A-Hoy there

Posted by Ian

It’s quite clear who should be the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year 2008:

Read his own account of his feelings after becoming the first Briton in 100 years to win three golds in three different events at the same Olympics. You’ll rarely find a more inspiring yet humble and down-to-earth sportsperson. And you’d certainly be hard-pressed to find a more articulate testimony of what it’s like training for and competing in a world-class event.

What a contrast with the lazy, pointless burblings that tend to be reported as tumbling from the mouths of Britain’s footballers and cricketers.

I think that’s one of the reasons I’ve found myself so gripped by this year’s Olympics. I can take or leave the posturing performance of the UK’s various footie squads or test match sides. They always carry deadweights and rarely perform consistently. And they are never tested in these kinds of environments.

GB’s Olympic gold medal winners, of whom Chris Hoy is the king, are individuals who can’t fall back on anyone but themselves. As a result they commit their entire beings, emotionally, physically, psychologically, to their discipline. Their sincerity and talent is so self-evident it’s enough to move you to tears. And Sir Lord Christopher Hoy OBE is clearly the finest textbook example of them all.    

Sadly, because Britain is the most fickle country in the world, come Christmas it’s just as likely that the honour will end up going to yet another overpaid underachieving football ‘star’ who only kicks a ball 300 out of 365 days a year, scores goals even less, has a wife who is a model, and who likes being photographed skulking around fashion shows and falling out of nightclubs.

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100 Responses to A-Hoy there

  1. Unknown says:

    While I do whole-heartedly agree with you that Chris Hoy\’s amazing feat of three golds should definately place him in pole-position for the sports personality of the year, I have to disagree with your opinion that, and I quote, "it\’s just as likely that the honour will end up going to yet another overpaid underachieving football \’star\’".
    If you actually took the time to look at the past winners of the award, you will see that it has only been won by a footballer four times out of the fifty-four times it has been awarded. Of these four winners, the first was Bobby Moore in 1966, captain of our world cup winning team, a great sportsman, and by all accounts a bloody nice bloke to boot. In no way could he be discribed as "overpaid" or "underachieving", and if you ask most people I\’m sure they would agree that he was a deserving winner of the award.
    The second footballer to win was Paul Gascoigne in 1990, when England finished fourth in the world cup and the iconic imagery of Gazza\’s passionate tears when he realised he would miss the final (which turned out to be the third-place play-off). Although he still had his problems even then, he was easily England\’s most gifted footballer for a long time, and was also a massive personality. This was before the start of the Premier League and the over-inflated wages footballer\’s now receive, so even though Gazza did not recieve a World Cup winner\’s medal, I still think he was a deserved winner.
    The third to win was Michael Owen in 1998. Michael Owen had a phenominal world cup in \’98, culminating in that wonderful goal against Argentina (something which he has struggled to live up to for the rest of his career) and deserved some kind of recognition for his efforts. Michael Owen has also proven to be a model professional (other than his brief foray into gambling of course) and to my knowledge has never been photographed stumbling drunk out of a nightclub.
    The last footballer to win was David Beckham in 2001. Now I am not Beckham\’s biggest fan, I feel that he is over-rated and that his (or more likely his wife\’s) self-promotion and advertising deals have stopped him becoming as great a player as he could have been. However when he won in 2001, he was quite possibly at his peak. He had overcome the abuse and hatred recieved after getting sent off for England in the \’98 world cup to become England\’s captain and, at that time, best player. He played each game as if it was a world cup final and I feel if he ever deserved praise for his ability, this was the time.
    I can understand why footballers are thought of as overpaid and underachieving, particularly when compared to other, lesser publicised sports, but please, if you think of yourself as a journalist, at least do research on the subect you are talking about.

