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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Yvette Cooper campaigning in London at the launch of Labour’s women’s manifesto  

I want the Labour Party to lead a revolution in family support

Yvette Cooper
Liz Kendall  

Labour leadership contest: 'Moderniser' is just a vague and overused label

Steve Richards
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine