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4th November 2012

Sports Personality of the Year 2012 – Why it has to be Wiggins

Wiggins’ Tour de France victory sets him apart, argues Finlay Donaldson

Come the 16th of December this year, Great Britain will have their final opportunity to celebrate what an incredible year it has been for British sport.  By the end of the night one person will walk away with the coveted BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

While the shortlist has yet to be announced, there are many athletes who can rightly claim to be deserving of the award. Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, Andy Murray, Bradley Wiggins and Ellie Simmonds have all been mentioned as possible winners, in the year of Britain’s ‘Greatest Summer of Sport’.

Whatever superlatives have been thrown around, there is no denying the fact it really has been a special year for British athletes, with some outstanding individual performances.  It’s no wonder the shortlist has already been extended from 10 to 12.

Whilst Andy Murray would probably walk away with the title in any other year, I can’t help feeling that the bookies favourite, Bradley Wiggins, should take the crown.

With the Tour de France taking place before the Olympics, his amazing feat might not linger so strongly in the public’s memory as it perhaps ought to but it remains an incredible achievement.

In winning the Tour, one of the most gruelling and challenging sporting events in the world, Wiggins became the first Brit ever to win the event. The fact he won so emphatically, winning the Yellow Jersey after Stage 7 and retaining it for the remaining 13 stages makes his achievement even more impressive.

Whilst many cyclists would consider the end of the Tour de France as a golden opportunity to take a holiday, Wiggins was back in the saddle less than two weeks later winning Team GB another gold medal in the time trial.

As the Lance Armstrong saga continues to tarnish the sport of cycling, Wiggins has become a role model the sport badly needs.  A consummate professional, Bradley also shares the title of Britain’s most decorated Olympian with fellow cyclist Chris Hoy.

It is a difficult task at the best of times comparing the achievements of athletes in different sports, which is exactly what the Sports Personality panel have been assembled to do.  How does a US Open title compare with Rory MacIlroy’s Major win for example?  There are so many variables that can be taken into account and even then, often it comes down to a personal opinion.

However, Bradley Wiggins ticks all the boxes. He is an athlete in the form of his life, has won numerous titles this year and proven himself to be one of the leading talents in his sport.  More than that, he is a role model to the future generations of sports men and women, motivated by glory and success not money and fame.

Quite simply, Wiggins is one of the most successful athletes Britain has ever produced, and has just had his most successful year.  That is why he should win Sports Personality of the Year.

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