  2. Unknown says:

    So we\’ll see everyone cheering on Mr. Hoy et al down at the velodrome next week then , and every weekend after that ? i think not.
    Yes , its great to see the GB team having so much success this time around. They deserve every bit of praise we will be heaping on them. They deserve a whole lot more besides for their sheer guts and determination , not to mention the skill competitiveness and talent they have displayed in Beijing. Mr. Hoy would certainly be a deserving winner of SPOTY , as would several others in GB colours and hopefully they will all be recognised in a fitting fashion be it on SPOTY , the Queens Honour list , wherever appropriate. But to draw the comparison with "lazy" , "work-shy" , "overpaid" , "loser" footballers is hardly fair when it is WE , the paying public , who go in our thousands and tens of thousands to football games week-in-week-out , paying at the gate and effectively poking the vast fortunes in the direction of these "sportsmen" (term used loosely in some cases). It IS up to us to vote with our feet for the real sportsmen down at the velodrome , the rowing/yachting venues , the boxing/martial arts gyms and running tracks up and down the length and breadth of the country. I\’m tempted to finish by saying , "beach volleyball anyone ?" , but then would anyone take ME seriously !?!  Good on you , Chris Hoy , Bradley Wiggins , Rebecca Adlington. Well done all our rowers  , sailors and ynglers.
    Congrats to ALL our medal winners and those who came so desperatley close – you really have put us on the map , both now and also for London 2012. You ALL deserve our support ……… and i hope you continue to get it !!

  3. Paul says:

    I believe another of Team GB who has given a outstanding performance at the Olympics, winning 2 Gold medals at the age of 19 is Rebecca Adlington having gone out to Beijing to gain experience, she won two gold medals & broke a world record, and must surely be an inspiration to many young people out there, who aim to complete in the london olympics 2012. She has gone and won the first female Olympic Gold medal in the pool for 48 years, and didn\’t only get 1 but 2! Whilst Chris Hoy is undoubtably a brilliant athlete, I would love to see Rebecca Adlington win given all that she has accomplished, I for one will be given her my vote

  4. Unknown says:

    I agree that Hoy\’s acheivements are absolutely amazing but would argue that cycling is a minority sport that is based more on physical fitness than any defined skills, this is the same for swimming. Whilst there is obviously technique involved the key to being successful in these sports is simply to cover the required distance as quickly as possible. Footballers and cricketers (who this article is so quick to disparage) have to have a number of abilities to compete and the game can pan out in many different ways, this is the reason that they are so greatly supported. To call footballers and cricketers lazy shows the sever bias and lack of understanding the writer has,  I would argue that no professional sportsman can be called this and whilst I like Hoy and agree he is a far nicer person riding a bike very fast cannot be compared to the skill and ability of a Ronaldo even though he maybe a spoiled primadonna.

  5. colin says:

    Becks for the award ( Not David Beckham but Rebecca Adlington!)

  6. Unknown says:

    Can\’t believe this writer. Footballers do a lot more than \’just kick a ball\’ the irony is that Hoy actually does \’just ride a bike\’. 

  7. Stephen says:

    The key word in the phrase is personality
    Few \’mainstream\’ sports people have a personality – apart from the likes of Kevin Peiterson who has
    real charisma –
    The GB Team deserve the Team Award – albeit perversely in the main they are a disperate
    set of very talented individuals – they are perceived as a Team in fact teams within Teams.
    Hoy is a definite contender fot the so called main award, though there are as he will tell you an excellent
    team behind his undoubted talent.
    While the likes of Hamilton, Ronaldo et al entertain {for some of us though not all}
    they and their kind are without real personality – a winning smile or sneer for the camera does not mean they have the \’ality\’ to go with their person.
    If a person trancends the sport – Ali, Pele – they have a personality……  

  8. Gethin says:

    These bloomin athletes get enough awards, trophies and money without this crappy sports personality of the year, why not have something for people with real jobs such as the soldiers who are out in iraq risking their lives everyday and what not. Sports stars are just greedy, egotistical b******s and footballers are just big girls who just seem to dive about and cry at the slightest touch these days.

  9. dan says:

    I can\’t believe this article! Taking nothing away from all the achievements of Team GB in Beijing, I have to forcefully disagree with the comments regarding the footballers and cricketers of this country. Whilst I have always maintained they are often overpaid, and this isn\’t proportional to their production on the pitch, why discredit their achievements. Maybe the reason we don\’t see Mr Hoy and other such athletes falling out of nighclubs is because noone cares about them. Notice that the Olympics is only every 4 years and that we have arguably overachieved at this Tournament in Beijing, it was meant to be a building block for London in 2012. Name me a person that thought we would have done this well in the medals table up to this point and I will retract all these comments, but most were expecting the usual rowing, sailing and cycling medals. On the other hand these footballers you seem to hate work for four years, challenged at the highest level every year, and every four years at the World Cup we often fall short. But they build up the expectation and anticipation of success with success at the club level. Plus how many people do you see at the Manchester Velodrome week in week out, try going accross the street to the Man City ground and asking a few of the fans there how they feel about their team, and how they support them through the years. One success and you want him to win the Sports Personality of the Year award. Im not doubting the effort put in or his achievements on the track, I take my hat off to the man, but lets judge him at the end of the year against all athletes accross the country from a range of sufferent sports. It still makes me angry to think of Zara Philips winning the award in 2006. a) is it even a sport? It is the horse doing all the work, all she had to do is guide him round a course. b) with her background she can afford to pay for all the best facilities and training, other people have nothing but work and graft to get to a similar position and will never be recognised for their achievements. Rant over.

