Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK has congratulated Mark Cavendish on being crowned the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2011.
The Isle of Man cyclist topped the public vote during Thursday night’s (December 22, 2011) show to win the coveted award ahead of British Open golf champion Darren Clarke and world champion athlete Mo Farah.
The Chief Minister said:
‘On behalf of the people of the Isle of Man I’d like to add my congratulations to Mark on yet another magnificent sporting achievement. The BBC award is held in very high regard and his success is a fitting finale to a truly exceptional year. Mark is a great ambassador for the Isle of Man and a fantastic role model to our young sportsmen and women. He has proved that people from a small country such as the Isle of Man can dominate on the international stage if they have the ability, determination and support. As a nation, we work hard to create an environment that fosters talent and allows our young people to flourish.’
Mr Bell added:
‘Millions of viewers watched the BBC1 show which once again demonstrates how Mark’s success is helping to raise awareness of the Isle of Man across the world. This latest accolade is well deserved and I hope his winning run extends into 2012 and the London Olympics.’
Winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award for 2011 rounded off a phenomenal year for Cavendish. The 26-year-old Laxey cyclist, already the most successful British cyclist of all time, clinched the world road race championship and also became the first British winner of the Tour de France green jersey, awarded to the event’s top sprinter.