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LONDON – Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, made her first public appearance since being hospitalized for three nights with hyperemesis gravidarum, or “pregnancy sickness,” which can lead to dehydration and weight loss.
Middleton was on stage to see Bradley Wiggins crowned this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2012, at the public broadcaster’s annual celebration of sporting achievement Sunday (Dec. 16).
Gold-medal-winning Olympian and Tour de France winner Wiggins beat out the challenge from 11 sports stars to the evening’s top award.
The popularity poll saw Olympic heptathlete Jessica Ennis voted in second place, ahead of the third placed US Open tennis champion and Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray.
The trio emerged from 12 nominees facing the public vote via a telephone poll, which included a host of Olympic 2012 gold medalists alongside US PGA champion golfer Rory McIlroy.
McIlroy was the only name on the 12-strong list of sportsmen and women who was not a London 2012 gold medal Olympian or Paralympian.
The other contenders vying for the public vote was female boxing champ Nicola Adams; sailor Ben Ainslie, who won his fourth Olympic gold in a row; double gold-medal-winning long distance runner Mo Farah; rower Katherine Grainger, who won gold after three silvers from the previous three Olympics; cyclist Sir Chris Hoy, who scored a British record with a brace of golds; double gold-medal-winning Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds; Paralympian cyclist Sarah Storey; and four-time-gold-medalist wheelchair Paralympian David Weir.
This year’s show was billed by the biggest show it had ever mounted in the event’s 59-year history.
Middleton, wearing a full-length emerald green gown, came to the stage to hand the former Olympian and mastermind of the London 2012 Olympics Sebastian Coe with a lifetime achievement award.
The Duchess remained on stage while the top three sports personalities were unveiled in reverse order, finally crowning Wiggins.
15,000 people packed into the ExCeL in London, one of the Olympic 2012 venues, with the show airing live on the broadcaster’s flagship channel BBC One while also going out live on the BBC’s radio service 5 live and on a microsite on the BBC Sport website.
The BBC gave out a total of seven other awards including the team of the year award to Team GB for the Olympics, overseas personality of the year to sprinter Usain Bolt and coach of the year to Dave Brailsford for his coaching of the British Olympics cycling and Tour de France winning Sky team, of which Wiggins was a part.
US sportsmen and women given special mentions through the show which lasted over 2 ½ hours were tennis player Serena Williams, swimmers Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin, sprinter Allyson Felix and beach volleyball three-time gold medalists Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor.
The 59th BBC Sports Personality of the Year show is expected to smash previous ratings records and is likely to prove to be the most watched show Sunday evening when the numbers are added up overnight.
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