  10. Kelsey says:

    Thank you to whoever said Ben Ainslie should be recognised, let it not be forgotten that he is now regarded as Britain\’s most successful sailor to date after winning his 3rd Olympic Gold Medal. I\’m not trying to dampen what the cyclists have done as I do recognise their achievement, but the sailors have won their share of the medals too, with Sarah Ayton and her crew winning Gold for the second time, Iain Percy winning his 3rd Olympic Gold medal and Paul Goodison with his first, not to mention the silver and bronze we\’ve won too. I think the sailors have been a fantastic team this year

  11. Ben says:

    I don\’t see the point in SPOTY anyway, as I cant understand how you select just one person from an array of sports, and I am very scepical about how it is all decided. The award is always biased against what has happened in the months just before anyway, and in my opinion is never viewed as a year!
    Thats my rant over!

  12. kirsti says:

    To everyone on here that has belittled our (successful) sportsmen and women in these minority sports as not requiring skill I have just one thing to say….if they\’re so easy we\’ll be seeing you win Gold in 2012 won\’t we? =)

  13. shirley says:

    Which footballer has a personility?. They are mostly overpaid cocky arragant people who think thw world owes them a living. Yes they are skillful but most of them need to start earning their salary\’s. When put together as an England team they are appaulling and it makes me quite embarressed to watch them at times. Whats with the latest draw?.
    Let some other hard working sports person take the credit.

  14. Caroline says:

    I think Ben Ainslie should be given SPOTY, he\’s won 3 golds over 3 Games, a fantastic achievment. Sailing always seems to be overlooked, but the British Team have been the most sucesful at the past 2 Games.
    Becky Adlington has also done exceptionally well, winning 2 golds in her first Olympics.
    I agree with the comments about football and footballers, but unfortunately it is still the most popular sport in the country, and until some money is spent promotiong and attracting kids to other sports then we\’re going to be stuck with football. I get very irritated with the amount of money footballers earn when they only have 2 brain cells bouncing around in their empty heads.
    Also, why is rugby not in the Olympics?

  15. kirsti says:

    I think that Rugby Sevens has made an appearance but don\’t quote me on that lol. Maybe we can introduce it for 2012? If Atlanta could include Beach Volleyball…

  16. Becky says:

    Whilst I agree that footballers and cricketers etc are overpaid, we have no one to blame but ourselves, for without us the money would not be available.
    I would like to see someone like chris hoy win sports personality of the year because the Olympics is the only highly publicised opportunity these athletes have to prove their four years of absolute hard work and determination.
    Unlike footballers who have every week to prove themselves these athletes have only one chance to be judged, which is make or break.
    In response to dan
    "Name me a person that thought we would have done this well in the medals table up to this point and I will retract all these comments"
     Christine Ohuruogu
    However, I agree that we still have the rest of the year for other athletes to prove themselves worthy

  17. Becky says:

    to dan

  18. Christopher says:

    Let\’s put our medal achievement in perspective – we\’ve cleaned up in all those events which the vast, vast majority of countries cannot afford to compete in.  Well done Britian! Well done us for putting more money into our cycling team than, say, Australia have put into their entire Olympic team. And well done all those public shools that can afford the facilities to train the vast majority of our medal winners – you\’ve really given the riff-raff and all those developing countries what for when it comes to riding horses, sailing yachts and rowing boats down Henley! Rule Britania! Sorry for the reality check. But Usain Bolt\’s achievement really puts it all into perspective.

