Does Andy Murray Deserve To Be BBC Sports Personality Of The Year…Again?
December 13, 2016
With Christmas fast approaching, the past and present of the sporting elite will converge in the UK’s second city to review another memorable year satiated with national pride and astonishing achievements. Many of the 16 contenders will feel they have a legitimate chance of lifting this desirable accolade and in the process join an illustrious list of winners who have immersed themselves into sporting greatness and won the hearts of the nation.
Last year’s champion and current world number one Andy Murray is once again favourite for Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) following his finest season to date on the ATP tour, culminating in a second Wimbledon title, a second Olympic gold medal and a remarkable surge to the summit of the tennis rankings.
We gauge the 29-year-old’s chances of winning this prestigious award for a third time in four years and assess his main rivals for the crown. Like Murray, they have not only excelled with their performances in the cut-throat cauldron of top-level sport, but are role models through their humility and indefatigable approach to their craft.
The epitome of dedication. The essence of leaving no stone unturned. Murray is one of a kind – a relentless force who has pushed himself to the extreme for over a decade and has been rewarded with the finest campaign of his career.
His resilience to bounce back from Grand Slam final defeats in the opening two majors of 2016 only elevate his achievements in which he out-dueled Novak Djokovic following a marathon end to the year which saw the British number one win four tournaments on the spin and battle overwhelming fatigue to emerge victorious in the ATP World Tour Finals.
Overcoming the supremacy and dominance of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and most recently a seemingly unbeatable Djokovic is testament not only to Murray’s endurance, but his incredible mental capacity.
A second Wimbledon title and creating history as the first tennis player to ever win multiple singles at an Olympic Games back-to-back have placed him in the discussion to be labelled Britain’s greatest ever sportsman.
Such an assertion of where Murray stands in the pantheon of British sporting brilliance will forever in a day be debated, but there is now disputing that he now stands tall at the pinnacle of the tennis empire. Without question, he would be a deserving winner and is a hot favourite to retain the coveted prize in Birmingham.
A modern day phenomenon who many believe should be hailed as Great Britain’s finest ever athlete. Completed a stunning ‘double double’ in Rio to become only the second person to retain the 5,000m and 10,000m titles. Farah even survived a tumble and outsmarted a glut of tactics and strategies from the rest of the field to move out on his own as Britain’s most successful Olympic track and field athlete of all time.
Brownlee’s achievement in becoming the first man to retain the Olympic men’s triathlon title were upstaged by his heroics in September when he altruistically carried his visibly exhausted younger brother Jonny over the finish line in a dramatic end to the Triathlon World Series in Mexico. This selfless act made headlines across the globe and the 28-year-old has been rewarded with a nomination for SPOTY – the first triathlete to ever be listed for the award.
One half of Great Britain’s ‘golden couple’, Kenny became the first British woman to win four Olympic Gold Medals thanks to a fantastic summer in Rio. The cyclist from Essex retained her Omnium title and secured gold in the team pursuit following a world-record performance from her and the rest of Great Britain’s women smash team.
A classic rags-to-riches story has seen Vardy go from playing non-league football to winning the Premier League title in just four years. His goalscoring exploits saw him find the back of the net in a record-breaking 11 consecutive top-flight matches for shock champions Leicester City and the 29-year-old even featured on the Ballon d’Or award shortlist for the world’s best player.