2012: SPOTY the difference



WARNING: Satirical Content, all points made are intended to be light-hearted and slightly amusing. However the point about Chelsea is deadly serious.

Award season has come upon us, X Factor, Strictly and now athletics have got in on the act of public bore-fest tele-marathons.


First the International Athletics Association Federation (IAAF) named their male and female athletes of the year. In what was one of the greatest years for athletics it seems a shame the IAAF would be so petty as to reduce the highlights of the Olympics and Paralympics to a popularity contest. Somehow they contrived to shortlist Usain Bolt, David Rudisha and Aries Merriott (apparently he is the 110 metre hurdle World Record holder) as male athlete of the year.


Rudisha set a new 800m record


Hopefully, you are suitably gobsmacked at the Mo Farah-shaped omission on this shortlist. All bias aside, Farah is the first athlete to have won gold in both the 10,000 metres and 5,000 metres at a home Olympics. Admittedly he didn’t break any world records like Rudisha, who smashed his own world record and Merriott.


My main gripe is with Usain Bolt. So he may be the fastest man in the world, but so what? Isn’t that all a bit ‘2008’ when he actually broke the World Record, the lazy sod couldn’t even be bothered to finish his race electing to jog the final 20 metres! Even I could do that.


Consider it this way. Yes, Bolt won three gold medals in London, credit where credit’s due. In practice, however, Bolt was only running for a combined total of 45 seconds. He spent the rest of the Olympic fortnight swanning off with the female Swedish Handball and Dutch Hockey team. I would’ve thought ‘the fastest man on earth’ tag would be a winner with the ladies. I can’t imagine it working in Halo.


I digress, my point is that comparing athletes across different sports is completely pointless. Bolt, Rudisha and Farah are all world champions in their own right. They proved that by winning their golds.


The same can be said for this year’s BBC Sports Personality competition. In all my time of watching SPOTY I have rarely, if ever, agreed with the winner. Now, following on from the ‘Greatest Summer of British Sport Ever’, I am against the idea of a competition that compares the heroes from the London 2012 Games. It seems incredibly trivial to choose a favourite between the likes of Jessica Ennis, David Weir and Bradley Wiggins.


This year all the GB athletes have proved themselves heroes to us all. Electing one to be SPOTY is like claiming them to be the winner of the Olympics. It minimalises the achievements of the whole and it is wrong of us to do that to our brilliant home team.


Like Chelsea fluking their way to being Champions League champions, the competition has been permanently compromised after Zara Phillips was crowned champion in 2006. The BBC also massively shot themselves in the foot last year by nominating a male-only shortlist.


Granted, the selection process this year is near to impossible with the selectors having to choose 12 sportsmen and women from what was the most successful Olympic and Paralympic games for Team GB, ever.


My Suggested SPOTY candidates are: Jessica Ennis, Bradley Wiggins, Mo Farah, Sarah Storey, Laura Trott, David Weir, Jonnie Peacock, Ellie Simonds, Andy Murray, Ben Ainslie, Nicola Adams and Alistair Brownlee.


Author: Joe Bookbinder, Sports Editor

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