This year’s shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year includes three female cyclists – Dame Sarah Storey, Laura Kenny, and Kadeena Cox. The winner will be announced live, following a public vote, on Sunday December 18.
On a star studded list of just sixteen contenders across all sports – shortlisted by an expert panel – we feel women’s cycling has done pretty well. We will be catching up with each of the three contenders to hear their views on being nominated in advance. Today we speak to Dame Sarah Storey, who this year incresed her Paralympic gold medal total to a jaw-dropping fourteen.
Words: Maria David
How did you find out that you had been nominated for an award and what was your reaction?
Barney [Storey’s husband] received a phone call from the BBC and so it was him who told me that I was on the list. Initially you don’t get to know who the other contenders are, so we had to wait until Monday 28th November, about a week later. In between we were trying to guess who else would be on the list! I think we got almost all of them right apart from the football players! We also thought Chris Froome would have been on there. My reaction was one of excitement and then mild panic that I would be last again! In 2012 when I was nominated I received the least number of votes in SPOTY history apparently!
Since there are three para-athletes and six women among the nominees do you think this represents a change in attitude of the expert panel?
Para-athletes rarely get a look in outside of Paralympic year so this probably isn’t the right year to be answering that question. In 2012 there were three para-athletes on the list out of twelve nominations so we have gone backwards from there. Whether there needs to be a conscious decision to portion out the list towards gender is a big point of debate. It would be nice to think that if male footballers are worthy of nomination then so too are female footballers.