Nicola Adams was not a name that sprang to the nation’s lips when considering our London 2012 medal hopefuls, but the 30-year-old Leeds boxer with the mega-watt grin is now firmly imprinted on our conscience. Her career to date has been a succession of firsts – she became the first female boxer to represent England at the age of 19 and then this summer landed the first Olympic gold medal for women’s boxing in the flyweight category.
“I didn’t realise the enormity of what I achieved when I won my gold medal. I was so focused on winning the fight that it took a while to sink in that I was the first woman ever to win a boxing gold. My name will be in pub quizzes for years to come!”
That it will. Her jubilant celebration after overcoming her formidable Chinese opponent Ren Cancan in the final at London’s ExCel Arena, has a treasured place in the public’s memory. “The number of women who have approached me in the street and told me that I inspired them is overwhelming but also makes me feel so proud.
“I am so honoured that women would look to me as a role model and inspiration and hope that it will help them to achieve their dreams as well.”
Boxing gold at flyweight, London Olympics
What the commentator said
“Nicola Adams has made history by boxing her way to the first ever women’s Olympic boxing title”
Who would be your Sports Personality?
“I would love to see a woman win, so it would be great for Jessica Ennis to be recognised.
Sports Personality of the Year is on 16 December at 7:30pm on BBC1