First of all let me say I’m surprised and hugely flattered to be on this year’s list of nominees, particularly following the outstanding year of sport we’ve had, quite possibly the best year of British sport in memory. I’m glad I don’t have to make a choice and I think everyone on the list feels they are in fantastic company. I am also very aware there are many outstanding names left off the list.
I am sure lots of people will be tuning in to Sports Personality to celebrate the summer all over again and many will vote. Some people are even organising Twitter and Facebook campaigns to whip up support for me. To you all, let me say a massive thanks from the bottom of my heart. I really, really appreciate it.
Anna Watkins deserves a particularly huge thank you from me. Without her wonderful athletic ability, her sharp racing mentality, her warm and generous humour and her ability to cope with enormous expectations and pressure, this summer would not have been what it was. She is not just a great crew mate but a great friend to have too.
As I’ve gone round the country with my medal it’s become apparent just how important Team GB’s performances at the London Games have been to everyone. I have been overwhelmed by the warm welcome I’ve received from young and old and from those who love sport and those who have never really been interested before. Countless people have been moved, inspired, motivated and excited by the performances and experiences of the summer. I love the idea that the legacy will live on and I am trying hard to help ensure that it will happen.
I don’t really want it to stop, but it will eventually, so thank you once again to everyone who’s welcomed me in schools, at events and elsewhere, and also to those of you who do decide to vote for me in the BBC Personality event. I hope to see as many of you as possible in the future.