Britain’s top sport stars gathered on Sunday night to celebrate their greatest ever year at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year awards, with the Duchess of Cambridge set to present the main prize after recovering from illness.
Olympic and Paralympic heroes dominated this year’s shortlist, with golfer Rory McIlroy the only one of the 12 nominees not to have won medals at London 2012 this summer.
Cyclist Bradley Wiggins was the bookmakers’ odds-on favorite after his historic triumph in the Tour de France and gold in the Olympics time trial, followed by heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis.
The list of nominees had been extended from 10 to 12 this year to reflect the incredible year for British sport.
It was also the Duchess’ first public appearance since leaving hospital for severe pregnancy sickness when she presented the main award as well as the lifetime achievement honor to Lord Sebastian Coe.
The contenders and what they won in 2012:
Nicola Adams – Olympic gold winner and placed second at the World Championships
Ben Ainslie – Took gold in the Olympics, World Cup and World Championships. Also named ISAF World Sailor of the Year
Jessica Ennis – Silver at the World Indoor Championships, gold in the Olympic heptathlon
Mo Farah – Double Olympic gold medal winner
Katherine Grainger – gold medal in the Olympic double sculls, as well as winning all three World Cups
Sir Chris Hoy – Gold in the World Cup, World Championships and the London Games
Rory McIlroy – Both money list titles, Honda Classic, PGA Championship, Deutsche Bank Championship, DP World Tour Championship, Ryder Cup
Andy Murray – Finally bagged his first Slam, the US Open, as well as Olympic gold and a silver in the doubles.
Ellie Simmonds – Double Paralympic gold, as well as a silver and a bronze
Sarah Storey – quadruple gold at the 2012 Paralympics and a double gold at the UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships
David Weir – Four Paralympic gold medals and a gold in the European Athletics Championships
Bradley Wiggins – Tour de France champion and Olympic road race winner
The ceremony will be shown live on BBC1 from 7.30pm.
Multiracial Jessica Ennis who’s had a stellar year, becoming golden girl of the 2012 Olympics wasn’t only a winner on the track but in the fashion stakes as well. The gold medal Olympian lead the glamour at the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year Awards on Sunday night, turning up in a ravishing red floor-length dress.
No red card here: Jessica Ennis leads the glam our at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards in a stunning floorlength red gownLooking a far cry from her look on the field, Jessica stunned the crowds in the scarlet number. She completed her look showing off her slender toned waist with a thin black belt around her middle, while she even showed off some skin with the plunging neckline.
Ennis even accessorized to perfection holding a large black clutch with her hair worn down and sleek. Not usually allowed to wear jewelry during her competitions, the 26-year-old made the most of her glamorous night out with a cute pendant adorning her neck.
Winning in the fashion stakes: Jessica looked ravishing in her scarlet number as she posed up next to fiance Andy Hill Strike a pose: The 26-year-old is one of the favorites to take away the coveted awardCould it be her? Jessica was seen smiling and clapping in the audience before the big name was announced
Stealing rear of the year: Twitter went wild as Jessica Ennis showed off her derriere during the sporting celebration Poznan, taking the crown from Pippa MiddletonAnd she also came armed with the ultimate accessory – fiance Andy Hill looking proud and dapper in his suit next to her.
A fan wrote on Twitter: ‘Pippa Middleton is seething with jealousy at all the attention Jessica Ennis’s bum is getting on Twitter right now,’
while another commented: ‘How do I vote for Jessica Ennis’s bum? #sportspersonality.’
Fine form: The sports star drew attention in her figure hugging frock as she first took to the red carpet to answer pre event questionsShowing what she’s got: Jessica received applause as she took to the stage to be greeted by the Duchess of Cambridge, who made her first public appearance at an event since announcing her pregnancy and being taken sickCould it be her? Jessica was seen smiling and clapping in the audience before the big name was announcedShapely: Her stunning outfit on the night has meant many are now dubbing Jessica’s derriere better than Pippa Middleton’s after her appearance at her sister the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding last yearFestive: She smiled as she held her trophy while wearing her red frock, next to a radiant Kate in greenPert: While she was there to pick up her trophy and see who won the title, Jessica wouldn’t have been aware the effect her dress would causeTaking center stage: Jessica chatted away to the Duchess as it was announced Bradley Wiggins had won the coveted title of 2012Making friends: She seemed to hit it off with Kate as she made it another night to rememberThe work’s paid off: Not only was Jessica hailed for her sporting achievements at the event but her shapely figure also didn’t go unnoticedMo Farah, double gold medalist in the 5,000 meters and 10,000 m, was ranked third favorite with the bookies, just ahead of Andy Murray, who became the first British man to win a grand slam singles title for 76 years when he triumphed in the US Open and won an Olympic gold.
Farah, whose wife was seen cheering her husband on to victory at the London 2012 Olympics while heavily pregnant with twins but on Sunday night Tania Farah showed off her svelte post-baby figure.
The wife of Olympic hero Mo cut an extremely trim figure at the Sports Personality of The Year Awards at the ExCel center on Sunday night. Tania, who gave birth to twins Aisha and Amani in August, looked stunning in a glittering black dress at the sports cerebration.