  19. Senaria says:

    JOE CALZAGHE! He should keep his title of Sports Personality of the Year. The guy goes and fights and wins in style. Britain hasnt had alot of successful boxers do us proud across the pond in America, But through Joe Calzaghe the americans are sitting up and noticing thr UK. The guys a legend. Vote Joe!

  20. Kelly says:

    To respond to what dan said about not seeing the likes of chris hoy falling out of nightclubs is because they don\’t crave the media attention. They know that all the attention they get is for their hard work at their sport. Unlike all the \’talented\’ footballers they don\’t need the media to big them up. As someone said before,these athletes only have the olympics to get noticed,no one seems to notice how much hard work they do behind the scenes and this is obvious by the teams achievements this year

  21. Shane says:

    Well done Olympic heroes – what an example of supreme performance under the highest pressure that you give to our wailing sobbing footballers who have achieved precisely zero in 40 years of hurt and failure. John Terry take a bow! Look to Spain the previous great underachievers until Euro 2008 who have now passed that mantle onto England football. Even the cricketers (usually a shambling mess) are better.
    As for the Olympics, well done to all those involved in adequately funding and training our champions. A great way to prepare for London 2012. On a slightly cynical note, Usain Bolt\’s victories (and Jamaica\’s sudden sprinting resurgence as a whole) have a hollow ring. The last 100m I saw dominated like that was Ben Johnson in 1988…  I suspect like all other recent \’champions\’ (many currently in jail) something will come out of the woodwork.

  22. Suzanne says:

    Dan,  I just want to ask you, have you ever sat on a horse?  It is not like a motor bike or cycle, it has a mind of its own and those very highly bred animals are not at all easy to ride!!!  Horses do not read numbers and cannot count the amount of strides needed to get over 5 feet plus fences, also they cannot tell the time!!  They are animals of flight, and to jump in a stadium with so much going on and so much noise is enough to make them flee.  I am not  a well off but do have great respect for the riders – try it sometime – I think you might just change your mind…..  As for rowing – have you ever sat on a rowing machine, or even had the dedication to become as fit, both mentally and physically as our men with fantastic bodies have who row.  You don\’t need money, just the will to do well in your chosen sport.  Take Chris Hoy and our other cyclists –  you can buy your first bike for less than £100,  then its up to you to prove your metal.   Many of our athletes join clubs because they enjoy sport you don\’t need money to be talented…………………….
    Now thats my rant over.

  23. Peter says:

    This blogs extremely unoriginal, i mean why say, "the honour will end up going to yet another overpaid underachieving football \’star\’ ". Footballers have one the trophy only 4 times since sports personality began. But of course everyone enjoys puttin down the footballers, mainly out of jealousy, because its such a common cliché, \’overpaid, overhyped\’, if i hear that one more time i think i may go mad. The daily mail is especially guilty of this. If you ask me its the media who are fickle, they overhype events like world cups before they chastise the players for underperforming, not the british public who have made well informed decisions for SP every year.

  24. andi says:

    while i agree the sportsmen and women have excelled in the sports can we look at some of the quite sports we have
    world champions that have never been given a mention or maybe a few seconds but they are and continued to be world champions
    dave thorpe = motorcross 3x world champ
    carl fogarty = road racing
    mark loram = speedway
    scott nichols =speedway
    poss=  tommy searle at the young age might win a world championship = motorcross
    duggie lampkin = trials indoor and world champ
    and a few in the kart world but we have a young lewis hamilton to watch 
    i know these are motorsport but they race week in and week out train every day and one crash could end their lifes not just the career thank you

  25. Christopher says:

    "You don\’t need money, just the will to do well in your chosen sport"
    Low-income countries = 2.4 billion
    Eton College = 1,300 boys
    Medals won in sailing, rowing, and equestrianism in the past two Olympic games
    Low income countries = 0
    Eton College = 5
    Proportion of population at independant schools = 7%
    Proportion of medal winners educated at independant schools = 56%
    There are more facts and figures if you still dont get it. To say "you don\’t need money to be talented" is rather naive.  Look at India – one fifth of the world\’s population, in Athens they won 1 fifth of 1% of the medals available.

  26. Jean says:

    And its worth remembering that the GB cycling team cleaned up an unprecedented number of Golds at the recent World championships… So it\’s not just down to success at the Olympics. And whilst we are on cycling, what about Nicole Cooke. She won the first Gold for GB at the Olympics, has won the female Tour de France TWICE and has won the World championship a number of times as well.Hey, rowers and runners get Knighthoods, and other gongs. Surely something similar ought to to be forthcoming from Buck House to the victorious cycling team. Just about managed to not mention the overpaid, failures that are our footballers.

