This category, sponsored by Speedy Hire, celebrates the remarkable achievement of a man already known for his remarkable achievements - the latest being the small matter of bringing the industry £8.3bn of construction work …


Sebastian Coe, London 2012 The kind of discipline that made Lord Coe the perfect physical machine and the tenacity and belief that conquered the harsh world of middle-distance running have served his country well. There are 1858 medals to be handed out during the 14 days of the greatest sporting contest on Earth, but the toughest competition is the one for the Games themselves. This is a collective race, run by the business, technical and political classes of an entire city, but they must be orchestrated and they must be led.

Coe performed that task magnificently. While the government nervously balanced the prestige of associating itself with a winning bid against the humiliation of backing a losing one, Coe was out of the blocks and pounding down the track. And when the time came to dip for the tape, the consensus is that it was Coe's final presentation in Singapore that swung the last undecided voters. As Istvan Gyulai, the general secretary of the International Association of Athletics Federations, put it: "Coe's wonderful presentation not only won the race, but his philosophy of reaching out to the youngsters of the world was what made all the difference."

Among the many spoils that were gained from this victory will be the money that will flow into British sport. The government has agreed is to put at least £350m into the training of our Olympic team. Another benefit is the £600m that will flow into London from television and marketing receipts. And all of this money will allow the UK construction industry to design and build an entire, brand new, £8.3bn London district: Olympiana-on-the-Lea. In so doing it will renew one of the most deprived urban areas in western Europe, and boost one of the largest urban expansion schemes in British history. Not a bad result for a couple of years' work ...

Other nominees

Rab Bennetts, Bennetts Associates
Steve McGuckin, Land Securities
Rob Smith, Davis Langdon
John White, Persimmon
Geoff Wright, Hammerson