Tuesday, November 25, 2014


So, the BBC`s contenders for Sports Personality of the Year have been announced.  No real surprises there with Lewis Hamilton already quoted at 1-4 as the bookies` favourite and other arguably more worthy contenders trailing in his wake.  I`ve no quarrel with the other nominations which seem to represent most sports - (with the notable exceptions of Rugby and Cycling, which we are pretty good at) - and they include a boxer, swimmer, gymnast, golfer, very worthy Paralympians, a lady who does dressage with her horse and another who went downhill very fast on a tea tray.

Now I realise that there are millions of people in thrall with the world of Formula One racing and I also know it`s a world of `to each his own.`   But I have long wondered why motor racing qualifies as a `sport,` when the whole business is an environmentally hostile, deafeningly noisy, boring spectacle run by an organisation of dubious presence, whose champion is decided as much by technical and mechanical competence than by whoever happens to be sitting in the cockpit.

And motor racing has produced Lewis Hamilton. Now some months ago, there was a bit of controversy when Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg accused then Saints player, Adam Lallana, of `being very different now you`ve played for England.`  The accusation may have been flippant and raised some eyebrows but it may have contained an element of truth. It certainly seems to be the case with Hamilton who seems to have morphed into a kind of dream-world of his own following his cockpit sitting exploits.   He seems somehow `unworldly,` in a bubble of his own, not really one of us any more, not quite right. 

Now someone with a real personality is Jo Pavey who, at nearly 43 years of age, won the European 10,000 metres gold medal in Zurich, making her the oldest ever female European champion.  All this after having won the bronze medal in the 5,000 metres at the Commonwealth Games just ten days earlier.   A mother of two, eight months after giving birth to her second child she won the British 10,000m title.  She is one of those almost unsung champions, shunning the spotlight, reserved, modest, engagingly charming with no pretences and certainly no twin diamond ear studs. 


She won`t win the BBC Sports Personality, of course - that wouldn`t be quite right in a world that values brash excess over quiet achievement.

No comments: