We are showcasing each of the 16 contenders in the run-up to the Sports Personality of the Year award on 18 December. Today – Nicola Adams andGareth Bale.
Nicola Adams – Age: 34 Sport: Boxing
Year in a Nutshell
Became the first British boxer to retain an Olympic crown for 92 years by winning the flyweight title in Rio.
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.
How did she get here?
Loved watching videos of legendary fighter Muhammad Ali as a child, but got into boxing by accident.
When her mother Dee could not arrange childcare while she did a workout class, Adams took part in an after-school boxing session at the gym.
She had her first bout aged 13, but found it difficult to get opponents even into her adult years and worked as an extra on TV soaps Emmerdale and Coronation Street.
In 2007, she became the first English woman to win a medal in a major boxing tournament – silver at the European Championships.
Adams recovered from a career-threatening back injury to make the first GB women’s boxing squad in 2010.
She triumphed in London two years later and in Rio became the first British fighter to retain an Olympic title since middleweight Harry Mallin in 1924.
What she said: “I’m now officially the most accomplished amateur boxer Great Britain has ever had. I can’t believe it.”
What you said
Daz Clarke: “Nicola Adams for #SPOTY #BBC. If I ever needed a bodyguard, I would phone and hire this incredible girl.”
Rachel Atherton: “She is an ambassador for boxing and pioneer for women.”
HealthclubTV: “Every time you see her she is smiling. A real #SPOTY. Great ambassador.”
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).
Boxing is a dynamic sport that teaches physical and mental discipline. There are many boxing clubs where you can start your programme and progress to competition level.