The BBC has released the contenders for this year’s Sports Personality of the Year Award, with Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton the favourite to win.
Joining Hamilton on the shortlist are footballer Jordan Henderson, cricketer Stuart Broad, jockey Hollie Doyle, snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan and boxer Tyson Fury.
Despite the coronavirus disrupting several of the scheduled sports events for 2020, such as the Olympics, Wimbledon and Euro 2020, there were still plenty of iconic sporting moments.
This will be the 67th year the BBC has handed out the award, and whoever wins will succeed cricketer Ben Stokes, whose World Cup and Ashes heroics led him to win the award in 2019.
The bookies have Hamilton as the favourite to take home the award, which would be his second after also winning in 2014.
The winner will be announced live at the Sports Personality of the Year show on December 20.
Hamilton has had a record-breaking 2020. He equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of seven F1 world titles, and also surpassed the German’s total of 91 Grand Prix victories. Hamilton has not only received praise for his performances on the race track. The Stevenage-born driver has become a major British voice in the fight against racism, regularly showing his support for Black Lives Matter before and after races.
Henderson captained Liverpool to their first-ever Premier League title and their first top-flight title in 30 years. Despite his teammates Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané regularly grabbing the headlines, Henderson was the glue that held the Liverpool team together and as a result, was the recipient of the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year award.
Despite being dropped for the opener of England’s summer series against the West Indies, Broad returned triumphantly for the second and third tests. The Nottinghamshire bowler took 16 wickets over the two tests, making him only the seventh ever bowler to surpass 500 career test wickets. Broad also chipped in with a crucial 62 runs to lift England to a 2-1 series victory.
The 24-year-old jockey broke her own record for the number of winners ridden by a British woman in a year. She also rode a historic double on British Champions Day and became the first woman to ride five winners on the same card, at odds of 899-1. In addition to this, Doyle claimed her first victory at Royal Ascot and was named Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year.
O’Sullivan won his sixth world title at the Crucible in Sheffield making him the oldest champion for more than 40 years whilst also cementing him as one of snooker’s greatest players. “The Rocket” secured his 37th ranking title, as well as his 20th Triple Crown event title, more than any other snooker player in history.
The heavyweight boxer became a two-time world heavyweight champion after defeating American Deontay Wilder in their Las Vegas rematch in February. This marked the highpoint of Fury’s comeback, with the self-proclaimed “Gypsy King” overcoming his battles with depression and addiction.
One name missing from the shortlist for Sports Personality of the Year is Marcus Rashford, who has spent much of the year garnering plaudits for his fight to raise awareness about child poverty.
However, the Manchester United and England forward will be presented with a separate award.
According to the BBC: “The show’s judging panel unanimously agreed that Rashford’s accomplishments off the pitch should be commended with a special award as the criteria for the main award shortlist is based around sporting achievements.”
Rashford took on the government on numerous occasions, calling for it to fund free school meals throughout the pandemic.
Rashford’s plight proved successful, with 1.3 million children being able to claim free school meal vouchers over the summer and winter holidays.