BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016: Meet the contenders

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016
Date: Sunday, 18 December. Venue: Genting Arena, Birmingham. Time: 18:40-21:00 GMT. Coverage: BBC One, Radio 5 live, BBC Sport website

A rundown of the 16 contenders who have been shortlisted for the 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, to be presented on 18 December.

You can vote for your favourite by phone or online on the night during the live show from Birmingham.

Nicola Adams - Boxer, age 34

Won the flyweight title again in Rio this year, the first British boxer to retain an Olympic crown for 92 years.

Also won her first World Championship gold to complete a "grand slam" of medals, adding to her Olympic, European and Commonwealth victories.

Adams, from Leeds, had already made history as the first female fighter to win an Olympic gold medal when she triumphed at London 2012.

Sports Personality record: Eighth, 2012. Boxing has provided the award winner five times (Henry Cooper 1967 and 1970, Barry McGuigan 1985, Lennox Lewis 1999, Joe Calzaghe 2007)

Full profile: Nicola Adams

Gareth Bale - Footballer, age 27

Scored three times as Wales reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016 after qualifying for their first major tournament since 1958.

Bale, who joined Real Madrid from Tottenham in 2013 for a then world record fee of £85m, has helped the Spanish side win five trophies in the past three seasons, including the Champions League twice, in 2014 and 2016. 

He is on the shortlist for the 2016 Ballon d'Or award, and also made the top three for Uefa's Best Player in Europe title which was won by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Sports Personality record: Eighth, 2014. Fellow Welshman Ryan Giggs was the last footballer to win - in 2009.

Full profile: Gareth Bale

Alistair Brownlee - Triathlete, age 28

Became the first man to retain the Olympic men's triathlon title, finishing ahead of brother Jonny, who claimed the silver.

The Yorkshireman later made headlines across the world when he selflessly helped his exhausted brother over the line ahead of him in a dramatic end to the Triathlon World Series in Mexico.

Alistair won two ITU World Triathlon Series events - in his home city of Leeds, and Stockholm.

Sports Personality record: First triathlete to be nominated for the award.

Full profile: Alistair Brownlee

Sophie Christiansen - Equestrian, age 29

Won three gold medals in dressage at the Rio Paralympics, taking her career haul to eight.

The rider from Berkshire, who has cerebral palsy, was victorious in the individual freestyle, grade 1a championship and mixed team event aboard her beloved horse Athene.

In 2016, Christiansen did not finish lower than second in any FEI event she competed in.

Sports Personality record: First nomination. Dressage has been represented before, with Charlotte Dujardin finishing fourth in 2014.

Full profile: Sophie Christiansen

Kadeena Cox - Athlete/cyclist, age 25

Cycling gold in Rio meant she was the first Briton since 1988 to win a medal in two sports at the same Paralympics.

Cox, from Leeds, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis two years ago. She earned a gold in the T38 athletics 400m and triumphed in the C4-5 time trial. She also took athletics silver in the T35-38 4x100m relay and bronze in the T38 100m.

Picked to be GB's flagbearer at the Rio closing ceremony, a brilliant year also saw her claim a track cycling World Championship gold in the 500m time trial.

Sports Personality record: First nomination. No Paralympian has won the main award, though wheelchair racer David Weir was fifth in 2012.

Full profile: Kadeena Cox

Mo Farah

Farah completed a 'double double' as he won his fourth Olympic gold and became only the second man to retain the 5,000m and 10,000m titles.

The Somali-born Londoner, who overcame a fall in the 10,000m, is a nine-time global champion and Britain's most successful Olympic track and field athlete of all time.

Farah also broke a 34-year British record for the 3000m and won the Great North Run for a record third consecutive year in 2016.

Sports Personality record: Seventh, 2015; Fourth, 2013; Fourth, 2012; Third, 2011. Of the 17 athletics winners, Paula Radcliffe was the last long-distance runner to triumph, in 2002.

Full profile: Mo Farah

Jason Kenny

Equalled Sir Chris Hoy's British record of six Olympic gold medals with a treble in Rio.

Won a dramatic keirin, that twice had to be restarted, to add to the Bolton cyclist's team sprint and individual sprint victories. He and wife Laura boast a combined 10 Olympic golds.

Earlier in the year, Jason won another title in the men's sprint at the Track Cycling World Championships.

Sports Personality record: First nomination. Four cyclists have previously won the award - Tommy Simpson (1965), Sir Chris Hoy (2008), Mark Cavendish (2011) and Sir Bradley Wiggins (2012).

Full profile: Jason Kenny

Laura Kenny - Cyclist, age 24

Then known by her maiden name Trott, the rider from Essex became the first British woman to win four Olympic gold medals by retaining her omnium title.

She also won team pursuit gold for a second time, and is one half of Britain's 'golden couple', marrying fellow cyclist Jason Kenny in September.

Kenny's 2016 title tally included the scratch race and omnium at the 2016 World Track Cycling Championships.

