Monday, 15 December 2008

The Public Has Spoke

It's enough to restore your faith in the British public.

Congratulations to Chris Hoy for peddling off with the Beeb's Sports Personality of the Year Award. The smart money had been on Rebecca Adlington and Lewis Hamilton but it seems that Hoy's achievements were sufficiently impressive to overcome the 'campaigning' advantages that his competitors for the title had.

Through the years, many Scottish sports stars have not had a look in when it comes to this award. This is even more galling when you consider that, unlike this year, there have been so many mediocre years for British sport in the last 30 years. When you look at some of the names that have won this trophy it is difficult not to believe that one of the major reasons why the likes of Allan Wells, Jim Watt, Stephen Hendry, Robert Millar, Gavin Hastings or Kenny Dalglish were never in the running is because they are Scottish and therefore not held in the same affection by the majority of those voting or involved in the selection process as English sports stars.

Hoy had to overcome this in-built disadvantage, the massive lobbying power of the F1 brigade and a concerted campaign on behalf of Adlington. The fact he did so, and by a margin of over 100,000 votes, underlines just how impressive a performer he is.

While I have huge admiration for Adlington's Olympic achievements, whose two events were both freestyle endurance events, I'm not sure that they compare to Hoy who won three very different disciplines and wasn't even allowed to defend his title from 2004. It should also be remembered that Beijing was the crowning of several years of Hoy's utter dominance of the velodrome.

I'm not an F1 fan and as far as I am concerned it shouldn't even qualify as a sport. And nice bloke though he seems to be, I'm not sure Lewis Hamilton qualifies on the personality front either.

So congratulations also to the British public who, for once, got it absolutely right.

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