Wiggins named 2012 BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Sunday, 16 December 2012
December 16 - Bradley Wiggins tonight scooped the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award to crown his annus mirabilis.
The 32-year-old Londoner took the prestigious award at a glittering ceremony at ExCeL in London after a stunning few weeks that saw him become the first Briton to win the Tour de France before he took the gold medal in the time trial at the Olympic Games.
London 2012 heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis was runner-up while US Open winner and Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray was third but it was the colourful Wiggins that the evening belonged to on what was the 59th edition of Britain's most prestigious sports awards ceremony.
"We have had all that jungle stuff and X Factor in the last few weeks, so for people to pick up the phone and vote in half an hour, thank you very much," said Wiggins, after collecting the award from the Duchess of Cambridge and former England football captain David Beckham.
"What a year.
"To stand on this stage with the people next to me is incredible.
"I'd like to thank my team-mates - I wouldn't be on this stage without them. I'd like to thank [British Cycling boss] Dave Brailsford, the coaches, British Cycling, Team Sky and all the Olympians.
"I will say thank you to everyone who voted."
Wiggins' award is another major boost for the sport as it comes after fellow cyclist Mark Cavendish picked up the prize in 2011 and Sir Chris Hoy in 2008 following the Beijing Olympics.
It also marked an award ceremony where London 2012 predictably took centre stage.
British Cycling performance director and Team Sky general manager Dave Brailsford took coach of the year, Britain's Olympic and Paralympic squads were named the team of the year and London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe took the Lifetime Achievement Award.
"I am so flattered and honoured to be the recipient of this trophy," said Coe, following a standing ovation.
"You only have to tip toe through the names of previous winners to know just how flattered I am.
"I am also incredibly lucky.
"For the larger part of my life I woke up knowing that sport was going to shape that day.
"I am somebody who has competed, trained, supported and, in the last few years, delivered."
The BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year again went to Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt after he won triple Olympic gold for the second successive Games.
The 26-year-old Jamaican starred at London 2012 by winning the 100 metres, 200m and 4x100m title.
It is the third time he has won award in five years, having previously claimed it in 2008 and 2009.
Perhaps the most emotional moment of the night came as Paralympic sitting volleyball player Martine Wright took the Helen Rollason Award for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity.
Wright nearly died the day after London was awarded the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as she lost both her legs in the July 7 terrorist bombings in 2005.
However, she fought from the injuries to represent ParalympicsGB in sitting volleyball at London 2012.
"It is an absolute honour to be here collecting this award," she said.
"It is unbelievable with the year we have had. I do count myself lucky I survived that awful day and I count myself lucky I have made an incredible journey in the last seven years.
"I have not made it on my own, there have been lots of people behind me and I would like to accept this award on behalf of them as well."
The Young Sports Personality of the Year went to swimmer Josef Craig after the 15-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, won the S7 400m freestyle final at the Paralympics to become Britain's youngest gold medallist at the Games.
Finally, the Unsung Hero Award went to Sue and Jim Houghton, the husband and wife team who have spent 25 years helping to transform a derelict Leicestershire sports ground into a popular community facility.
December 2012: Mike Rowbottom: BBC's SPOTY has embarrassment of riches – but which way will public vote?
December 2012: Tom Degun - Why Alex Zanardi should be the 2012 BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year
November 2012: Wiggins installed as hot favourite to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year award