The BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony has showcased talented sportspeople throughout the years. It's an event dedicated to the most gifted and hardworking. Each year, eight elite sportspeople take the fabulous trophy home, changing sports history for the better.
The Idea Behind The Sports Personality of the Year Award
It was Christopher Chataway who begun the long sequence of successful award recipients. Back in 1954, he and British athlete Roger Bannister became the top two contenders listed on a pre-determined shortlist of best sportspeople. Chataway's sports achievements made him a favorite, with the public voting him a winner of the Sports Personality of the Year Award.
However, that's not the only award that the most brilliant of sports players can receive at the show. Although the main one, the award is one of eight different prizes. All of them honor the outstanding qualities of individuals and teams with different achievements, showing the versatility of sport.
How Lewis Hamilton Aced It in 2020
Fans went ecstatic when Lewis Hamilton won the Sports Personality of the Year award in 2020. Six years after he first received this title, the great British F1 driver came before other contenders on the shortlist, and he well deserved that. After winning countless awards, the beloved racing icon's 2020 journey was crowned with BBC's greatest sports trophy.
Both the expert panel of the show and Hamilton's fans recognized the driver's extraordinary success in surpassing legendary Schumacher at winning the Grand Prix. But that wasn't all. This advocate against racism also equaled Schumacher's World Driver's Championships record and became the most successful Formula 1 driver of all time.
Winners From 1954 to 1980
The first 30 years of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year history were marked by winners from different sports. After Paul Fox created the ceremony, the first award went to athlete Christopher Chataway. In the following years, names of fantastic sportspeople started to pop on the experts' shortlists. Boxer Henry Cooper even had the honor to win the award twice!
Other contenders who walked home with a silver salver were gold-medal-winning swimmer Anita Lonsbrough, sprinter Dorothy Hyman, and internationally recognized figure skater Robin Cousins. In addition, Queen Elizabeth's daughter, Princess Anne, was also named Sports Personality of the Year for her success in eventing. Clearly, during the first 30 years, this prestigious ceremony brilliantly fostered the love for sports in its audience.
The '80s, '90s, and '00s Champions
The '80s, '90s, and '00s are remembered as a time of good changes in the awarding process. In 1984, ice dancers Torvill and Dean became the first to win the Sports Personality of the Year award as non-individuals. Famous as the highest-scoring figure skating pair in history, Torvill and Dean is the only duo to have won this award from 1984 to 2010.
These 30 years were the years of athletics. About a fourth of all Sports Personality of the Year award recipients were top-notch athletes with incredible sports careers. Daley Thompson, Steve Cram, and Kelly Holmes were among the eight athletes who've proudly received the prestigious British award at that time. What a time to do athletics!
In the past decade, the Sports Personality of the Year show became a little bit more international. For the first time, foreign voters were allowed to "have a say" about who should win the award. Additionally, the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award became the World Sport Star of the Year.
Things went incredibly well for Andy Murray during these ten years. The Scottish professional tennis player, ranked No.1 in the world by ATP in 2016, was selected as a winner three times! Other award recipients in the ceremony's modern history include cyclist Mark Cavendish, runner Mo Farah, and previously mentioned F1 driver Lewis Hamilton.
Who Will Take the Trophy This Winter?
December of 2021 will be quite interesting for fans of the Sports Personality of the Year show. Sprinter Dina Asher-Smith seems to be this year's favorite, while swimmer Adam Peaty is so far people's second choice. Visit Good Luck Mate for the best casino games to kill some time while waiting for the ceremony!