Published — Sunday 16 December 2012
Last update 17 December 2012 8:13 pm
LONDON: Cyclist Bradley Wiggins was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2012 on Sunday after winning the Tour de France and Olympic time trial gold in the space of 11 days this summer.
“What a year — to stand on this stage with the people next to me is incredible,” said Wiggins, who was presented with the prestigious award by the Duchess of Cambridge and football star David Beckham.
Wiggins is the second cyclist in successive years to win the prize, after Mark Cavendish in 2011 — capping another successful year for British cycling.
He became the first Briton to win the Tour — his sport’s most grueling race — and then the equal most decorated British Olympian after capturing gold at the London Games for his seventh medal.
“I’d like to thank my teammates, I wouldn’t be on this stage without them,” the Team Sky rider said.
Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis was runner-up and Olympic and US Open tennis champion Andy Murray was third in the hotly contested 59th running of the event.
Eight other Olympians or Paralympians — including Mo Farah, Chris Hoy and Ben Ainslie — and PGA golf champion Rory McIlroy were also on the 12-person shortlist for the award at the end of a stellar year for British sport.
Usain Bolt was announced as the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year for the third time in five years after defending his titles in the 100 and 200 meters plus the 4x100 relay at the London Olympics.
After winning a combined total of 185 medals, Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic squad won the Team of the Year at the annual awards ceremony at London’s ExCel arena — one of the games venues.
The BBC’s lifetime achievement award was given to Sebastian Coe, the two-time Olympic middle-distance champion who headed the London Games organizing committee.