After the greatest ever year of sport for Britain, 12 of our stars line up for Sports Personality of the Year… but who will win
13:55 GMT, 14 December 2012
With the BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner announced on Sunday, it's time to relive the drama and triumph that saw 2012 become the greatest year for sport in British history.
With the Ryder Cup, historic Tour de France and Grand Slam victories, a Champions League title and, of course, the London Olympics, there is an incomparable glut of success to choose from that made this year special, and the awards ceremony will pay homage to those who made it so unique.
Here's a reminder of who's in the running and why they could go home with the final big prize of the year.
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
*BBC Sports Personality of the Year will be shown live on BBC1 on Sunday from 7.30pm
WHO DO YOU THINK SHOULD WIN… AND WHY LEAVE YOUR COMMENT BELOW
'Has it sunk in Not really. When
everything settles down I will be like “Wow, I've really done it.” But
for now I just hope I've made everyone in the country proud.'
Current Odds: 200/1
Nicola Adams – Boxing
This young woman will go down in history as the first Olympic gold-medal winning female boxer.
It’s hard to gauge how much of a landmark the inclusion of women in boxing for the London 2012 Games will be. Only time will tell. But it will certainly be a competition worth remembering for Adams.
And the fact that it was a revenge mission will have made victory all the sweeter for the flyweight. She had been defeated by Ren Cancan of China twice in world championship finals before exacting revenge in a 16-7 victory at the ExCel Centre.
Adams discusses the future with Laura Williamson
'To leave at the top in the home Olympics will never be improved on.'
Current Odds: 150/1
Ben Ainslie – Sailing
He was awarded the honour of carrying the flag for Team GB at the Olympic closing ceremony after becoming the most decorated Olympic sailor of all time.
When his rivals upset him this summer, combining efforts to put a dent in the Brit’s progress, Ainslie turned his anger into inspiration and went on to claim his fourth Olympic gold medal.
Having won silver in his first Olympics, aged 19, this took his tally to five medals in five different Games.
Ainslie talks to Chris Hall about his fourth Olympic gold
The sailor captured his fourth gold medal, and his fifth Olympic medal overall, at this years Summer Games
‘I’m just wanting to make the most of this moment, just enjoy it. It’s been a long time coming and a lot of hard work put in.'
Current Odds: 7/1
Jessica Ennis – Athletics
What more can be said about the golden girl of athletics
Ennis has well and truly become a national treasure this year, after sprinting to a gold medal in the heptathlon while the world watched with bated breath.
Having been forced to withdraw from the Beijing Olympics before being elevated to the face of the 2012 Games, the pressure could not have been higher.
And yet Ennis managed to exceed all expectations, setting a British record in the 100m hurdles with a time that would have seen her take gold in the individual event four years ago, and a personal best in the javelin.
She didn’t need to win the final event, the 800m, but she did so anyway, in joyful fashion.
Ennis talks gold medals and wedding dresses with Laura Williamson
'I could never have imagined it would be
like that. As an athlete you dream of becoming an Olympic champion, but
not in front of a home crowd, and also twice doing it.'
Current Odds: 5/1
Mo Farah – Athletics
It’s been an emotional year for Farah. First two Olympic gold medals, then two baby girls.
Not to mention his fearless performance as he became the first winner on The Cube, raising 250,000 for charity in the process.
Farah joined the very shortlist of men to have won both the 5,000m and the 10,000m at the Olympic Games, and in doing so became arguably the best runner Britain has ever seen.
His moment of glory was named the most inspiring moment of the Games by a public poll.
Farah wins greatest TV moment of the year
Mo Farah had two doubles this year – A set of twin girls to match his double Olympic gold
'When you want gold, winning silver is a failure. It might sound ungrateful, but that’s the truth of it.'
Current Odds: 200/1
Katherine Grainger – Rowing
Here is another star who delivered a fairytale ending at the Games.
After having taken silver at the last three Olympic Games, it looked as though the rower was destined to look back on her career never having been able to reach the golden peak.
But all that changed when she teamed up with Anna Watkins in 2010. Since linking up, the duo have bagged two World Championship titles.
They powered past every opponent they came up against in the run up to the Games, and pushed themselves clear of the competition when it came to the final, confirming Grainger as the most successful female British rower of all time.
And let’s not forget, she did all this at the age of 36, when most athletes have long since retired.
Grainger talks to Sportsmail about her gold medal and PhD
Grainger finally made it gold in 2012 after having settled for second place three times
'I can't put into words what it means to me. It's one of the greatest feelings I have ever had.'
Current Odds: 100/1
Sir Chris Hoy – Cycling
Another British best, Chris Hoy became the most successful British Olympian ever after overtaking Sir Steve Redgrave this year with seven Olympic medals, six of them gold.
He knows what it means to take the Sports Personality award home, having won it for his heroics in the 2008 Olympics.
