We are showcasing each of the 16 contenders in the run-up to the Sports Personality of the Year award on 18 December. Today – Jason Kenny and Laura Kenny.
Jason Kenny – Age: 28 Sport: Cycling
Equalled Sir Chris Hoy’s British record of six Olympic gold medals with a treble in Rio.
The Bolton cyclist won a dramatic keirin that twice had to be restarted, to add to his team sprint and individual sprint victories. He and wife Laura boast a combined 10 Olympic golds.
Earlier in the year, Jason won the men’s sprint at the Track Cycling World Championships.
Kenny first rode a bike aged three, when he borrowed his older brother’s tricycle.
But his introduction to Manchester’s Velodrome was by pure chance, when an uncle who had booked the venue for a cycling event had a couple of spare places.
His potential was soon spotted and Kenny credits the PE teachers at his secondary school, Mount St Joseph, for inspiring him to succeed. He now has a leisure centre in Bolton named after him.
In 2005 he represented Great Britain and won world junior titles, before becoming a senior rider in 2008.
He won his first Olympic gold medal that year, and followed up with victories in the team and individual sprints at London 2012.
His performances in Rio made him the joint most successful British Olympian of all time, alongside Hoy, with six gold medals and one silver.
What he said: “I’m proud to be part of the team’s Olympic success and doing my bit.”
Andrew Wride: “Think the most successful Olympian should get it – Jason Kenny.”
Rick Beardmore: “Even with the madness of 2016 voting, I am 10,000% sure that @JasonKenny107 is this year’s #SPOTY”
Miguel Hunter: “The greatest sporting moment of 2016 by a country mile was Jason Kenny winning the keirin.”
Sports Personality record: First nomination. Four cyclists have won the award – Tommy Simpson (1965), Sir Chris Hoy (2008), Mark Cavendish (2011) and Sir Bradley Wiggins (2012)
Cycling is booming – many people are getting on a bike for the first time, and those who already cycle are cycling more and more. It’s a revolution.
Visit the Get Inspired website to find out more on how to get into cycling.
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