Six of the Best: The sporting stars who have made Leeds proud in 2016

Alistair and Jonny Brownlee in action.
Alistair and Jonny Brownlee in action.
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With the New Year Honours List due next week, here’s our round-up of six deserving sporting stars from Leeds who have made a city proud in 2016.

ALISTAIR BROWNLEE, TRIATHLON

File photo dated 23-08-2016 of Great Britain's Alistair (right, gold) and Jonny Brownlee (silver) pose with their medals PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday December 15, 2016. Exhausted Jonny Brownlee was leading the Triathlon World Series in Mexico with 700m left to run, but the searing heat had taken its toll as he began to weave over the road See PA story SPORT Christmas Best and Worst. Photo credit should read John Walton/PA Wire.

File photo dated 23-08-2016 of Great Britain's Alistair (right, gold) and Jonny Brownlee (silver) pose with their medals PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday December 15, 2016. Exhausted Jonny Brownlee was leading the Triathlon World Series in Mexico with 700m left to run, but the searing heat had taken its toll as he began to weave over the road See PA story SPORT Christmas Best and Worst. Photo credit should read John Walton/PA Wire.

He apparently disliked seeing his older brother help him across the line at a triathlon in Mexico earlier this year. However, not one to let falling down get him down, he’s decided in true British spirit, that he’s going to set the record straight in Tokyo in three years’ time by winning gold. That’s why we love him.

Jonny has won Olympic silver (2016), Olympic bronze (2012), Commonwealth Games silver (2014) medallist and World Champion (2012) British Triathlon. He finished every race from July 2010 to May 2014 on the podium, 42 triathlons in a row.

JONNY BROWNLEE, TRIATHLON

It’s hard not to think of the Browlees as conjoined, as Johnny and Alistair are both so much at the top of their game they 
seem to take turns at winning major events. In 2012, they were the first brothers to stand on an Olympic podium together since 1908, winning gold (Alistair) and bronze.

Olympic Gold Medalist Nicola Adams is pictured with her Gold Paving Stone, on Cookridge Street, Leeds....7th November 2016 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Olympic Gold Medalist Nicola Adams is pictured with her Gold Paving Stone, on Cookridge Street, Leeds....7th November 2016 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Alistair was Olympic (2012, 2016), Commonwealth (2014), World (2009, 2011) and European (2010, 2011, 2014) champion. And, of course, he melted all our hearts earlier this year by stopping at the end of a race to help his brother make it across the line.

KADEENA COX, PARALYMPIAN

One of Paralympics GB’s stars of Rio 2016, the 25-year-old from Leeds, she grew up in Chapeltown and attended Wetherby High School and is the first GB Paralympian since 1988 to win gold in two sports.

Cox, who has multiple sclerosis, blitzed the field to win T38 400m gold in a world record time and added 100m bronze and relay silver to her collection. She then won gold in cycling in the C4-5 time trial.

Great Britain's Nile Wilson has won a bronze medal in the men's horizontal bar at the Rio Olympic Arena on the eleventh day of the Rio Olympics Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday August 16, 2016. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Great Britain's Nile Wilson has won a bronze medal in the men's horizontal bar at the Rio Olympic Arena on the eleventh day of the Rio Olympics Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday August 16, 2016. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Always ready with a smile, she summed up her approach, saying: “I just wanted to prove it could be done, even if you have setbacks.”

NICOLA ADAMS, BOXING

Nicola Adams has become more than just a sporting star, she has become an unofficial ambassador for the city.

The 32-year-old needs little introduction. At the Rio Olympics, she became the first (and only) female boxer to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals. If Olympic gold was not enough, the Leeds fighter won her first world championships title to complete a grand slam of medals.

When she won her ‘Paving the way’ award earlier this year, presented in front of the gold post box painted in her honour, she quipped: “Now to rename the road.”

NILE WILSON, GYMNASTICS

Born in Leeds and educated at Pudsey Grangefield School, he became the first British gymnast in history to win five gold medals at the European Junior Gymnastics Championships. Making his senior debut for England, he proceeded in the same year to win four medals, including two gold, at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

He is the reigning Commonwealth Games champion on horizontal bar. He snatched bronze in Rio, winning the bronze medal at the horizontal bar event with a score of 15.466, becoming the first British gymnast to do so.

JACK LAUGHER, DIVING

Gold medallist Jack Laugher, who was born in Harrogate, lives in Ripon and trains at the John Charles Centre, Leeds, is as deserving as any for a New Year gong.

A specialist on springboard, he competes in individual springboard events and in synchronised events with Chris Mears. The duo won Britain’s first Olympic gold medal in diving by winning the men’s synchronised 3m springboard event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. A week later, Laugher won a silver in the men’s individual 3m springboard.

Aged just 21, it’s certainly not the last we’ve seen of him.

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