WHAT a fabulous year and what a fabulous night.
Arguably the greatest, most competitive Sports Personality of the Year resulted in a predictable, if deserved outcome, with Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France victory and Olympic gold earning him a hat-trick with the capture of the SP12 trophy on Sunday night.
Heptathlete Jess Ennis certainly deserved no less than second place for consistency in her seven disciplines while Andy Murray’s progression from nearly man to Grand Slam winner saw him finish third.
In fact, any of the 12 shortlisted sportsmen and women would have been deserving winners.
I would secretly have loved one of the underdogs to sneak into the top three – David Weir perhaps for his haul of four Paralympic golds or Sarah Storey, the most decorated Team GB Paralympian who has won a clutch of medals in two different sports.
Such was the strength of this year’s competition, it meant some people not even making the cut who would have been among the favourites any other time.
Among them, England batsman Alistair Cook – surely the best batsman on the planet right now – was overlooked despite his phenomenal Test scoring rate this year while Team GB cyclist Laura Trott – who won two gold medals, the same as Mo Farah – was not put on the same pedestal which, for me, was unfair.
Without the Olympics, I am confident Rory McIlroy would have been one of the favourites for his elevation to the world’s number one golfer while the European Ryder Cup team were very unlucky that their mesmerising comeback to sink the Americans happened in the same year as London 2012.
One thing’s for sure, the feelgood factor generated by the Olympics made me feel exceptionally proud to be British as I avidly watched every minute of Sunday night’s show at the London ExCel Centre.
ONE of the most touching moments of the night saw tube blast survivor Martine Wright, now a member of the GB sitting volleyball team, collect the Helen Rollason Award.
Martine, who lost both legs in the terrorist explosion at Aldgate only a day after it was announced London would host the 2012 Olympics, does not bemoan the traumatic ordeal she was subjected to.
She believes what happened to her that horrific day was her destiny and that she was meant to be a competitor at the Paralympics. She paid tribute to the 52 killed in the blast and it was lovely to see the woman who saved her, police officer Liz Kenworthy, on stage to witness Martine’s big moment.
Martine’s bravery in overcoming adversity is deserving of a medal in itself, before she has even pulled on a Team GB jersey.
Don’t try for me, Argentina
ON a night when the heroes of the past 12 months won recognition for the countless hours they have put in to become masters of their own sport, there was an amazing contrast when footballer Sergio Aguero, who produced THE highlight of the football season, could not even string a sentence together in English.
Despite being a Manchester City player – and therefore in this country – for around 18 months, we were told by presenter Gary Lineker that Argentine Aguero “wasn’t happy” about having to speak in English.
So Lineker used the Spanish he learnt during his brief stint at Barcelona in the 80s to ask Aguero about the dramatic moment when he won his team the Premier League title.
These Olympians trained for months for a once-in-a-lifetime event but spoilt brat Aguero could not even spend two minutes learning a simple sentence in English – something my five-year-old managed easily for his school nativity.
Good work, son, now score goals like Aguero and I can retire happy.
* What was your highlight of Sports Personality of the Year 2012? Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org