Andy Murray, who this year became world number 1 for the first time in his career, capped a magical twelve months with yet another victory at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards. Murray, who tonight is celebrating his third gong in the main category in four years, also successfully defended his Olympic title in Rio during the summer, in addition to his second Wimbledon title in a year that saw him undoubtedly become one of Britain’s best ever sportspeople.
Murray saw off competition from Alistair Brownlee, the Olympic champion triathlete who made headlines in September after helping his brother Jonny over the line during the World Triathlon Series. In third place was Olympic champion show jumper Nick Skelton, the second oldest British gold medal winner of all time.
In what was a massive year for sport, with the Rio Olympics and Paralympics, Football European Championships and unforgettable editions of annual competitions such as Wimbledon and the Premier League, Murray’s achievements stood head and shoulders above the rest. Among (potentially slightly premature) calls for him to be given a knighthood, he will go into the 2017 season as favourite for the Australian Open, testament to just how comprehensively he has turned the tables on the previously dominant Novak Djokovic. Accepting the award via video link from Miami, Murray thanked his support team and paid tribute to his father, whose wedding he attended, just ten days ago.
Elsewhere in the ceremony Leicester City’s exploits in pulling off a 5000/1 shot with a stunning Premier League victory were widely lauded, with coach Claudio Ranieri being named Coach of the Year, and the squad being awarded the Team of the Year gong. US gymnast Simone Biles was named Overseas Personality of the Year after an ‘annus mirabilis’ of her own which included four gold medals in Rio, even more impressive when you consider that she’s only 19. Fellow American Michael Phelps was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award, commenting his career began with the dream of one Olympic medal; he is now higher in the all-time medal table than 175 countries.
Ahead of the ceremony, The Gryphon’s sports writers named their own choices for the top three in the awards, with Murray featuring in three of the four trios. The article can be found here.
Featured Image: Andy Murray