  27. Louise says:

    I think Chris Hoy or Rebecca Adlington should get this award. Professional footballers and cricketers have other years to shine in, but Britain\’s Olympic team only gets one year out of four in the spotlight while being ignored the rest of the time (by the mass media at least). Considering the success of the team in many different disciplines, I think the SPotY should go to the whole team or to John Major for establishing the source of funding that has nurtured our sporting personalities; normally only one or two people shine and thus get recognised (such as Kelly Holmes last time round, though I think that was politically motivated since we were into the run-up of a hotly contested general election) but if there is ever a time for a collective award, this is it. Professional players – footballers or cricketers – are well-paid by comparison even to Chris Hoy and so don\’t really deserve the gong just for doing their job, unless they captain a winning national team, something conspicuously absent this year.
    As regards knighthoods, I\’m not sure. Hoy should get one, but I think that there should be a different honour – along the lines of a British Nobel Prize – for people who do well in sports, the arts, cultural activities – because knighthoods in my opinion should go to people who perform social duties or do something beyond the call of duty such as the fire chief who was killed helping people in the King\’s Cross disaster get out alive. Even if it is awarded posthumously, knighthoods should be kept for something ultra-special, not just winning medals. I would prefer it if we reserved the knighthoods for really exceptional, once-off acts and established a prize awarded annually to reward people who regularly compete and have improved their standings. Even Rebecca Adlington, talented as she is, is only at the beginning of a career in which I hope she will become another Michael Phelps.

  28. Suzanne says:

    Another little rant….
    My Dad was a schoolboy for Fullham Football Club but was seriously injured before he could play professionally.  He loved and lived for football but, he would be totally disgusted at the spoilt, overpaid prima-donas that many of them have become.  What does a sportsman do that can possibly warrant £100,000 per week………..!!!!! plus all they get from sponsors too…..
    Our Olympians do not just perform once every 4 years, they train 6 – 8 hours daily and compete at meetings most weeks of the year to gain a competitive edge, they fight and compete through much pain for the sport they love and many have to keep up jobs as well to pay their mortgages…….  They deserve to earn a living through their sport too….

  29. Suzanne says:

    OK no name,  obviously statistics are your talent, passion is mine – no one will ever convince you.  You have tunnel vision I think…

  30. Steven says:

    Never mind SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR 2008 – Who should be nominated for SPORTS NO PERSONALITY??…

  31. Christopher says:

    Your response to those stats seems to be.. yeah, but they try really hard! I don\’t doubt that they try really hard "to gain a competitive edge" – my point, which you don\’t seem to have addressed, is that they are competing in sports which are so expensive that the "competiton", on global level, is practically zero.  Britain\’s olympic success reminds me of the origins of the modern olympic movement – when the French aristocrat Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded it, he filled it with sports that only his fellow aristocrats could afford, thus excluding the third world.  What I\’m saying, Suzanne, which isnt to dispute our GB team\’s passion, is that we only really excell in those sports that low income countries are excluded from. If 1% of the continent of Africa could even get close to participating in equestrianism, rowing or sailing, i very much doubt we\’d even qualify past the heats. I think the person with tunnel vision is he/she who cannot factor in the economic trends behind our olympic success.

  32. Alan says:

    i agree with most peoples opinions of footballers but the pay things is completely unjust who in their right mind would turn down £100,000 a week.
    sorry the wages are not the players fault its the clubs that are to blame i certainly wouldnt say no to it, if it were put on a plate.
    the F.A. should have capped wages years ago, also i find getting paid to play for your country a complete joke, representing your country in whatever sport should be an honour, so until the governing bodies clamp down the players will keep earning more and more. its time everyone got on their back instead of the players – also chris hoy sports personality of the year, why? because no other sportsperson has achieved more this year!

