BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2008
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BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2008

October 8, 2019


I think this year’s Sports
Personality of the Year is really exciting. I think Britain has achieved so well
this year in so many sports, particularly with the Olympics
which were a major success. I think the last couple of years
it’s not been that interesting because there hasn’t really been that
much fantastic British achievement. But this year
we’ve got seven Olympians and we’ve got a tennis player,
a motor racing driver, and we’ve got the boxer, Joe
Calzaghe, who won last year. I think it probably comes down
to four main contenders. Andy Murray, Lewis Hamilton,
Rebecca Adlington and Chris Hoy. Personally, I know that Andy Murray
gets a lot of bad press but I think one of the most amazing
sporting events of this year was whenever Andy Murray
beat Rafael Nadal in the semi finals of the American Open. Just to see him achieve
that level of tennis was absolutely out of this world. And I think that started
to win over the British public. Also he did fairly well at Wimbledon although Rafael Nadal
beat him well in the end. I think Andy Murray
does get a bit of a bad press because he is a bit sultry and he’s not particularly good
at communication, he doesn’t smile very much and
his dress sense isn’t great either. So I’m not sure
he’s going to win it this year. Also he didn’t really win
anything big, he didn’t win a major. So maybe in a couple of years we’ll
see Andy Murray right up there. I think Lewis Hamilton’s a really
convincing contender as well. He’s won the Formula One
World Championship. And if you look back, there’s been five British drivers
who’ve won this competition and every one of them has been voted
Sports Personality of the Year, so motor racing drivers
are very popular with the public. And also the hugely
dramatic way in which he won it. Basically, in the final grand prix
at Interlagos where at the final corner he overtook
one of the other drivers to get into fifth place,
which he needed to win. It was just so dramatic that it’s
sort of imprinted on our minds. I also think as a personality,
it’s not just about sport, it could be about personality
as well, he’s got everything. He’s charming, he’s good looking, he’s very easy with the press,
the press really like him. He did hit a little bit
of a glitch in the summer where he made a few mistakes, he said a few things to the press
that he shouldn’t have done. But I think that
overall as a package, he’s transcended all that. I think these guys
have a slightly unfair advantage because they’re competing every year whereas the Olympians only get
a chance once every four years. That’s why I would like to see it
go to one of the Olympians. We’ve got Chris Hoy
who everybody took to their hearts. The sheer power, the sheer speed
and strength of the guy. He won three gold medals which is unprecedented
by a British Olympian. He won three gold this Olympics,
he won one gold in 2004 and he won a silver in 2000. So he’s got longevity as well
as outstanding achievement this year. The one I’d like to see is Rebecca
Adlington for a lot of reasons. She’s the first British female to win
two golds at an Olympic Games since 1908. The first British swimmer
since 1960 to win a gold. She was unlucky because her first
event was screened at 3am, she didn’t get
a lot of people watching her but the next day we had this
new name, Rebecca Adlington. And for me, watching the joy
in her face and the excitement and the celebration when she won, that was one of the most heart
warming moments in British sport. She then went on and won two gold. She actually could have won
three golds but they rested her for the semi
final of the 4×200 metre relay and the other girls
didn’t qualify for the final. So she missed the chance
of winning a third gold. She may not have won it
but that’s how I’d talk her up. But for me, I think in terms
of her personality and achievement, I think that’s absolutely massive
as well. So that’s what I would like to see. I would really like to see
Becky Adlington win. I’ve got a feeling
that Lewis Hamilton might. A swimmer hasn’t won it since 1962.
A cyclist hasn’t won it since 1965. The British public
tend to like motor racing drivers. So I think he might win but I’d
love to see Becky Adlington win.

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  1. Lewis should win but you are wrong if you think the press like him. I have read about 3 negative reports a day about him and they are practically willing the public to vote against him. I will be voting for Lewis anyway but I know he won't win.

  2. HOY HOY HOY!!!! my faith in the British public restored. 100 years since his achievement was matched. Hamilton will win another year as he has EVERY year to show what he can do. Hoy had one chance and delivered 3 times. Don't go for the sport you support. Think about the achievement. This was Hoys only chance and common sense prevailed even when the cycling vote could have been split. Superb

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