The hunt for BT’s Action Woman of the Year 2014 is underway and every month BT Sport will be highlighting potential contenders.
But it’s not just down to us – we want you to nominate the sportswomen who we might have missed, using the #BTActionWoman hashtag on Twitter.
A final shortlist of 10 nominees will be produced at the end of the year and put to a public vote to decide the winner.
Helen Glover and Heather Stanning
Photo: Intersport Images
The feat: It’s an iconic image that the British sporting public won’t forget in a hurry: rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning crossing the finish line to take the country’s first gold medal in front of a home crowd at the 2012 Olympics.
Back in the boat together to compete internationally for the first time since the Games two years ago, the duo proved they’re still a deadly combination at the World Cup in Aiguebelette, France, last month, finishing almost four seconds ahead of America’s Megan Kalmoe and Kerry Simmonds to win the women’s pair.
The Feat: Jo Harten has been taking the world’s greatest netball league, the ANZ Championship, by storm.
She shot the winning goal to clinch a place in the preliminary final for her team the Kia Magic, who just missed out on a place in the grand final. She’s just been named joint MVP (most valuable player) for the season, alongside Australian legend Kim Green - and now she will look to help shoot England to Commonwealth glory.
The feat: She is currently the world’s fastest junior athlete over both the 100 and 200 metres and has already won European under 23 titles as well as a global bronze medal in the senior ranks. At the moment, Dina Asher-Smith is the girl to beat on the track.
In June, the 18-year-old Blackheath and Bromley AC sprinter clocked 22.74 seconds over 200m, the fastest time in Britain since August 2009. It made her the eighth fastest British woman over the distance of all time. Asher-Smith is now going into the World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon, this month as the red-hot favourite over both sprint distances.
The feat: Only 16 years old and Briton Katie Ormerod has just changed the face of women’s snowboarding by becoming the first female to land a backside double cork 1080; a jump so complex it is only achieved by the top male professionals and requires so much strength both to perform and control it that it was doubted, until now, that women would be able to execute it.
The move involves rotating in the air on both a vertical and horizontal axis (imagine a corkscrew) but with two complete flips and one full spin. It was her coach who suggested she attempt it and, in January, Ormerod headed out to Woodward in America to learn the technique, largely using a trampoline. When they both felt she was ready to try it on snow for the first time, Red Bull offered to fund a trip to Austria and provided a film crew.
Of the achievement, Ormerod said: “When it happened on the 13th attempt, I knew I had done it as soon as I landed it and just felt overwhelmed and really, really happy.”
The Elena Baltacha Foundation
The feat: Only a year ago Elena Baltacha was playing at Wimbledon and, as her friend and reigning women’s singles champion Marion Bartoli revealed, she played a crucial part in the Frenchwoman claiming the title. 12 months later, the Centre Court crowd were paying homage to the hugely popular, gutsy, caring, effervescent former British number one following her death from cancer at the age of 30 in May.
Her charity, offering the opportunity to learn tennis to children regardless of their background, lives on the determined image of its founder and the fund-raising ‘Rally4Bally’ campaign is already heading towards the £200,000 mark to boost the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis in Ipswich.