  33. Timothy John says:

    It is the combined fault of the British press for only concentrating most of the sports colunm inches to Football, with everything else only getting a look in after Cricket and Rugby, and successive governments who have deprived the British public/communities of much needed resources for practically everyother sport other than the ones i have listed above.  We should encourage much wider coverage of all sports especially as it turns out that the so called beautfiul game actually originates from China!!  Which is a fact has also been officially acknowledged by the FA!!
    Yeah Yeah Yeah

  34. Matthew says:

    Well it\’s clear to me that it should be John Terry, it takes a great personality to come back from so many injuries, a great personality to come back from his personal dissapointment in Moscow and becoming England captain shows that everyone thinks he is a great Leader. I think they should not consider many Olympians because most are individuals but football captains are people who take responsibility for a whole squad of people so they should really be top of the candidates list with all the pressure as well.

  35. bob says:

    Well, thats very biased coming from a chelsea suppporter, I must say. I could say I\’d like Frazer Richardson to be sports personality of the year, and it\’d have just as much of a basis in reality. The fact is Terry missed when it mattered, Hoy delivered. Greatness and gold medals don\’t come from what-could-have-beens. Noone has achieved the feat Hoy has in 100 years, as stated, yet football captains who haven\’t achieved anything this year are everywhere. Give it to someone who deserves it, and for christs sakes not to someone who already has six £100,000 cars, a girlfriend with more silicone than blood and a house bigger than a medium sized estate in Manchester.

  36. Dave says:


  37. Universal Play Ltd. says:

    Let\’s give it to someone who\’s actually done something this time and who isn\’t getting £100k a week to be mediocre.

  38. henry says:

    If Lewis Hamilton wins the drivers champoinship he deserves it, chis hoy has done well but only in 3 races hamilton has already won that many so if he continues he deserves it.

  39. Kirsty says:

    What about our Golden Girl Rebecca.  She is young and it just goes to show why people at her age are going around stabbing people this young girl won two gold\’s and smashed a world record to boot.
    What Chris has done is a great achivement but lets o the yobs that we do have some young people that do Britian proud
    Kirsty x

  40. Andy says:

    Lewis Hamilton?!!! Put him in a Red Bull, then lets see if he wins races!!! There must be a handful of sporting stars from the olympics who are contenders. Rebecca Adlington, Ben Ainslee (who i hasten to add won gold at the last olympics too) and Bradley Wiggins. Their dedication should be rewarded!!

  41. Unknown says:

    The point I am trying to make in regards skill is not that swimmers and cyclists have none just that skill is not as important in these disciplines as physical fitness and skill is only a small percent of the game. An example of this is the amazing Michael Phelps who although technically good is the best because of his physical makeup (paddles for hands and feet) in football you can be any natural shape or size and still be excellent compare Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole and you will see my point, this is the same with cricket, look at KP then Ian Bell.  This is because these sports require other skills that are as important as fitness and physicality (you could argue cricketers batsmen in particular don\’t even need to be that fit). The reason football is so huge is because it is good to watch not because of some media conspiracy and for me although I respect Chris Hoy and Rebbecca Adlington immensly and enjoyed their performances I could not watch a bike going round in a circle or someone swimming up and down a pool on a regular basis. This is the reason that football is watched not only by participants or former participants but people who have never played the game I bet nearly all cycling and swimming fans are or have been at one time cyclists or swimmers.

  42. Matthew says:

    Rob, my point isn\’t that \’almost\’ matters or winning or losing or anything, the point is that this is Sports PERSONALITY – not just how good they are or what they win but also how they have behaved, inspired they\’re team and bounced back from dissapointment, that is why Terry should win it

  43. Unknown says:

    Surely there is only one worthy winner this year?  One real sports "personality".  That man is Max Mosely.

  44. Matthew says:

    stop complaining about footballers salaries – its simple, the more money in that is invested in the football industry, the more money the clubs will earn and the more the players will earn. they are being paid the same percentage of the companies earnings as you people are from your companies, its just that your companies aren\’t as rich as chelsea and man utd. if you want to earn more go get yourself a job in a high paying industry because it isn\’t how hard you work, its who you work for.

  45. iam says:

    Rebecca Adlington

  46. Stephen says:

    I\’m not going to argue the fact that Chris Hoy is an amazing sports person, but you seem very ignorant of the hard work other sports men and women under go through, you seem to dislike traditional sports and try to act as if they are actually pretending to be sports men/women and I\’m positive if you actually experienced what its like to train at a professional/nearly professional level you would not say they are underachieving stars, because in fact (although some misbehave) the majority are truly hard workers. And why should the fact their wife is a model be a judgement of their sporting personality… The French prime ministers wife is a model.. so? You seem to understand nothing about sport and seemingly nothing about geography, Britain is not a country.

