In a special edition of The Clare Balding Show
on BT Sport
, January 25th at 9pm, mountain biking's very own Rachel Atherton was crowned BT Sport's Action Woman of the Year!
The award was designed to honour the sportswomen who have made the biggest impact and produced the most dynamic performance in this year of sporting success. The short-list of nominees saw Rachel pitted against nine extraordinary women already widely recognised for their exceptional contribution to their sports – such as tennis, football, athletics and swimming - and who have undoubtedly enjoyed far greater mainstream recognition than our own. Accepting the award on behalf of the entire mountain biking community, Rachel said:
"Wow!! I'm absolutely gobsmacked to have won the first ever BT Sport Action Women Awards! The first thing I have got to say is a massive 'Thank You' to every single person who voted for me and our sport, allowing me to showcase what a jaw dropping sport downhill mountain biking is. This is a huge milestone in my career! The shortlist for this award was stacked with women who I personally take inspiration from, being considered alongside them means the world to me and gives me even more motivation for the coming race season! Thanks also has to go to all my fantastic sponsors and my AMAZING team and family, without whom I would be less than nothing. Of this I have no doubt. Adding this award to my World Titles goes a long way to saying 'Thank You' to all these people, because it's true that you really are only as good as the team around you. That team now includes everybody who voted in such a prestigious award, and the family of BT Sport, for making such a huge salute to the World of Women's Action Sports. Thanks Guys!"
Atherton Racing's Team Director Dan Brown said:
"I'm sure that everybody will want to join me in congratulating Rachel. This fantastic award is well deserved and repayment for all of the tremendous hard work and super human effort that she put in for the entire 2013 season. As Rachel says, this accolade goes beyond being an award for one athlete. Mainstream recognition for our sport doesn't come around often and this award was won through the outpouring of support from an entire community. This one is for all of us.""
- geebeebee media
- Sven Martin