Olympians dominate BBC award shortlist
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Cyclist Bradley Wiggins is the favorite to win the prestigious BBC award. AFP photo
Stars from the London Olympics dominated the list of nominees for the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, which was revealed on Nov. 26.
Of the 12 names on the list, golfer Rory McIlroy was the only person not to have competed at the Games during the British summer.
The shortlist also featured five women, after an all-male list of nominees in 2011 sparked controversy.
Cyclist Bradley Wiggins is the bookmakers’ odds-on favorite to win the award following a historic victory in the Tour de France and a gold medal in the Olympic time-trial.
Farah, Ennis, Murray among favorites
Other strong contenders include Mo Farah, gold medalist in the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters, Olympic hepathlon champion Jessica Ennis, and tennis player Andy Murray, who won Olympic singles gold and became the first British man to win a Grand Slam in 76 years at the U.S. Open.
Three Paralympians also made the shortlist -- swimmer Ellie Simmonds, cyclist Sarah Storey and wheelchair athlete David Weir.
The nominees were picked by a panel of experts, with the winner to be decided by a public vote and announced during a ceremony in London’s ExCel centre on December 16.
There are also prizes for coach of the year, team of the year and overseas sports personality, all of which are decided by the panel.
Last year’s individual award went to cyclist Mark Cavendish.
BBC Sports Personality of the Year award shortlist also includes boxer Nicola Adams, sailor Ben Ainslie, rower Katherine Grainger, cyclist Chris Hoy and cyclist Sarah Storey.