The brilliance of watching or playing a sport boils down to precious moments that create history. A movie has a scripted ending, a song has a predetermined tune and progression, but sport is truly unpredictable. It is this unpredictable element that brings back fans to the sport they love, despite failures of the team they favor. A true fan knows that history could be witnessed on any given day in any sport, and if that isn’t lucrative enough then nothing is. Here is a list of 10 of the best sporting moments in sports history from around the world.
1) The Shot by Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is probably the greatest and most beloved NBA player of all time. Although most legends do not achieve the perfect end to their careers, Michael managed to end his time at the Chicago Bulls with a legendary shot. That shot won the team the ‘World Series’ in the most emphatic manner. With only 10 seconds left on the clock and the bulls trailing 86-85, Michael dribbled right, took aim and let out the iconic match-winning shot.
2) Rumble in the Jungle
Ahead of one of the best sporting moments in boxing, Ali said, “It’s gonna be a Chilla, a Thrilla, a Killa, when I get the Gorilla in Manila”. This historic boxing match saw 32-year old Muhammad Ali challenge the giant George Foreman for the Championship. Foreman was on a 40 match win-streak, but Ali took the fight to the eighth round and managed to seal an epic win with his famous right arm.
3) World Cup Triumph at Home
Australia managed to win the World Cup this year at home but the feat was first achieved in India during the previous edition. No home team had ever won the Cricket World Cup before this. It was fitting that the largest followers of the sport managed to witness this event first hand. That edition of the World Cup also witnessed a deserving send off to a national hero, Sachin Tendulkar, in his last World Cup appearance.
4) Maradona’s Hand of God
Diego Maradona was an enigmatic and highly-skilled Argentinian football giant who is credited with taking his country to the top of the football world. The 1986 semi-finals saw arch-rivals Argentina and England face-off in a thrilling encounter that involved two of the most famous goals in football history, both of which were scored by Maradona. ‘The Hand of God’ was an unpenalized goal that Maradona scored with his hand and the second, that is considered to be ‘the greatest goal of all time’, saw Maradona dribble past five defenders and the goal keeper Peter Shilton to take Argentina into the finals, which they eventually won.
5) Michael Phelps Wins 8 Olympic Medals
American swimmer Michael Phelps became the most successful athlete in Olympic history when he took home 8 Gold medals in 2008. He overtook Mark Spitz’s 7 Gold medals and is currently considered one of the greatest athletes of all time. In total, he won 23 gold medals for the United States.
6) Roger Bannister Shatters 4-Minute Record
One facet surrounding sport that continues to remain fascinating is the breaking of ‘the barrier’. Whenever a seemingly impossible threshold is broken, it opens up future floodgates for records. Many men have covered a mile in under 4 minutes, but when Roger Bannister first did it in 1954, it seemed nearly impossible at the time. His determination and perseverance set higher standards for all runners that came after him.
7) Liverpool’s Best Comeback
Before Liverpool produced one of their best comebacks against Barcelona, they did another one much earlier. The Reds are one of the most successful Premier League clubs in football history. Their fifth win, however, remains the most memorable to this day. The Champions League final in 2005 saw them face off against AC Milan. The Italian giants were up by three goals by the end of the first half, but a memorable second half was to follow. Three goals and a thrilling penalty shootout later, Liverpool were champions once again.
8) Jesse Owens Defies Adolf Hitler
The Olympics conducted before World War II saw a lot of political agenda being played out on the field. Hitler used the games to try and showcase Aryan superiority and highlight the inferiority of the African race. Jesse Owens shifted the momentum with his pace and determination, taking home four Gold medals and duly showcasing the strength of his people.
9) Borg vs McEnroe
There have been few moments in the history of tennis when two rivals match up as well as these two great players had done in 1980. In Wimbledon that year, McEnroe and Borg played a gruelling fourth set and were fighting for a tie breaker. While most people believed that McEnroe would win the entire thing, Borg came back to take the match. It was one of the greatest upsets in tennis history as well as one of the greatest moments. This rivalry was even immortalised as a movie in 2017.
10) Lance Armstrong Kicks Cancer’s Butt to Win the Tour de France
Before his reputation went to the gutter with his doping scandal, Lance Armstrong was a hero for many. Against all odds, Armstrong won the Tour De France in 1999. The cycling great had been suffering testicular cancer that had eventually spread to his lungs and brain. However, this didn’t stop him from returning to the 1999 Tour De France and taking home the gold. He even managed to beat his toughest rivals by more than seven minutes. Let’s not forget that Mr. Armstrong went on to win the event another six times before he retired in 2005. It was truly one of the greatest sporting moments ever