Founded in 1954, BBC Sports Personality of the Year has progressed from a single-award event to an awards show with multiple awards and musical performances. It has become a massively popular event in the UK — the first round of tickets sold out in under five minutes — and this year’s event was the quickest sell-out show in more than a decade.
And only a few days after Sports Personality 2019 has concluded, fans are already discussing who will make the cut for next year’s event and wagering on who will win Sports Personality of the Year 2020. This is all in spite of the fact that next year’s shortlist won’t even be chosen until around November. And in spite of the fact that the notable sporting events of 2020 — which indicate who will be nominated — haven’t even happened yet. But fans will be fans.
So what happened at Sports Personality 2019?
This year, the event was held on December 15th in the P&J Live Stadium in Aberdeen, Scotland. It was hosted by Gary Lineker, Gabby Logan, and Clare Balding and featured musical performances from Scottish musicians Lewis Capaldi and Emeli Sandé. With the venue, lights, and music, it definitely looked more like a rock concert than a sports awards show. So it’s no wonder it’s so popular — They’ve really been going all out for the event.
The show started out how awards shows normally go — some good music and some witty banter from the hosts. Raheem Sterling, a footballer for Manchester City nominated for the Sports Personality award, gave a speech on current events. Darts, American football, and snooker were then given some time on the stage, but not much.
Doddie Weir’s presence, however, was one of the most moving moments of the night. A former rugby union player, he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease in 2017. He has since dedicated his life to finding a cure for the disease, raising nearly £five million. Weir received the Helen Rollason Award from the Princess Royal, which is given “for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity.” His loved ones and old teammates joined him on the stage when he collected the award.
After Weir, tennis, golf, and cricket were all given some time, where athletes recapped Wimbledon, the Cricket World Cup final, and the Solheim Cup. It was certainly a great year for sports, and that’s what Sports Personality is all about — celebrating every great moment.
Keiren Thompson, who leads the community project “Helping Kids Achieve” in Bulwell in Nottingham, won the Unsung Hero of the Year award. Following his award were some more recaps of great sporting moments over the year. Then Sports Personality moved onto Formula 1 racer Lewis Hamilton, who gave an interview, with sprinter Dina Asher-Smith not far behind. The show recapped their upbringing and their many achievements as athletes, all leading up to the main award.
But before they could get to the main award, some other great sporting moments and athletes needed to be given some attention, like skateboarding. Tanni Grey-Thompson, a wheelchair racer, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. England’s men’s cricket team then won BBC Sports Team of the Year Award, and England winning the World Cup won Greatest Sporting Moment of the Year.
Other winners of the night include John Blackie, who won Coach of the Year for coaching Dina Asher-Smith to gold. Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge won World Sport Star of the Year for becoming the first person to run a marathon in under two hours.
And the Sports Personality 2019 Winner Is…
Ben Stokes won this year’s Sports Personality of the Year award, shocking no one. But there’s no doubt he deserves it — He gave an incredible performance in the Cricket World Cup and the Ashes. Lewis Hamilton won second place and Dina Asher-Smith won third place.
That’s all for Sports Personality of the Year 2019. So, are you excited for Sports Personality 2020?