Three members of ParalympicsGB’s high-performing London 2012 team have been nominated for the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) award.
Wheelchair athlete David Weir, swimmer Ellie Simmonds and cyclist Sarah Storey have all made the 12-strong list, which was filled with Paralympic and Olympic gold-medallists, and included only one sports star – golfer Rory Mcllroy – who did not compete at London 2012.
There was also Paralympic representation on the panel of 12 who selected the shortlist, with Baroness [Tanni] Grey-Thompson one of the former SPOTY nominees who helped draw up the list.
The winner of the award will be decided by a public vote on the night of the awards on 16 December, an event which will be watched live on BBC1 and by an audience of 15,000 people at the ExCeL centre in London, one of the London 2012 venues.
Weir, who won four golds at London 2012, told his followers on Twitter that it was “such an honour to be in the top 12” and was “another step forward for Paralympic sport”.
Simmonds, who won two London 2012 golds, said on Twitter that she was “honoured” to make the list in what was “such a great year for British sport”, while Storey, who won four golds, also said she was “honoured to be nominated”.
Among those Paralympians who have already announced their favourites on Twitter, Scott Moorhouse, Richard Whitehead, Hannah Cockroft and Daniel Greaves all said they were backing Weir, while Shelly Woods backed both Weir and Olympic cycling gold medallist and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, and Jody Cundy said he would be voting for Wiggins.
Tim Hollingsworth, chief executive of the British Paralympic Association, said: “To have three Paralympians on the shortlist shows just how far Paralympic sport has come in this country.
“We’re delighted for Ellie, Sarah and David that their achievements over the summer have been recognised in this way.
“The public took the ParalympicsGB team to their hearts and their support was a huge factor in our success – let’s hope that they now continue that support and vote for our Paralympians on the night.”