Sports Personality record: First nomination. Between 2008 and 2012, cycling had three of the five annual award winners.

Full profile: Laura Kenny

Andy Murray - Tennis, age 29

Won a second Wimbledon men's championship and retained his Olympic tennis title in Rio.

The Scot became world number one for the first time and ends the year at the top of the rankings after his 24th consecutive win clinched the ATP World Tour finals.

He finished runner-up at both the French and Australian Opens and helped Great Britain to the Davis Cup semi-finals, where they lost narrowly to Argentina.

Sports Personality record: Winner, 2013 and 2015; Third, 2012; Fifth 2011; Seventh, 2009; Sixth, 2008; Eighth, 2007. Also nominated 2005, 2006. Young Sports Personality 2004.

Full profile: Andy Murray

Adam Peaty - Swimmer, age 21

Smashed his own world record to take Olympic gold in the men's 100m breaststroke.

City of Derby swimmer Peaty won by more than a second and a half. It was the first Olympic gold for a British man in the pool in 28 years.

He helped Britain to a silver in the 4x100m medley with a blistering split - faster than his world record - as the United States team prevailed, with Michael Phelps claiming a record 23rd gold.

Sports Personality record: 11th, 2015; 10th, 2014. Two swimmers have been BBC Sports Personality of the Year - Ian Black (1958) and Anita Lonsbrough (1962).

Full profile: Adam Peaty

Kate Richardson-Walsh - Hockey, age 36

Captained Great Britain's women to a historic first Olympic gold medal - winning in a penalty shootout against the Netherlands.

Chosen as GB flagbearer for the closing ceremony, the Mancunian played alongside wife Helen as they became the first same-sex married couple to win Olympic gold in the same final.

After Rio, she retired from international duty after a record 375 appearances, 49 goals and 13 years as England and GB skipper.

Sports Personality record: No hockey player has ever taken the main award, although Britain's men won team of the year in 1988 after clinching Olympic gold.

Full profile: Kate Richardson-Walsh

Nick Skelton - Equestrian, age 58

Show jumper finally claimed an individual Olympic title at his seventh Games - aged 58, he was Britain's second oldest Olympic gold medallist.

Having initially retired 16 years ago after breaking his neck in two places, the Warwickshire rider won on Big Star following a six-way jump-off.

Joshua Millner, who secured shooting gold in 1908 at the age of 61, is the only person older than Skelton to have won gold for GB.

Sports Personality record: First nomination. A show jumper has triumphed before - David Broome in 1960.

Full profile: Nick Skelton

Dame Sarah Storey - Cyclist, age 39

Britain's most decorated female Paralympian after three golds in Rio took her tally to 14 titles in all from swimming and cycling.

She completed a cycling hat-trick at the 2016 Games in the women's C4-5 road race, after winning both the individual pursuit and time trial.

The Cheshire cyclist, who returned to elite sport after becoming a mother three years ago, also won a gold and two silvers at the Para-cycling Track World Championships.

Sports Personality record: 12th, 2012. The last woman to win the award was Zara Phillips in 2006, after her triumph at the World Equestrian Games.

Full profile: Dame Sarah Storey

Jamie Vardy - Footballer, age 29

His goalscoring exploits helped 5,000-1 outsiders Leicester City to become Premier League champions. The Foxes have gone on to reach the Champions League knockout stage.

Vardy was voted player of the year by the Football Writers' Association as he scored 24 league goals last season, including in a record 11 consecutive matches.

Just four years after signing from then non-league side Fleetwood Town, he made the Ballon d'Or award shortlist for the world's best player.

Sports Personality record: First nomination. The award has been won five times by footballers (Bobby Moore 1966, Paul Gascoigne 1990, Michael Owen 1998, David Beckham 2001, Ryan Giggs 2009)

Full profile: Jamie Vardy

Max Whitlock - Gymnast, age 23

Secured two Olympic golds in one memorable day as the gymnast from Hemel Hempstead made history.

He gained Britain's first Olympic gymnastics gold with victory in the men's floor, then 90 minutes later pipped team-mate Louis Smith to triumph in the pommel horse.

Earlier in the Games, Whitlock won Great Britain's first all-around gymnastics Olympics medal in 108 years, taking bronze.

Sports Personality record: Seventh, 2014, Eighth 2015. A gymnast has never won the BBC award, though Beth Tweddle was fifth in 2009.

Full profile: Max Whitlock

Danny Willett - Golfer, age 29

Claimed a shock Masters win to become the first Briton to triumph at Augusta in 20 years.

Willett, from Sheffield, had been a doubtful starter, with wife Nicole due to give birth on the final day, but he played after the early arrival of baby Zachariah.

He won the Dubai Desert Classic in February, finished second in the European Tour's Race for Dubai title, and made his Ryder Cup debut.

Sports Personality record: First nomination. Two golfers have won - Dai Rees (1957) and Nick Faldo (1989) - while the runners-up have included Rory McIlroy in 2014.

Full profile: Danny Willett

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