  47. Tom says:

    I am upset and above all annoyed by some of the previous comments left here about Chris Hoy. No.1 he is an overachiever who was not a \’privelaged\’ boy growing up but is a clear example of a sportsperson who has got to where he is trough hard work and determination showed in his recent performances in Beijing and in the World Championships in Manchester back in march. No.2 a footballer should never win this privelage in the modern era becuase very few are good role models to the young generation, yes many don\’t misbehave however they don\’t do anything through pure good will it\’s all about boosting their public image, I\’m not going to slag off how they got to where they are. Rugby is a perfect example of good role models, a sport played by gentlemen that\’s how people need to learn to treat ANY sport and Hoy is no different, when he loses (if you have seen him lose) he doesn\’t throw a fit etc. and is always complimentary to his opponents. Last of all, although \’Sports Personality of the Year\’ isn\’t just about skill, Chris has done wonderful at this year\’s Olympics and has easily achieved one the biggest feats for Britain than we\’ve had in years. 

  48. George says:

    I cant understand why people think rebecca adlington should win sports personality of the year,yes she has won two golds but hoy won three and his is more of an achievement because he is no spring chicken.adlinton will have her day but this year should be hoys. He desrves it. I have no doubt in my mind if he was english rather than scottish he would be a shoo in!!!!!!!!

  49. Gwyneth says:

    What about all those sailors and cyclists who have won gold medals, they seem to be ignored and they have achieved record number of medals in these games

  50. matt says:

    I would be happy with either Adlingotn or Hoy winning it. Both have shown true commitment and the whole olympics has made me proud to be British. No other sportsman or women has ever made me feel that,especially footballers. I am a massive football fan, but i agree with most ppl that have commented that they are over paid prima donnas. They compete in a team and not individually, and what has any footballer done to derserve sports personality?? (this year).
    Everyone who competes in the olympics trains nearly every day 7-9 hours for 4 years to compete for a few hours. Look at Sir Steve Redgrave, he gave up his life every 4 years to compete. That is pure dedication!!
    Yes, football is a skilled sport and you either have it or you don\’t, but footballers don\’t do themselves any favours buy always being in the press for wrong reasons and the fact that what has england done in the last few years?
    And lewis hamilton? true, he has don fantastic, but if everyone had the same car, would he still be doing as well?
    Hoy and Adlington and the rest of the British Olympic team to be fair will inspire youngsters for years to come. Bring on 2012. Footballers sadly will come and go, and pick up their 100k a week pay cheque for running around a pitch for a few hours a week

  51. Glenys says:

    Well, Chris can have my vote – the man is a star – but then, a lot of people have achieved. He won one of his golds as a team member – Rebecca Adlington won two golds on her own – what about the fantastic Ben Ainslie – three gold in successive games to say nothing of his other silver, and such a strenuous, treacherous discipline In the end, it will be down to who Jo(e) Public can remember when it\’s time to vote – so it will be somebody that does something in November! Oh what short memories people have.Pretty certain the Cycling team will get the team award, though!

  52. JEANINE says:

    If Lewis Hamilton wins the F1 driver championship he should win sports personality of the year. Its been a long time since a British Driver took the F1 title

  53. bob says:

    Mattaldinho, ofcourse winning matters. If a sports person didn\’t win anything, they would never even be considered to be put on the shortlist! It\’s on this basis that England\’s footballers are overrated, second or in England\’s case 10th or whatever, never gets remembered.
    Calzaghe was underrated before this, and I\’m pretty sure he\’s taken many more knocks than Terry has, and put in the \’blood, sweat and tears\’ that is obviously required to win the award. I\’m not saying Hoy should definitely win it, but let\’s give it to someone deserving of it. A person that loves the sport they do and have trained so hard for so long to become a professional in it. I\’m not saying Terry hasn\’t, but a certain Terry Butcher comes to mind when the phrase \’sports personality\’ is mentioned. And until a footballer or indeed any other sportsman or woman does that, or the equivalent to, or excels with an extraordinary achievement like Hoy has done, or indeed Kelly Holmes before him, then they shouldn\’t win the award.

