Sports Personality of the Year: a vote for Wiggo is a vote for the French. It has to be Mo.

This year has provided us with an embarrassment of sporting riches to choose from, but there can only be one winner

Share
Related Topics

Were you jumping up and down on your sofa, bellowing at the television when, at some indiscernible spot halfway up the Pyrenees, Bradley Wiggins edged just far enough ahead of his team mate to mean, barring disaster, he would become the first British winner in the 99-year history of a race that for 98 years most of us barely knew was happening? If you were, then Vote Wiggo, but know that, should he win, with it will come the implication that the Great British public think the Tour de France is a bigger and better deal than an Olympic Games in their own backyard.

If you don’t think that, then you have to Vote Mo. This is not to do down Wiggo’s incredible achievement. Winning the Tour de France is phenomenal, and the manner in which he and his team mates did it was as close to sporting perfection as anyone ever gets. Yes, Wiggo won Olympic gold too, as did 42 other Great British athletes, but if he wins tonight it will be, unquestionably, the tour wot won it.

Seeking to quantify whose achievement is the more impressive, among the embarrassment of riches to choose from, is a bogus game. Andy Murray has won a Grand Slam at a time when it surely has never been harder to do so. Jessica Ennis was immaculate, under the most intense pressure in the most unpredictable of events. Mo Farah became Britain’s first ever distance medallist, an event traditionally dominated by East Africans who work in teams. All train far beyond the point which most of us would consider possible.

But in this year of years, it will be a tremendous pity if in this vote, we don’t acknowledge that the London Olympics were the biggest and best sporting spectacle we have ever seen, and that the man who stole its heart, and ours, was that diminutive little Londoner, with his burst of pace, his much copied celebration, and his acknowledgement that “If it wasn't for the crowd, I don’t think I’d have crossed the line first.”

For the armchair observer at least, sport is not all about mounting seemingly insurmountable obstacles, about being the best. It is about drama, of the sort that ties your stomach in knots, and sets your heart banging against your rib cage, before it either bursts or breaks. And no one, probably, has ever done it to us all, quite like Mo did, twice, on two famous nights under those triangular floodlights in a once half forgotten corner of the East End. It might only be another six months or so before Bradley is back bicycling down the Champs Elysees in his yellow jersey. But as for Mo, you won’t see anything like it ever again. So do something a little bit incredible yourself, and make sure he wins.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager (technical, applications, infrastructure)

£55000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: IT Proj...

English Teacher (Bristol and South Gloucestershire)

Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: English teachers for day to day cover,...

Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Year 6 Teacher RequiredThis teaching...

SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's Stortford / Stansted

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Two lads partaking in boozy banter  

We should be blaming lad culture for sexual harassment on campuses, not universities

Elliot Davies
Iraqi volunteer fighters celebrate the breaking of the jihadist siege on the Shiite town of Amerli on September 1, 2014  

Bombs can't defeat Isis, but Iraq's Sunnis can

Ranj Alaaldin
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week