Emma Raducanu won the US Open. | Reuters

It's pantomime season (oh no it isn’t) and while we all hoped to be able to say Covid: It’s Behind You, things are taking a turn for the worse. At least there’s plenty of football to watch. Oh no hang on, all together now, oh no there isn’t.

Fixtures are being postponed at an alarming rate as Omicron rips through the clubs, but the most shocking statistic of the week is that around 30% of players have not been vaccinated and 25% say there are not going to be.

The rules say that anyone who is unvaccinated and becomes a contact case, they have to quarantine for ten days. With the infection rates rocketing, the fixture list is looking untenable for weeks on end.

The big sporting event of the weekend is Sunday’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Once again there will be no one there so the public will miss out on the faintly odd spectacle of elite athletes all dressed up.

Many people go to work every day in formal clothing so glamming up in evening wear isn’t such a stretch. The stars of the music, film and television world are constantly on display at premiers and on the red carpet. Athletes on the other hand always seem to appear slightly awkward tottering around in heels and dressed to the nines for one night of the year. It’s great fun to watch.

For me, the event is less a showcase of the best sporting action of the year, and has become too much of a ‘Best of British’ wherever they finish. Yes, we want to celebrate a year of British success, but I, like many sports fans, also want to see what else has been going on. What was it like to be in Milwaukee when the Bucks won their first NBA title for 50 years? Or in Tampa when the Lightning won a second Stanley Cup in a row? It is a little unlikely given the antagonism between Britain and France at the moment, but how about a feature on the French handball and volleyball teams?

Adam Peaty looked amazing on Strictly this year, ending his run in week seven, and is on the shortlist along with other aquatic stars Tom Daley and Dame Sarah Storey, now a para cyclist, plus Raheem Stirling, Tyson Fury and Emma Raducanu.

Peaty won two golds in Tokyo and is the only British swimmer ever to have won golds in two consecutive Olympics. He is the most dominant breaststroke swimmer in the history of the sport.

Tom Daley has been adopted by the nation since coming to national attention as a twelve year old. The country has watched his progress, his grief, his struggles and his ultimate triumph.

Dame Sarah Storey is now 44 years of age, and in Tokyo this year took her Paralympic medal tally to a whopping 28.

Raheem Stirling has been the standout player in the Premier League this year and one of the reasons England reached the final of Euro 2020 before, and it is still painful to think about, losing to Italy on penalties.

Tyson Fury once again does not want to be included on the list, but his stunning win against Deontay Wilder in October marks him as a legend of heavyweight boxing to millions of fans.

But they all might as well stay at home because Emma Raducanu won the US Open. The 18 year old finished up her A levels, entered the last Grand Slam of the year as a qualifier, then won every set on her way to the title. It was the biggest jaw-dropping story of the sporting year. Raducanu gets my vote.

Newly knighted Sir Lewis Hamilton is not on the list despite the barely credible finish to the F1 title race in Abu Dhabi last week.

Having blown past Verstappen at the start, then surviving a coming together later in the first lap, Hamilton built up a lead that would surely become a procession to a record eighth world title and sixth in a row. But no, a late crash brought the safety car out with five laps to go, Verstappen changes tyres and the race official clears away the back markers to bring the two leaders together in a final lap winner takes all shoot out, and Hamilton is left to rue some extraordinarily back luck.

Enjoy the sporting highlights and have a very merry Christmas.