  54. Carol says:

    yes he is the one that truly does deserve it nobody has done what he has done in 100 years  he has my vote

  55. Unknown says:

    This attitude of all top footballers being morally corupt primadonnas is tosh look at Paul Scholes one of the most decorated British and worlds players he may make the odd late tackle but is a hard working, honest extremely shy athlete. For every Marradonna there is a Pele, I\’m sure there are some arrogant bars***s in cycling and swimming along with the down to earth Hoy and Adlington its just that with the hero worship there are bound to be more in football, they are also more in the spotlight. Anyway after all my pro-football rants I would like to congratulate not only Hoy and Adlington but all of the Brit Olympians just typing this has worn me out!

  56. GARETH says:

    Rebecca Adlington, Deffo gets my vote!
    We know Chris Hoy is a great Olympian, but Rebecca deserves the plaudits too in my opinion!

  57. Emma says:

    When I saw this article, I thought Lewis Hamilton!
    Unless F1 drivers are excluded?

  58. Unknown says:

    I am not sure for the individual, theirs the female cyclist (terrible with names) who got a silver last time in rowing and gold this time in cycling, Rebecca for her double gold in swimming, a couple of gymnasts for raising the sports profile, including 1 bronze, BUT one thing I hope happens is that TEAM GB get the team award, they all deserve it they have done us, and continue to make us, PROUD of TEAM GB.
    Thank god (or the Labour Party !) for the lottery finding.  

  59. gordon says:

    football,,football,just a waste of time.hoy is the best we have,and the world no about it.
     top man,you have done us proud.you are the best in the world.

  60. Fevzi says:

    I have not read the 72 posts prior to this post so apologies if what I say has already been repeated. How wonderful if it to see the GB running the show in Beijing – apart from China and USA, who were always going to be streets ahead, we have performed brilliantly to land the stunning number of medals we have achieved. What a difference the clear investment in our olympic athlete structures has made – we have got loads of people who genuinely feel they are world beaters. Let us all quite rightly be proud – getting to the point of sports personality of the year it has to be Chris Hoy – I think Ian has a point and the fickle amongst us will probably quickly forget these wonderful achievements – footballers are the only people that matter in the eyes of the media and the contest is not much better than the Eurovision Song Contest, as winners of this competition are rarely chosen on merit.
    A plea to the BBC – just give it to Chris now – the exception is totally justified and you might begin to win back some of the credability that you have lost so badly over the last few years (ask Terry Wogan!!).

  61. John says:

    I was just wondering how the Government is going to reward \’Team GB\’ following these games. In the past they have handed out Dameships and Knighthoods like smarties just for winning a couple of medals. If this has been the best GB Olympics for a century how are they going to top that? Don\’t get me wrong, there have been some magnificent achievements but should representing your country and perhaps winning something at the end of it not be reward enough?

  62. James says:

    What a one sided, biased, awful article.

  63. Adam says:

    I just wanted to say it makes a pleasant change that people are arguing over which well deserving champion should get sports personality of the year rather than the best of a bad bunch winners we\’ve had in recent years.
    This years shortlist should be the best in decades, and the winner will be thoroughly deserving, whoever it is.
    After previous Olympics the winner has obvious e.g Redgrave in 2000, Holmes in 2004, but with Hoy winning 3 in 1 go, Adlington winning 2 in her first games, Wiggins defending a title that no one else has defended, Romero switching sports and winning, Ainslie completing his hattrick, Pendleton avenging her disappointment of Athens and the Yngling ladies and Coxless 4 defending Gold as well, plus the possiblity of Hamilton being F1 champion by the time the vote comes round, the result will mean something. I could quite happily argue the merits for any of them and probably will.
    The cycling squad would thoroughly deserve the team award, not just for the Olympics, but for the 16 world championship golds they have picked up in the previous 2 years (I don\’t think either the rowing or sailing teams can match this). However, as Manchester United won the double, they will probably lose! (Please don\’t let that happen)
    Previous comments have mentioned a possible lack of personality amongst some of the names being proposed, but most of that is down to the fact that cycling, swimming, sailing and rowing are still considered minority sports, so those competing are not regularly appearing in the tabloid papers, glossy magazines or on tv, they just get on with their jobs of being elite athletes. I much prefer this than the attention seeking antics some of our other sporting \’heroes\’ get upto.

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