Dec 17 2012 By Cheryl Mullin
THE Duchess of Cambridge last night made her first public appearance since being treated in hospital for severe morning sickness, at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
Wearing an emerald green floor-length dress, Kate presented cyclist Bradley Wiggins with the top award and Lord Sebastian Coe with the lifetime achievement honour at London’s ExCeL Centre.
Following the ceremony she told presenter Gary Lineker backstage she was “very well” when he asked about her condition, after she was recently forced to miss two royal engagements while she recovered.
She later admitted to Paralympic athlete Martine Wright, who picked up the Helen Rollason accolade, that her time on stage had been scary.
The Duchess, who is an official ambassador of Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic teams, stayed to meet some of this year’s sporting heroes, including Sports Personality runners-up Jessica Ennis and Andy Murray, as well as unsung hero award winners Sue and Jim Houghton.
Wiggins, who this year became the first Briton to win the Tour de France, followed days later by a gold medal in the Olympic Time Trial, received 492,064 (30%) phone votes for the main award last night.
It was more than 7% more than heptathlon gold medal winner Jessica Ennis, who came second with 372,765 (22%), and 15% more than US Open winner and Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray, who was third with 230,444 (14%).
Double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah missed out on an award, coming fourth with 8% of the votes, a total of 131,327.
Accepting the award from the Duchess, who did not speak, Wiggins thanked the voters, including his grandmother for pressing redial “God knows how many times”.
He also praised his supporters and Team Sky colleagues who helped him win the Tour de France before saluting the other Olympians.
He later told the BBC that he couldn’t believe Farah had not won.