Normally, an event like the BBC Sports Personality of the Year passes me by. And, to be honest, usually for good reason.
But this year, 2012, I’ve got a lot of real interest. Perhaps never in the history of the United Kingdom has there ever been such a stellar cast of sports personalities. And of the twelve nominated there are at least another twelve which could very well have joined the list of nominees. Where, for instance, is Laura Trott?
The truth is that there are three people more likely to win than any one else, and they are, of course, Bradley Wiggins (Odds-on favourite), Jessica Ennis and Mo Farrah. All three more worthy of the award than almost any winner in the last God Knows how many years.
However, my own personal favourite, NIcola Adams, who has been nominated for the award is less likely to walk away with the most votes, although I think as the first ever female boxer to win a Gold Medal she deserves it as much as anyone else.
So, why am I rooting for Nicola Adams? Partly, it’s a simple thing. I just warmed to her personality more than the others. She’s fought hard to get as far as she has, overcame personal injury and, of course, the prejudice that a woman boxer is bound to suffer from in this, the least “feminine” of all sports. It’s obvious that she’s worked hard, fought hard and maintained that iron discipline, frank self-awareness and single-minded dedication to reach the very top of her profession. A black working-class girl from Leeds made good. It’s a fairy tale story.
The truth is that I’m not a fan of boxing or any other contact sports. When a person gets hit, I tend to feel the pain of being hit rather than the glory of doing the hitting. I also have reservations about a sport where the professionals routinely decide their fights by inflicting temporary concussion and possible brain injury on their opponents. It’s a bit like if fencing was decided by killing the opponent. And it definitely feeds the blood-lust of a certain kind of boxing fan.
But on the other hand, many of my favourite films are about boxing (or wrestling) and there is a romance about the sport which few other sports can match. It’s a sport with a very long legacy:probably from well before the advent of agriculture let alone recorded history. There is a very real beauty in watching Mohammed Ali and, I guess, Nicola Adams dance around the boxing ring.
So, my vote will go to Nicola Adams, but if she doesn’t win I believe that Jessica Ennis, Mo Farrah and Bradley Wiggins would all be worthy champions.
And here is a picture of Nicola Adams to celebrate: