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Sports Personality of the Year 2021

By Melanie Goldberg

A round up of all of the awards from the 2021 Sports Personality of the Year.

This year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) awards were hosted by Clare Balding, Gabby Logan, Alex Scott and Gary Lineker. Taking place as a mixed virtual and in-person format due to a rising number of Covid-19 cases linked to the new Omicron variant, the awards ceremony highlighted sporting achievements from across the globe this year. 

Sports Personality of the Year 2021 – Emma Raducanu 

The 19-year-old tennis star was the first woman to be awarded the title since 2006 and one of only 13 to have received the award in its 67-year history. The teenager turned heads after winning the US Open in what was her first Grand Slam. Other nominees included Tom Daley, Adam Peaty, Sarah Storey, Tyson Fury and Raheem Sterling.

Young Sports Personality of the YearSky Brown 

Sky Brown overcame catastrophic injuries to win bronze at the Tokyo Olympics and is the youngest British Olympian in history. In her acceptance speech she highlighted her intentions of winning medals in both skateboarding and surfing at the next Olympic Games. The other nominees included Jude Bellingham and Ellie Challis.

Coach and Team of the Year – Gareth Southgate and England 

Whilst their Euro 2020 achievement is what cemented their win, special mention should be given to Marcus Rashford for his philanthropy this past year.

World Sport Star of the Year – Rachael Blackmore 

Irish Jockey Rachael Blackmore’s win was one of the more contentious ones, with some big names nominated for the award, such as Elaine Thompson-Herah, Saul Alvarez, Tom Brady, Novak Djokovic and Max Verstappen. 

Lifetime Achievement – Simone Biles 

US gymnast Simone Biles rose to fame after her extraordinary medal haul at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Even in the face of extreme adversity, the 24-year-old has demonstrated her strength and commitment to both her sport and to herself. She battled both her physical and mental health to win a bronze and silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Helen Rollason Award – Jen Beattie (Football)

The Helen Rollason Award commemorates BBC journalist and presenter Helen Rollason who sadly passed away due to cancer. The award is given to those who demonstrate “outstanding achievement in the face of adversity”. Playing for Scotland and Arsenal, Beattie continued to participate in matches despite a breast cancer diagnosis. Thankfully Jen has beaten cancer and now advocates others to get screened and check for lumps.

Unsung Hero – Sam Barlow

Barlow was recognised as an “Unsung Hero” due to her extensive work in providing opportunities in local communities to participate in sport, regardless of background.


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