THE YEAR’S BEST MOMENT
For me, there are two moments that can’t be split. The first was when Italian superstar Alessandro Del Piero signed for Sydney FC in September.
Italian sport’s favourite son put the A-League on the world map and made headlines in every corner of the globe. ADP’s every twist and turn in a Sydney shirt continues to make back page news in Europe.
The other came on the track of London’s Olympic Stadium when our golden girl Sally Pearson stormed home to win the women’s 110m hurdles. She is our nation’s undisputed world star at the moment.
Our swimmers’ efforts in the pools of London.
For the first time since 1972, Australia failed to win an individual gold medal in the pool. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t through lack of trying but there were some big words spoken by our swimmers before they left for the Olympics and they came home bitterly disappointed.
It wasn’t just in the swimming, though – our Beijing golden boy Matthew Mitcham came up well short in the diving.
When the true extent of Lance Armstrong’s doping details were uncovered.
The man who inspired millions by winning seven Tour De France titles either side of an intense cancer battle was revealed to be a fraud.
Sport’s biggest ever cheat still hasn’t admitted to his nasty dealings, even with his world crumbling around him. And it seems as, though he never will fess up.
MAN OF THE YEAR
Michael Clarke, without doubt!
A calendar year that has produced four double centuries has catapulted “Pup” into the same echelon as Sir Donald Bradman in the psyche of most Aussie sports fans.
His hamstring came under the microscope over the past week, but our nation’s skipper pulled through to start the Boxing Day Test. Well done, Pup!
Honourable mention: Adam Scott. If only he held his nerve at the British Open. If only!
WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Sally Pearson. Another no-brainer.
The bubbly one-of-a-kind character is as fast and talented as she is likeable. Her efforts in London and throughout the Diamond League season have put Aussie athletics back on the world map.
Honourable mention: Anna Meares. Got one up over the Poms by smashing Victoria Pendleton and won one of the London Olympics’ most intense rivalries.
YOUNGSTER OF THE YEAR
Tom Rogic. “Who?” some of you may ask. The Central Coast Mariners and Socceroos midfielder has burst onto the scene this year and, at 19, there is infinitely more to come.
Born and raised up the road in Canberra, Rogic will be tearing up one of the big European leagues within 12 months. Remember the name!
Dishonourable mention: Bernard Tomic. We all sensed that there was something very spoiled brat-ish about this guy and this year he proved it.
TEAM OF THE YEAR
Sydney Swans. In what was the hardest category for me to decide on, the Swans stood tall.
How could you possibly forget that classic grand final effort?
Honourable mention: Spanish national football team. Became the first team in history to win the Euros, World Cup then Euros all back-to-back-to-back!
PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
Black Caviar. Went all the way to Royal Ascot, risked everything and still won despite an eye-catching (for all the wrong reasons) performance from jockey Luke Nolen.
Honourable mention: Joel Parkinson. Finally won maiden surfing world title after finishing second on four previous occasions!