Chemmy Alcott: I’m a sports geek, I’m worried I’ll be caught googling SPOTY nominees’ background

Chemmy Alcott believes the new format for 2018’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year has created another layer of excitement.

The former GB skier, who competed at four Winter Olympics, is looking forward to finding out who the nominees are when the show begins on Sunday 16th December.

However, she’s also concerned that she will be caught googling on her phone during the ceremony.

“It is quite exciting this year because of the new format,” she said.

“Normally we know who is going to be nominated and you can do a lot of research on their background before the night, but on Sunday we will only know who has been nominated.

“I am a bit of a sports geek. I really like to know who is going to be up so I can google their background and try and find things that make them a personality, as opposed to a World and Olympic champion and incredibly talented athletes because I think that is what the difference is in the evening.

“It’s about the personality, it’s about the hardships and what they have overcome to get there so I am just worried that I am going to be on TV on Sunday night googling all night, saying tell me something I don’t know!

“But I do think it is exciting to do it because we are all talking, everyone is interested and the rumour mill is going.”

The nominees for BBC Sports Personality of the Year will not be announced until the show starts on Sunday but Alcott has a few names in mind.

She said: “For me Lizzy Yarnold definitely deserves to be nominated, not only because she won Olympic gold but to back that up four years later with a double Olympic gold.

“It’s so hard to be the best at any sport and to have a target on your back, so to be able to confirm your spot as Olympic champion is amazing.

“I was just reading about Tyson Fury because he is really a last-minute entry and the fans have got behind him.

“Dina Asher-Smith, I have done quite a few award ceremonies recently where she has won. She’s very popular and although it is the Euros not the Olympics, we know that she is one of the most talented sprinters we have ever had.

“Lewis Hamilton has been at the top of his game for so long and is so talented that people might say, ‘oh I have heard about the Lewis story’ but you it’s quite phenomenal what he has achieved and that is what I think, being British, we get a bit complacent with our athletes.

“Menna Fitzpatrick and Jen Kehoe, the Paralympic champions who won so many medals, they deserve to be up there and I really hope that their achievements will be recognised on Sunday.”

In previous years, an Overseas Sports Personality has been named but this year the category is for World Sport Star and is voted for by the general public.

Double Olympic champion Ester Ledecká won gold in the parallel giant slalom for snowboarding and super G in alpine skiing.

Alcott said: “Ester Ledecká – she is an incredible talent.

“It is kind of physically defying what she did achieve because the two sports she was in are very different.

“To be world class in two sports, let alone one, when you are sharing your energy between two very different disciplines is amazing.

“It was a big shock but shocks are what make sport.”

The ceremony will include a wrap-up of the whole year, all the awards including Team, Unsung Hero and The Helen Rollason Awards.

However, Alcott hopes that mental health is given prominence during the ceremony.

She said: “It’s a big celebration and it’s also a chance to look at people who have passed away, who have been iconic in sport.

“I think this year there will be a section on how important mental health and how important support is for athletes

“We have seen that highlighted with some huge tragic losses this year, so I am hoping that that gets brought up.

“It is just going to be an emotional rollercoaster, which sport is.

“I’ll enjoy whatever happens, you always do, even if it is controversial there is always a reason behind the people who win and the people who are popular with the British public.”

Feature image credit: London Youth Games Ltd, with thanks.

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