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This year’s sports personality of the year was a pretty intriguing one. But at the end of the day, the award went to Emma Raducanu. She was voted as sports personality of the year over people like Tom Daley, Tyson Fury, Adam Peaty, Lewis Hamilton, and many other big names. Of course, the main reason Raducanu was voted as the winner was due to her US Open triumph in September 2021. In case you needed a reminder, she won the tournament after coming through qualifying – an unprecedented feat at this competition.
But while we all now know that she won the award, I’d like to share some key insights as to why I believe she was voted ahead of the rest.
Raducanu – the new face of British sport
Since winning the US Open, Raducanu’s life has completely changed. Once she won the final, she instantly became a millionaire. In addition, she instantly gained the attention of huge brands and signed some pretty hefty endorsement deals. But besides the money and the fame, I believe there are other reasons behind her victory here:
Her welcoming and humble demeanour
Everything about her personality screams humility and gratitude. When she was making her way through the US Open competition, she didn’t let any of it go to her head. She remained calm, grateful, and relatable within all of her interviews. It is this kind of demeanour that fans find particularly appealing. She doesn’t seem to give off any kind of arrogance or big-headed vibes, which I think is important in life and in sport.
Therefore, the personality of Raducanu (hence the name of the award) is a large reason she was voted in.
The speed of her rise to the top
While this award is technically based upon someone’s personality, we all know it isn’t just about this. The award is very much to do with an individuals’ success, and Raducanu has enjoyed more of this than most. Of course, winning a Grand Slam on just your second attempt is absolutely incredible. Doing this at 18 years of age is also spectacular. However, some people forget that Raducanu was just a regular school girl sitting her exams prior to Wimbledon 2021.
At that point, she wasn’t even inside the world’s top 300. After winning the US Open, she rose to within the world’s top 20! That kind of rise just never happens in women’s tennis, not since the emergence of players like the Williams sisters.
What her success stands for
Her success in 2021 has obviously been remarkable. But I believe that her success has much more beneath the surface that we should pay attention to. She has demonstrated that huge success can be achieved at any age – you just have to dream. She has also shown that it doesn’t matter whether you are a male or female, you can still become a hugely popular and top-level athlete. Raducanu was also the first female to win the SPOTY award since 2006 – a 15-year gap!