Who will be handed crown as Yorkshire’s greatest?

Alistair (left) and Jonny Brownlee in the running for Yorkshire's Sports Star of 2012.
Alistair (left) and Jonny Brownlee in the running for Yorkshire's Sports Star of 2012.
0
Have your say

The sporting year of 2012 has been one long glorious pageant.

And the men and women of Yorkshire have been at the very forefront of that spectacular parade of sporting achievement.

From the county’s heroic Olympians, who set pulses racing and imaginations soaring, to the mighty Leeds Rhinos who strengthened their claims on greatness with another monumental triumph.

From the stars who consolidated their positions at the head of their individual sports, to the members of our national teams who played their part in sustained success – January to December has been one long celebration of sport.

Today the Yorkshire Post launches its 2012 Sports Star of the Year awards and we want you to get involved to decide who deserves the accolade.

Sift through the achievements of the men and women of the White Rose and there is a whole host of candidates and potential winners from a broad cross-section of sport.

A fantastic prize of a day working with our team of sports writers awaits if you correctly nominate the winner of the 2012 Yorkshire Post Sports Star of the Year.

Our champion will be the one who receives the most nominations from you, our readers. Each nomination counts as a vote.

The winner of the reader’s grand prize will be chosen at random from those who nominate the eventual winner.

The criterion is Yorkshire-born sportsmen and women, or people who play for Yorkshire clubs or live and train in the county, who have achieved significantly over the past 12 months.

The 50 names on the left are the ones selected by our team of expert writers, but if you feel there is someone else worthy of your vote, then please nominate them.

The closing date is Monday, December 17 at noon and our Yorkshire Sports Star 2012 will be revealed following a week-long countdown on Saturday, December 22.

To help you along with the selection process, here are a few names to consider.

We will look at some more contenders in Sports Monday.

But for starters, how about those majestic Olympians, who did Yorkshire, and Britain, so proud.

London 2012 was the biggest sporting event not only of the year, but for decades.

Great Britain won 65 medals at the Olympics and then more than a hundred just a few weeks later at the Paralympics, which was an event that proved equally as magnificent.

At the Olympics, Yorkshire’s sports men and women were very much to the fore.

But whose achievement ranked highest for you?

Was it Jessica Ennis for her emphatic victory in front of 80,000 people on an emotionally-charged and memorable ‘Super Saturday’ in the Olympic Stadium?

The 26-year-old Sheffield heptathlete had the weight of the world on her shoulders in the lead up to the Games, but she dealt with that admirably, and delivered a personal best on the biggest stage of all.

Was it Nicola Adams who made history as the first woman to win an Olympic boxing gold medal?

It was not just that the 29-year-old from Leeds punched her way into the history books, it was the manner in which she did it, with that beaming smile, the Ali shuffle and tremendous grace.

Adams truly was one of the stars of the Olympics, transcending her sport with a flurry of punches and that heartwarming smile.

What about Alistair Brownlee, the first Briton to win the Olympic triathlon? The 24-year-old won it convincingly, swimming through the Serpentine, cycling around regal London and then running through Hyde Park to a momentous victory.

Pushing him all the way, and supporting him all the way, was his younger brother Jonny, who overcame a time penalty to win bronze and write the Brownlee name into British sporting lore.

Is Alistair your Yorkshire Sports Star 2012, or does his gallant brother take the honour?

What of Luke Campbell, the Hull bantamweight who overcame a sluggish start in the ring to triumph at a packed ExCel Arena, the tears of joy he cried reflecting the journey he had been on to get to the top.

Ed Clancy is arguably the greatest living Yorkshire Olympian. He is certainly the most decorated of those currently active.

Does the fact that he won two medals at London 2012, a gold with the team pursuit squad and a brave bronze two days later in the individual multi-discipline omnium, make him worthy of your vote?

Lizzie Armitstead didn’t win gold, but if you ask me, her accomplishment in winning silver in the women’s road race, was as big as any of the gold-medal performances.

The 23-year-old from Otley had to beat 55 riders to claim that silver medal, a phenomenal achievement.

What of the rowers, Hebden’s Andrew Triggs Hodge for successfully defending his Olympic title in the men’s four and Middlesbrough’s Katherine Copeland, who provided one of the iconic images of the Games as she greeted the gold medal she won in the lightweight double sculls with genuine shock.

York rower Tom Ransley and Northallerton equestrian Nicola Wilson won medals as part of well-oiled machines.

Arguably one of the most inspirational of our summer heroes was Doncaster’s Sarah Stevenson. She lost in the first round of the -67kg taekwondo competition, but just by being there, a year after she lost both her parents to cancer, was as admirable as it gets.

If the likes of Ennis and Adams set the Olympics alight, the same could be said for the larger-than-life Hannah Cockroft, who blazed a trail through the Olympic Stadium at the Paralympics.

Halifax’s ‘Hurricane Hannah’ won gold in the T34 wheelechair 100m and 200m, breezing over the line more than a second ahead of her rivals in both instances. Archer Danielle Brown had the guts to put a shaky start behind her to ensure a postbox in Lothersdale would be redecorated.

Away from the Olympics, Yorkshire still boasts two of the finest squash players in the world; Pontefract’s top-ranked player James Willstrop and Sheffield’s Nick Matthew, who is never far behind.

One of the most uplifting stories of the summer came from another man with a racquet, Jonny Marray.

The 31-year-old Sheffielder made a mockery of years of under-achievement to become the first Briton to win the men’s doubles title at Wimbledon for three quarters of a century when he reigned supreme on centre court with Denmark’s Freddie Nielsen.

Champions all, there was many an accomplishment that moved us to tears in 2012, but who will get your vote.

It’s now over to you to make your choice.

Good luck.

Sports Monday: Nick Westby looks at more contenders for the Yorkshire Post Sports Star of the Year award.