Commnwealth, World and Olympic champions Geraint Thomas MBE and Nicole Cooke MBE have been shortlisted for the 2015 St David Awards.
The St David Awards annually recognise and celebrate the exceptional achievements of people in Wales. They acknowledge people who are making a real difference for this country, either at home or abroad. They are great marks of distinction and the highest accolades that Welsh Government confers on our citizens nationally.
The Awards reflect and promote the aspirations of Wales and its citizens to be a modern, vibrant country, with a growing reputation as a confident and clever nation valuing innovation, community spirit, and above all its people.
Geraint Thomas MBE has been shortlisted for the Sport Award. 2014 was a great year for the Cardiff cyclist after winning a gold medal in the road race at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, being given the honour of carrying the Welsh flag at the closing ceremony and also winning the BBC Wales Sports Personality title.
28-year old Geraint is also a double Olympic Gold medallist, winning medals as part of the Great Britain Cycling Team Pursuit team at the games in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, where the team set a new world record in the process of winning the Gold. A key figure in the success enjoyed by British cycling over recent years as well as an important member of Team Sky, he overcame a serious accident early in his career that led to his spleen being removed. Geraint has achieved success in both track and road cycling, having completed the Tour de France 4 times and the Giro d’Italia twice as well as winning the track Team Pursuit World Championship on 3 occasions. He took part in his first Tour de France in 2007 as the youngest competing rider, becoming the first Welshman to compete in cycling’s blue ribbon event for 40 years. He was awarded an MBE in 2009.
A full list of Geraint's achievements can be found here.
Nicole Cooke MBE from Wick in the Vale of Glamorgan, has enjoyed a glittering career, winning many titles and medals and is also shortlisted for the Sport Award.
As a youth cyclist, she quickly rose through the British ranks becoming Elite road race champion at just 16, the youngest ever Senior British Champion. In 2000, she won the Junior World Championships in Brittany, Britain’s first road racing Gold medal for 18 years. The following season she followed this up with 3 more World titles. At the age of 18, Nicole left school and went to live and race in Italy. In her first season as a professional in 2002, she won 2 of her first 4 races and won a Gold medal in the Road Race at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester. In 2004, Nicole became Britain’s first ever grand tour winner and the youngest female winner of a grand tour by winning the Giro D’Italia. She also represented Great Britain at the Olympic Games in Athens where she came 5th. 2005 saw more World Cup victories and another World Championship medal, a Silver in Madrid. Then, in 2006 Nicole won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. 2008 was a great year for Nicole when she won gold at the Beijing Olympics and then 6 weeks later, she won the World Road Race Championships, becoming the first cyclist to achieve the honour of being Olympic and World Champion in the same year. She was awarded an MBE in the 2009 New Year’s Honours. Nicole continued to race including winning the British Road Race Championship in Abergavenny in the same year. In 2012, Nicole Cooke once again represented Great Britain in Olympic Road Race, part of the women's cycling team that collected a silver medal in London. The following year, Nicole announced her retirement from professional cycle racing. A full list of Nicole's achievements can be found here.