Alice and Andrea receive TNL Athlete of the Year nominations

24 Aug 2022

The pair have received the nominations in recognition of their outstanding performances across major championships in 2022, with voting for the award open to the public until the 31st August.

Commonwealth Champions Alice Tai and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix have both been named among the ten inspirational nominees for the National Lottery Athlete of the Year award

The pair have both captured the hearts of the nation with their respective performances this summer, as they picked up nine medals between them across respective World, European and Commonwealth championships.

In returning to major competition for the first time since her leg amputation, Tai produced one of the most spectacular stories of the World Para-Swimming Championships in Madeira, as she won a silver medal in the S8 100m Freestyle Final.

Alice Tai Madeira 2022 [Getty]
Alice Tai

The seven-time World Champion then continued her remarkable comeback season as she went on to win gold in the S8 100m Backstroke Final at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The 23 year-old produced an amazing effort down the last 25 metres to power past the leader and get her hand to the wall first.

Recognition of her athletic performance has won Tai in many accolades across the years, including the receipt of an MBE from the Queen following medal success at Rio 2016, whilst an incredible seven London 2019 world titles saw her pick up The Sunday Times’ Disability Sportswoman of the Year and British Swimming Athlete of the Year. Undoubtedly her legacy in the pool will continue to develop in this new chapter for her in the sport. 

Spendolini-Sirieix meanwhile has had a summer that will live long in the memory, as she secured seven medals and produced several breath-taking moments throughout her time in Budapest, Birmingham and Rome.

The diver took a bronze medal at the World Championships back in June; partnering with James Heatly in the Team Event to clinch the honour in what was a tense final round, with five other nations vying for the podium spots.

James Heatly Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix shock Budapest 2022
Spendolini-Sirieix and Heatly

Perhaps where the 17 year-old first came to wider attention was during her time at the Commonwealth Games, with the athlete taking three medals from three platform events.

She was part of a memorable Women’s 10m Platform Final which saw her produce a magnificent final dive to take gold ahead of compatriot Lois Toulson, before taking a silver in the Women’s 10m Synchro with Eden Cheng and another gold medal in the Mixed 10m Synchro with Noah Williams.

The BBC's former Young Sports Personality of the Year then rounded off her season with a further three medals at the recent European Championships in Rome; with a gold in the Women’s 10m Platform, another gold in the Women’s 10m Synchro alongside Toulson and a bronze in the Team Event with Williams, Heatly and Grace Reid.

Voting for all the shortlisted athletes closes on 31st August, with further information and voting links available here.