including the likes of Mail on Sunday’s Alison Kervin, Daily Mirror’s Dominic Hart and Daily Telegraph’s Adam Sills. Here, we take a look at the 10 finalists in the running for the highly coveted award and share our own views on who should take the title.
Sir Ben Ainslie
Regarded as one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time, Team USA’s success was masterminded by Ainslie himself. The 34th America’s Cup looked entirely out of reach before Ainslie’s super hero antics came into play and, for that, he is a worth contender of the BBC award.
BetVictor odds: 80/1
Hero of this summer’s Ashes series, Bell played a pivotal role in securing England’s victory over Australia. Along the way he scored three centuries in three consecutive Test Matches. Not a bad year for the batsman.
BetVictor odds: 100/1
This year Hannah took home two gold medals at the IPC World Championship, continuing the monumental success she achieved at London 2012. ‘Hurricane Hannah’ is a remarkable athlete with a life story which is equally as remarkable and inspiring.
BetVictor odds: 100/1
Farah this year repeated the success he had achieved in 2012 by claiming victory in both the 5,000m and 10,000m at the World Championships in Moscow. After missing out on the top three last year, will the double double be enough this time around for Farah?
BetVictor odds: 20/1
2013 has seen victories from Froome at the Tour de France, Tour of Oman and Tour de Romandie. If he were to take the title, he would become the fourth individual from the world of cycling to pick up the BBC Award in just six years, following in the footsteps of Sir Chris Hoy, Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins.
BetVictor odds: 33/1
Six Nations Player of the Tournament, Lions Player of the Series and among those shortlisted for IRB World Player of the Year; 2013 has arguably been the best to date for the young Welshman. He is sure to secure a few votes from across the Severn Bridge but it remains to be seen whether he can twist the arm of the English to get behind him.
BetVictor odds: 100/1
This year saw McCoy claim his 4,000th career win. You’d be hard pressed to find a title that this man is yet to take. In fact, it was only four years ago that he took home the title of BBC Sports Personality. Can he do it all over again for 2013?
BetVictor odds: 40/1
This year Murray became the first British winner of the Wimbledon men’s singles title since Fred Perry back in 1936. He has managed well with the weight of a fickle, over enthusiastic nation on his shoulders and has proven himself as one of tennis’ all time greats. If the bookies’ odds are anything to go by, this is one title that Andy won’t have to fight tooth and nail against a lean, mean Serbian power machine to win.
BetVictor odds: 1/33
With the bitter disappointment of a silver medal fresh in her mind, Ohuruogu approached the World Championships with an impressive level of determination. In doing so she took her second 400m title and demonstrated an energy and enthusiasm for the sport that reminded us so fondly of that which we had witnessed by the bucket load in the summer of last year.
BetVictor odds: 100/1
The first Englishman to win the US Open in 43 years, Rose has, this year, proved himself against some of the world’s finest players. For ending the drought alone, he is a worthy contender for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
Regardless of who takes the title, 2013 has been a fantastic year for British sport. There is no doubt in my mind that there is far, far more to come next year.
In the meantime, here is who some of us would like to see take the title of BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2013 and why……
Only one winner here – I’m sorry to be obvious – but it has got to be Andy Murray. The first British Wimbledon men’s winner since Fred Perry, ending a wait of 77 years. The nation has been crying out for anyone to achieve what he did in the summer, and he delivered. Many people thought he would always be an also-ran but he showed that hard work and determination can win the day.
We also saw he DOES have a personality….
Neil McLeod, Senior Consultant
For me it has to be Andy Murray. To do what he did to Djokovic in the final at Wimbledon was incredible. He beat the world number one in straight sets and with it became the first Men’s Wimbledon champion in the open era. As history suggests this is something that doesn’t happen very often so for this reason he deserves to be recognised and win the award this year. What’s disappointing though is the absence of a footballer on the list, but with the World Cup next year, the 2014 SPOY could be very interesting.
Dan Apostolos, Senior Account Executive
Ben Ainslie has surpassed almost every other athlete in Britain in terms of achievement over a sustained period of time, but to ado what he did in the America’s cup – dragging the home team back from 8-0 in the series when he joined them, to win 9-8 is simply super-human.
Phil Hall, Chairman
Andy Murray for me – The clear favourite and rightly so. As the first British man to lift the title for 77 years, he did so after numerous disappointments, showing such a strong character and the commitment and resilience required of a Wimbledon champion, to make sure he would not fall short like he did against Federer last year.
