Recently, the Sports Personality of the Year awards took place, and with sixteen nominees, from across a wide range of sports, it seemed anyone boasted the credentials to conclude their year with another trophy. Yet, tennis player Andy Murray won the award for the second consecutive year, seemingly being rewarded for perhaps the most accomplished year of his career; the Brit became world number one, won nine tournaments, and retained his Olympic gold medal, which may be the reasoning as to why he received 33.1% of the votes. Ultimately, whilst Murray won the main award, the ceremony seems to showcase the most accomplished sportsmen and women from across a range of sports, perhaps enabling an elevation in the legacy of all the nominees.
It seemed the ceremony may act as the incentive for athletes to achieve multiple records, as they may aim to end their seasons by winning the seemingly prestigious award; the trophy may also contribute to athletes universally increasing their repertoire in order to compete for the award, and as such may lead to more intriguing and competitive spectacles. Among the nominees were multiple Olympic, and Paralympic medalists, including Sophie Christiansen, winner of three golds in Rio, whilst also working as a statistical analyst; yet, her fifth place finish in the votes, coupled with her ten Paralympic medals, may elevate her status, increase her funding, and allow her to compete full-time. Ultimately, the award may impact all of these athletes in 2017, as they may aim to replicate their feat, yet may also motivate other athletes who may imitate the achievements of their colleagues.
Murray winning the award seems to suggest he is among the most accomplished athletes in history, and he may have elevated his legacy further by being rewarded with the accolade; in winning the award for the third time, he became the most successful athlete in the award’s history, achieving another record in 2016. Additionally, with the winner being nominated via public vote, it may suggest Murray is deserving of the award, and did indeed achieve multiple records over 2016, as he seemed to be nationally voted for. Among these achievements may have been reaching perhaps the pinnacle of his sport: becoming world number one, which seemed to occur as a result of Murray’s consistency during tournaments, of which he won nine, including Wimbledon. He also won the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time, and perhaps in order to retain his Sport’s Personality of the Year award for a third successive year he may need to continue to play at his peak ability.
Whilst Murray may end the year with the plaudits, others accomplished on the night also. With eight awards to claim overall, it may suggest coaches and teams, along with individual athletes, may be awarded for their accomplishments, and may also be provided with an opportunity to enhance their credentials in their respective sports. Overseas personality went to American Olympian Simone Biles, perhaps prominently due to the 19 year old winning five medals, including four golds, at Rio. Leicester City emerged with the Team of the Year award after winning the Premier League title by a ten point margin, with their manager, Claudio Ranieri, winning the Coach of the Year award for seemingly masterminding this feat. The Lifetime Achievement award was won by Michael Phelps; after Rio, Phelps became the most decorated athlete of all time, boasting 28 Olympic medals, including 18 golds. As such, it seems he is the most accomplished Olympian in history, and winning the Lifetime Achievement award may elevate his legacy further.
The award seems to be beneficial for athletes, and sport in general, as it perhaps acts as motivation for sportspeople to achieve, whilst also seemingly providing recognition to champions from across all sporting disciplines. Yet Murray’s victory may suggest he achieved a superior amount in 2016, and may suggest he has been recognised for seemingly achieving the pinnacle of his sport, and becoming world number one. Winning the accolade may enable him to emulate these achievements, and continue playing at world class level in order to retain the award next year.
Which accomplishments may sportspeople need to achieve in order to be amongst the nominees for the 2017 award?