There’s no denying that British athletes are currently some of the best in the world and the high number of medals and world records are clear evidence of that.

The time of year when we celebrate our athletes has come around once again as the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year awards take place on 20th December.

This year there are 12 contenders for the award that is voted for by the public with the winner announced at the live show in Belfast.

Previous winners of the award have been well known around the world for their sporting achievement and also the work they have done in communities and for their sport. More memorable past winners include David Beckham, Dame Kelly Holmes and Sir Chris Hoy.

Cycling and athletics personalities appear quite heavily in the shortlist as Britain have many strong competitors on the world stage although all the athletes on the list have represented Britain on the medals podium around the world.

Hoping to follow on from Lewis Hamilton’s win last year are:

  • world cycling race champion Lizzie Armitstead
  • England football team defender Lucy Bronze
  • world class heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill
  • Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah
  • two-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome
  • heavyweight champion boxer Tyson Fury
  • last year’s winner and Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton
  • top British tennis player Andy Murray
  • world champion swimmer Adam Peaty
  • long jump record holder Greg Rutherford
  • rugby league star Kevin Sinfield
  • pommel horse world champion and all round world class gymnast Max Whitlock

The competition will be a break for the athletes, many of which are currently training for the Rio 2016 Olympics and Great Britain will be looking to top their medals tally from the London 2012 Olympics.

The window for the public to vote for their winner is during the live show and the winner of the main award will be announced as the big finale.

Other awards are handed out during the show to celebrate sporting achievement in other areas such as the team of the year, young sports personality and lifetime achievement award. The public vote for the overseas sports personality of the year is already open to vote for the winner from the 6 nominees.

There has been some controversy with one of the nominees on the short, but the BBC say that the public will vote for who they believe should win based on their sporting achievements.

By Emily Wilson

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