With the end of the year comes the end of season awards, and in keeping with the spirit of the site you will decide who wins in The Roar‘s Sports Awards 2016.
We’ve got six different categories for you to find a winner in, including Sportsman of the Year, Sportswoman of the Year, and Team of the Year. Up first, though, is Sports Personality of the Year.
We want to know which Aussie athlete you think had the biggest and best presence away from the field in 2016 – although we’ll leave the finer points of the criteria up to you.
All we’ll do is introduce our shortlist, then let you decide who should take home the award.
Cambage might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s no doubt she’s got a unique presence off the court.
Whether it was publicly railing against people dressing up using ‘blackface’, opening up about her battle against depression, or getting into seemingly constant Twitter spats with Andrew Bogut, Cambage certainly found her way into the headlines during 2016.
One of Australian surfing’s best-known exponents, Fitzgibbons is seemingly a constant presence on all things social media, whether it be Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. She’s also sponsored by everyone.
Horton certainly had one hell of an Olympics in 2016. Not only did he grab a surprise gold medal in the men’s 400m freestyle by beating out favourite Sun Yang, he followed it up by laying into the Chinese superstar about his previous doping ban.
He might have earned himself plenty of vitriol on social media from Yang’s outraged followers, but Horton also garnered a heap of respect for his no-nonsense stance, as well as a multitude of new Aussie fans.
Say what you will about Kyrgios’ on-field performances or the wisdom in getting into a public Twitter spat with Australia’s chef de mission, Kitty Chiller, in the lead-up to the Olympics, but he’s certainly never been shy of creating a headline. Ever.
Liberatore was seemingly everywhere in the aftermath of the Western Bulldogs’ drought-breaking grand final success. He gave a few memorable interviews on the day, including something about scoring a century at the MCG which didn’t really make too much sense, and followed it up by popping up in Asia, getting a God-awful haircut and running around for the Vietnam Swans.
The proud daughter of a coal miner, Anna Meares brought her stellar cycling career to a close in typically admirable fashion at the Rio Olympics. Chosen as Australia’s flag-bearer for the opening ceremony, Meares reacted to her lower than expected return of a single bronze medal with nothing but class.
The post-race shoey – sculling a drink out of a shoe – is now definitely a thing, and it’s all thanks to Aussie Dan Ricciardo, who continued to establish himself as one of Australia’s most popular athletes.
Never mind the ‘third-man Sam’ moniker – Thaiday consistently came across as a well-spoken, funny and witty player in just about every interview he gave this year. The obvious case in point was his wonderful quip about Queensland’s gutsy victory in State of Origin 1 this year.
“It was a bit like losing your virginity,” said Thaiday. “It wasn’t very nice but we got the job done.”