Ben Cossor, Account Executive
Andy Murray wins it because of the history that comes behind his victory! Also he won the US open and Olympic Gold Medal last year but got rather stung by Bradley Wiggins! Ohurugou has achieved a lost this year as well but I think with everything Murray has achieved in the past two years, it has to be him!
Tom Inskip, Account Manager
Mo Farah has put in an extraordinary performance. To win gold in 10k and 5k back to back, competing against the best athletes in the world who, unlike him, aren’t exhausted from the previous event was nothing short of brilliant….to have the strength, fitness, determination and sheer will to hold them all off brought tears of joy to millions of pairs of eyes, including mine! For those reasons, he gets my vote.
Mark Gregory, Managing Director
It’s very dull I know, but it can only be Andy Murray for me. His achievement completely outshines Fred Perry because of the level of quality in the game today is so much higher, comparatively, to the Perry era. In terms of national sporting importance, a Brit winning Wimbledon comes second only to winning the World Cup, so he puts all the others in shade. AP McCoy should be runner-up, I think.
Ciaran McCale, Account Director
BBC Sports Personality of the Year should surely go to Andy Murray this year. He broke the Wimbledon hoodoo and delivered under massive expectation.
Pressure can be huge in any sport, but it has weighed particularly heavy on Murray’s shoulders since he first burst onto the scene, in no small part down to the nearly years of a certain Mr. Henman. To win in front of your home crowd (one that has waited over seven decades for a British man to lift the trophy) is a glory that not every sportsman experiences, but Murray delivered just that at Wimbledon in 2013. Lets hope we don’t have to endure another 77 years before we see it again!
Joe Toal, Digital Account Executive
I vote for AP …. a true legend who has given his heart and soul to his sport and broken every bone in his body along the way! At 5ft 10” and 12 stone, and with 4,000 career winners under his belt, AP is a giant of his sport in every sense. He has won it all; the Grand National, the Gold Cup, the King George VI Chase, and he’s broken just about every bone in his body along the way, including his back, shoulders, shin, ankle and cheek, as well as losing a full set of teeth. He suffers for his sport and is prepared to go to great lengths for success, travelling the length and breadth of the country every day, non-stop in the search for yet more winners. Meanwhile, footballers complain about playing for 90 minutes twice in the same week.
Stuart Skinner, Associate Director
For me Andy Murray is the clear winner for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. After his heart wrenching defeat last year he has come back with more strength of will, fight and determination than ever. Watching him make history as he won his first Wimbledon was a pleasure and something I will never forget. I’m sure he had the entire nation at the edge of their seats, breathing a collective sigh of relief as he pulled it back from the brink. A deserving sportsman!
Freya Leete, Account Executive
Ben Ainslie gets my vote this year both for his amazing personal endeavours but also for what he has achieved for his sport. He has Olympic medals coming out of his ears, smashed the multihull record in this year’s Round the Island Race and was, of course, the man who made all the difference for Team Oracle in the exhilarating America’s Cup. His immense skill on the seas is obviously to be admired but I also love his fighting spirit. During last year’s Olympics he said of two of his fellow competitors; “They’ve made a big mistake. They’ve made me angry and you don’t want to make me angry”, before going on to prove his point in the ultimate fashion by pipping them both to the post in order to claim the gold medal. Clearly the same fight and determination was deployed in this year’s America’s Cup to deliver up one of the most thrilling fight backs the world of sailing has ever seen. He has also done more than his fair share to give sailing mainstream appeal, and to prove that it can be an exhilarating, nail-biting and emotional, spectator sport.
Katie Matthews, Senior Account Director
My vote goes to Andy Murray. It was so good to see him build on his successes of 2012 by going on to win the most important tennis tournament of all, Wimbledon. He is just an excellent sportsman – he’s talented, determined and he works so hard on his fitness to make sure that he can rival the best in the world over five sets. To win Wimbledon in such pressured circumstances, and after last year’s disappointment, was such a huge achievement and with the whole country watching. I also really hope that Rafa Nadal wins the overseas award. Coming back from a significant injury and reclaim No.1 spot in that way is remarkable and tennis didn’t seem the same without him.
Catherine Stewart, Account Manager
To find out more about the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award and the other awards that will be given on the night, go to:
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