This Sunday sees the return of the annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, where ten shortlisted sports men and women will vie for the coveted title. The show is to be aired on BBC One, where the public will be able to vote for their favourite via phone or online.
Following on from his triumph at Wimbledon, Andy Murray was crowned last year’s winner, so here’s a look at the sports stars who will be looking to follow in his footsteps…
Age: 25 | Sport: Football
The first footballer to be shortlisted since Ryan Giggs won the award in 2009, Bale has enjoyed great success since his record-breaking £85 million move to Real Madrid last summer. A dazzling debut season saw Bale netting the winner in the Copa del Ray final, whilst also helping Real to another European Cup triumph.
Age: 29 | Sport: Dressage
Creating history by winning two gold medals at the World Equestrian Games, Dujardin is the first British equestrian rider to hold the Olympic, World and European titles at the same time. She holds the record in all three elements of her chosen sport and in November this year, Dujardin was named the Sky Sports/Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year.
Age: 37 | Sport: Boxing
Retaining his IBF & WBA super-middleweight titles against bitter rival George Groves in May, Nottingham-born Froch knocked Groves out in the eighth round with a punch that will go down in the sport’s history. Froch will be hoping to join the likes of Joe Calzaghe and Sir Henry Cooper who have triumphed in the past.
Kelly Gallagher & Charlotte Evans
Age: Gallagher 29, Evans 23 | Sport: Alpine Skiing
Becoming the first UK competitors to clinch a Winter Paralympics gold medal, Gallagher & her guide Evans negotiated the tricky Rosa Khutor course in Sochi with a time of 28.72 seconds. They were awarded MBEs for their services to sport for people with a visual impairment.
Age: 29 | Sport: Formula One
Becoming the first British driver for more than 40 years to win a second Formula One world title, Hamilton overcame a thrilling rivalry with his team-mate Nico Rosberg to clinch the title in the final race at Abu Dhabi. Along with championship triumph, Hamilton also surpassed Nigel Mansell’s British record of 31 grands prix victories.
Age: 25 | Sport: Golf
Enjoying a sensational year by winning two more major trophies, Golf’s world number one took victory at the Open Championship which secured a third Grand Slam victory making him the first European to win three different majors in the modern era. Weeks after his Open triumph, McIlroy then went on to secure the US PGA title, making him the first player from the UK to win back-to-back majors.
Age: 41 | Sport: Athletics
Becoming the oldest-ever female European champion, Pavey won her first major championship gold medal in the 10,000m at the European championships in Zurich. Pavey had previously won a bronze in the 5,000m at the Commonwealth Games just 10 days before her win in Zurich. She will be hoping to join a long list of athletics Sports Personality winners.
Age: 19 | Sport: Swimming
Breaking into the world elite, 2014 saw Peaty crowned a double Commonwealth gold medallist and a four-time European champion. Taking gold in the 100m breastroke and 4x100m relay medley at the Commonwealths, Peaty then went onto the Europeans in Berlin where he broke the 50m breastroke world record en route to winning four more gold medals.
Age: 21 | Sport: Gymnastics
Picking up a host of medals at the World, European and British Championships and at the Commonwealth Games, Whitlock equalled the best all-around finish by a Briton at a World Championship by taking silver in China. Whitlock will be looking to make further history by becoming the first gymnast to win the BBC award.
Age: 26 | Sport: Skeleton
Dominating the women’s skeleton event at this year’s Winter Olympics, Yarnold claimed title to become Great Britain’s only gold medal winner at the games. Yarnold secured the crown with a winning margin of 0.97 seconds which was the largest gap ever recorded. The last Winter Olympians to win the BBC award were Torvill & Dean – before Yarnold was even born!
Don’t forget to vote for your favourite & catch all of the ceremony this Sunday on live BBC One.