For the non-Brits reading, this award is quite a big deal in Britain. An athlete who is shortlisted gets quite a lot of recognition and Tweddle becoming something of a household name in Britain arguably has its roots in her 3rd place finish in 2006. She probably got more viewers doing an exhibition routine in a dubiously patterned tuxedo leotard then she did actually winning her world title. Sadly, youtube is not forthcoming, so you’ll all just have to take my word for it re leo. And the less said about last year’s display on what looked like a concrete floor, the better. But nonetheless, it’s exposure for the sport.
However, she’s missed out this year. This is the first year that she’s won a world title but not made the shortlist.
The list is here:
Yet again, a distinct shortage of women. It’s been known for a long time that for a woman to be nominated, she almost always has to be a world champion, whereas a man doesn’t have to have won shit to get on there. For example, Tweddle was first nominated in 2006. The only other women in the top 10 were Zara Phillips and Nicole Cooke. All three were world champions. The men nominated included Andy Murray and Monty Panesar, who weren’t even close.
Part of this probably comes about through general societal sexism and perceptions of women in sports, and as such the award just reflects wider trends. But it doesn’t help itself by allowing shitty, grubby little lad mags to contribute to the shortlisting, along with newspapers. They used to allow both Nuts and Zoo magazine to be involved. They’re exactly as quality as the names make them sound. Perhaps we should be grateful that only Zoo now gets to shortlist. And Zoo actually put a woman on its shortlist this year, for the first time ever. But if a men’s magazine gets to contribute, so should a women’s periodical. Cosmo or Marie Claire perhaps.
I suppose in some ways Beth not being nominated is almost a positive sign, like that winning a world title is simply what’s expected. But this year was absolutely the most successful in her career. Winning world and European titles must be like water off a duck’s back now, but the European team finishing second was one of the most significant events ever in the history of British gymnastics. And Tweddle led them to that result. Let’s remind ourselves:
The rest all performed extremely well, but the star is Beth and a result of that magnitude couldn’t have been achieved without her. 2010 is the most successful year British gymnastics and Beth have ever had, and it’s a real shame not to see that recognised by the BBC.
Stoi are going to recognise it instead, if the most renowned broadcasting organisation on the planet can’t bring themselves to. Let’s enjoy again Beth’s 2010 world championship winning bars set.
It’s not all bad news though, Sam Oldham is up for young sports personality. Sadly, that one isn’t voted for by the public so we can’t organise a mass internet campaign like in 2006.
-Posted by Clara