Who will be the Sport Nation Sportsperson of the Year for 2012?

 

For lovers of sport, 2012 will most likely never be surpassed.

Team GB's heroics at the London Olympics; historic wins in the Tour de France and US Open tennis; Europe's incredible Ryder Cup fightback - we've seen a host of incredible sporting moments packed into an unforgettable 12 months.

And Scottish sportsmen and women have played key roles in many of these triumphs, but whose star has shone the brightest?

On December 4, we will announce the Sport Nation Sportsperson of the Year for 2012.

The winner will be selected by a panel of Sport Nation pundits, and they are:

Graeme Obree - Twice holder of the world hour cycling record.

Lee McConnell - Olympic 400m runner and Commonwealth silver medallist.

Alex Arthur - Former WBO super featherweight boxing champion.

Eve Muirhead - Olympic curler and world championship silver medallist.

Liz McColgan - World champion 10,000m runner who won Commonwealth gold and Olympic silver.

Susan Egelstaff - Olympic badminton player and Commonwealth bronze medallist.

Our panel will debate the individual merits of our five candidates. Each has a strong claim to be named Scotland's sportsperson of the year, so let's look at the contenders:

Katherine Grainger MBE

Katherine Grainger

After missing out on a gold medal for the third time in Beijing, Grainger said tearily, "I'm always the bridesmaid".

Three Olympic rowing silvers is quite an achievement, but gold was the only thing on Grainger's mind at the London Games.

Partnered by Anna Watkins, Grainger powered to victory in the double sculls to put her previous heartache behind her and become an Olympic champion.

Paul Lawrie MBE

Paul Lawrie

The Aberdeen golfer had drifted a long way from the game's elite since his 1999 Open triumph.

But he showed a remarkable return to form in 2012, winning two European Tour events, qualifying for the Ryder Cup team for the first time in 13 years, and playing his part in one of the most remarkable successes in team sport.

Lawrie destroyed the much-vaunted Brandt Snedeker in the Sunday singles as Europe stormed back to defeat the USA.

Ricky Burns

The Coatbridge boxer has continued his impressive progress this year, twice retaining his world lightweight title in emphatic fashion.

Ricky Burns

He outboxed the Namibian fighter Paulus Moses to win on points in January, before delivering arguably the finest performance of his career to stop England's Kevin Mitchell in the fourth round in September.

Burns is fast becoming one of Scotland's most successful boxers of all time.

Andy Murray

This was the year Murray finally made the breakthrough to become a Major champion.

Andy Murray

His US Open final victory over Novak Djokovic was a five-set classic for the ages, but Murray was far from a one-hit wonder in 2012.

He reached his first Wimbledon final, and won Olympic gold with a memorable demolition of Roger Federer, the man who had denied him at the All-England club just a few weeks before.

Sir Chris Hoy

Named as Olympic flag-bearer, Hoy had much to live up to at the London Games.

Sir Chris Hoy

He delivered. Hoy bagged gold in the team sprint, before powering home in the keirin to win his second gold of the Games, and the sixth Olympic gold of his career.

He is now the most successful British Olympian of all time.

On December 4, BBC Scotland will announce the Sport Nation Sportsperson of the Year for 2012. Watch Sport Nation on BBC2 Scotland on Tuesday 4 December at 1900 to find out the winner of the Sport Nation Sportsperson of the Year for 2012.

Listen to Sport Nation radio every Saturday morning at 1100 and join in the debate. You can also follow us on Twitter.