Like Grainger, he achieved his latest feat at the ripe old age of 36. His position in the Team GB squad has not just been to win medals, but also as a figure of inspiration to those coming into their prime, such as Jason Kenny.
In a team that dominated the Velodrome this year, Hoy was the shining star leading the charge.
Chris Hoy talks about launching his own range of cycles
‘This has been one of the most perfect
days on a golf course if you’re a European. We went out in strength
today trying to lead from the front…it’s an unbelievable feeling.' – After the Ryder Cup
Current Odds: 100/1
Rory McIlroy – Golf
McIlroy had momentum behind him this year, and managed to finish in the top 10 of tournaments 15 times.
After having rounded off a knife-edge victory in the Ryder Cup with the rest of an awe-inspiring European team, he was recently awarded the 2012 Golf Writers' Trophy.
He’s also taken the money titles on both sides of the Atlantic, and been named the PGA Tour Player of the Year.
Sports Personality would just be one more accolade to heap on the Northern Irishman, after what has been the finest year of his career.
He won the PGA Championship by eight shots, and became the youngest multiple major champion since Seve Ballesteros.
McIlroy is named PGA Tour Player of the Year
Rory McIlroy topped the money lists in what was most successful year of his career
'It means the world to me. It’s what I’ve
been working towards the last ten years of my life, I always wanted to
try and win a Grand Slam.’
Current Odds: 12/1
Andy Murray – Tennis
The wait for Andy Murray to achieve his dream of a Grand Slam title has been filled with disappointment, bitterness and heartbreak – and that’s just for the fans!
The Scot reached the peak of his career in the latter part of 2012. He suffered a devastating defeat at the hands of Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, but steeled himself and powered through the Olympics only weeks later, determined to take at least one title at the All England Club.
After duly sweeping to a straight sets victory, there was no stopping the 25-year-old, and he went the distance against Novak Djokovic in the US Open final.
After an epic dual, Murray was crowned the first male British Grand Slam winner for 76 years.
Mike Dickson trains with Andy Murray
‘I just put my head down and went for it,
and gave it everything. Everyone was wishing me luck which was so nice.
I did it for myself, I did it for my family.’
Current Odds: 50/1
Ellie Simmonds – Swimming
Simmonds went on a record-breaking run at this summer’s Games, setting new world records in the 200m individual medley and the 400m S6 freestyle, the same race she won in Beijing at the tender age of 13.
She’s already tasted Sports Personality success, having taken home the Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2008, and she’s back in the running for the adult version having taken home another double gold.
She also bagged herself a silver medal in the 100m S6 freestyle, having already set a Paralympic record in the qualifying rounds, and a bronze in the 50m freestyle.
Ellie Simmonds looks back on her golden summer
‘Everything the Paralympics has been
over the last 20 years that I've been involved has now been shared with
everybody. People realise now what we've all been so enthralled with.'
Current Odds: 200/1
Sarah Storey – Cycling
It’s hard to grasp just what Sarah Storey has achieved as far as the Paralympics go.
She now has an incredible haul of 22 medals to her name, after winning gold four times over in 2012, and by significant distances too.
The 35-year-old has competed as both a swimmer and a cyclist, and her most recent triumph came in the C4-5 road race, which was her 11th gold medal overall.
No other Paralympian can match her success in the modern era.
Her Paralympic career has spanned 20 years, and there is no sign of her slowing down anytime soon.
Sarah Story set to add to her family after 'golden' year
‘Obviously I dreamt about winning all my races but it was going to be a tough order. I just really had to dig deep’
Current Odds: 33/1
David Weir – Athletics
The ‘Weirwolf’ dominated his events in the Paralympic Games, winning gold in all four of his T45 category races, from the 800m to the marathon.
His tally of Paralympic medals now stands at 10, and he left commentators hoarse with the drama of his sprint finish in the marathon.
The racer was so intently focused on the race that he couldn’t even tell where the finish line was, and simply kept pushing.
He also won his sixth London Marathon in 2012, equalling Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson.
David Weir chats to Laura Williamson
‘I said at the start of the year I
couldn’t prioritise one or the other, I wanted both. I was greedy, I
don’t mind admitting that. I felt I could do both.’
Current Odds: 1/3
Bradley Wiggins – Cycling
It’s hard to believe that cycling in Britain will ever be looked at the same way after what Bradley Wiggins achieved in 2012.
The first British man to win the Tour de France, he had claimed the yellow jersey early in the race.
He then cruised to his fourth Olympic gold in the time trial, which was also his seventh Olympic medal overall.
On top of that, 2012 has seen him become the only rider in history to win Paris-Nice, the Tour of Romandy and Criterium du Dauphine in one season.
He was recently awarded the Sports Journalists Association's sportsman of the year.
Bradley Wiggins says he wants to defend Tour de France title
Wiggins claimed the yellow jersey in the Tour de France before winning gold in the Olympics
WHO DO YOU THINK SHOULD WIN… AND WHY LEAVE YOUR COMMENT BELOW