Two-time gold medal distance runner Mo Farah strikes his trademark pose with wife Tania and step-daughter RihannaHappy family: The double gold Medalist looked happy with his familyMo and Tania were joined by Rihanna, her daughter from a previous relationship, at the awards bash making it a family affair. As the family arrived Mo and his step daughter were seen striking his famous ‘Mobot’ pose on the red carpet. The 10,000m and 5,000m running champion was one of the nominees for the main Sports Personality of The Year Award but lost out to cyclist Bradley Wiggins.
The 29-year-old athlete was the first person to hold his twins after they were born on August 25, shortly after he picked up two Olympic gold medals. Farah cut the umbilical cord with Aisha weighing in at 5lb 2oz, and Amani, 4lb 4oz.
At the time, Somali-born Farah said he wanted to win one gold for each unborn twin, adding: ‘If I only had one, the other would feel left out.’
Doing the MoBot: Mo Farah and his step-daughter Rihanna are MoBot expertsInterracial Love: The Farah family look lovely at the eventHe’s certainly been popular with the ladies since the Olympics, helped by his stellar performance on Strictly. But multiracial Louis Smith ditched his heartthrob image as he hit the red carpet at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards on Sunday, opting for a geeky look.
Looking a far cry from his dance floor image, the 23-year-old wore a bow-tie, a pair of horn-rimmed glasses and a tight blazer jacket in a style turn-around. Clearly trying out a new look, the gymnast stood out like a sore thumb as he mingled with other sporting stars on the red carpet.
Despite his style faux pas, Louis seemed on top of the world after making it through to the Strictly final, adding another string to his bow.Image change: The gymnast and Strictly contestant ditches his heartthrob image for on-trend geek stylePerhaps trying to look as on-trend as possible, Louis seemed pleased with his new look, despite looking like a fashion victim. The star cut a strange figure in the mismatched outfit, pairing baggy checked suit pants with the skin-tight blazer over a crisp white shirt buckled up to the neck.
He then added a floppy bow tie in the neck, completing his transformation from hunky sportsman to geek. Obviously more concerned with being trendy than stylish, the Strictly finalist looked uncomfortable in his outfit as he posed for photographs.
Losing his specs appeal: Louis seems more concerned with his new style than his sex appealRebecca Adlington and Sally Gunnell went for black dresses as they also walked the red carpet at ExCeL. Swimmer Rebecca Adlington also dressed to the nines, showing off her figure in a plunging black halterneck dress.
And it seems black was the popular choice for the night as many of the sporting stars played it safe in dark ensembles. Even Strictly star and gold Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton showed up in a simple black shift dress.
Lady in black: While Jessica stood out in her vibrant frock, cyclist Victoria Pendleton opted for a simple black shift dress for the nightDressed up: Gymnast Beth Tweddle went for a cute lace frock as she also brought boyfriend Steven Cryer alongAll that glitters: Dame Kelly Holmes ensured she looked her best for the special sporting eveningSplashes of color: Both Helen Glover and Heather Stanning went for printed frocks as they posed up together on their way inScarlet stunner: Paralympian swimmer Eleanor Simmonds also went for red with a silver clutch for the big nightHappily married: Singer Katie Melua went for a risque frock as she joined husband, superbike champion James Toseland, who she married in AugustBlazing entrance: Four-time Olympic gold medal sailor Ben Ainslie, who is on the award shortlist, walks on stage carrying a flareBlinding performance: Ainslie took gold in the Olympics, World Cup and World Championships and was also named ISAF World Sailor of the Year
Getting it underway: Presenters (l-r) Clare Balding, Gary Lineker and Sue Barker host the awards ceremony
Prince of the pool: Swimmer Josef Craig (second left) is named young Sports Personality of the Year after becoming the youngest Paralympic gold medalist at London 2012
Swimming star: Clare Balding (left) chats with Ellie Simmonds, who is on the shortlist after winning two Paralympic golds, one silver and a bronze in the pool 2012 BBC Sports Award Stage
Celebrating achievements: Katherine Grainger (center left) on stage with Clare Balding (center right) and the Team GB Rowers during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards
Black and gold: Cyclist Victoria Pendleton took the keirin title and won silver in the sprint at London 2012 Ready for a great night: Former Olympic swimmer-turned-commentator Karen PickeringProud: Paralympian Hannah Cockroft poses with the gold medals she won in the T34 100m and 200m in London Lovely in lemon: Rugby star Chris Robshaw’s girlfriend, singer Camilla Kerslake, wore one of the brightest ensembles of the eveningCo-ordinating: Both Kelly Sotherton and Katarina Johnson-Thompson opted for black dresses with lace detailingInterracial Love: Boris Becker brought wife Lilly along, who shimmered on to the red carpet in a sequin black dress with splashes of pinkEntertaining the crowds: Multiracial singer Emeli Sande also went for red as she belted out some tracks for the audience
- Latest Sports News: Ennis wants more focus on women’s sport (journallive.co.uk)
- BBC dodges sexism row with 2012 Sports Personality of the Year shortlist (thetimes.co.uk)
- Golden girl Jessica Ennis urges girls not to ‘fear’ sport (itv.com)
- Andy Murray Gets Our Vote for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, says Racquet Depot UK (prweb.com)
- Jessica Ennis vies with Wiggins as punters’ SPOTY favourite (theweek.co.uk)
- Jessica Ennis wants more women involved in sport after being named among contenders for BBC Sports Personality of the Year (standard.co.uk)
- Jessica Ennis hails women in sport in 2012 (thesun.co.uk)
- jessica ennis on being role model for young girls (thesun.co.uk)