From seemingly impossible victories to displays of unmatched excellence, there have been hundreds of memorable sporting moments throughout the years.
Steve Redgrave wins his fifth gold, 2000
Steve Redgrave joined the ranks of the genuine sporting giants when he picked up his fifth consecutive rowing gold medal at the Sydney 2000 Games. After winning his first four golds, Redgrave jokingly asked anyone seeing him going near a boat again to ‘shoot’ him! But get in a boat again he did, and at the age of 38 he joined Great Britain’s coxless four in Sydney. They won gold after edging a dramatic race by 0.38 seconds to ensure Sir Steve’s status as a rowing legend.
Jesse Owens' four golds, 1936
The Nazis had carefully choreographed the 1936 Games to support their ideology of an Aryan race, but hadn’t bargained on the involvement of Jesse Owens. The American swept all before him to win four titles: the 100m, 200m, long jump, and 4x100m relay. In the long jump, Owens beat the German Luz Long, and after the medal presentation the pair embraced and paraded around the stadium arm-in-arm — which wasn’t exactly the showpiece that Hitler had envisaged!
Rocky Marciano Retires Undefeated
Marciano, with 49 wins in as many fights (including 43 knockouts to his credit), remains the only heavyweight champion in boxing history to retire having won every fight in his professional career. He defended his title six times. Thankfully, unlike many other former champions, the ‘Brockton Blockbuster’ never made a comeback, despite seriously consider doing so in 1959 when Ingemar Johansson won the Heavyweight Championship from Floyd Patterson.
Michael Phelps breaks gold medal record, 2008
At the Beijing olympics Michael Phelps managed to win a total of 8 gold medals in the swimming category, trumping previous US olympian Mark Spitz’ record of 7 gold medal in any single olympic games.
Liverpool clinch the European cup for the fifth time, 2005
For undeniable football theatre, no European final has ever come close to matching the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul. 3-0 up at half-time, Italian giants AC Milan were singing in the dressing room expecting victory. However, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard had other plans. Urged forward by their captain, Liverpool hit back with three goals in six minutes to level matters, and finally won the match in a nail-biting penalty shoot-out. Quite simply one of the greatest comebacks there has ever been in a final.
Roger Bannister breaks the four-minute mile, 1954
No milestone in middle-distance running has ever been so revered as the moment when British runner Roger Bannister became the first athlete to break the magical four-minute mile mark. Despite only being able to train for just 45 minutes each day due to being a full-time medical student, history was made on 6th May 1954 when he ran the mile in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. The record now stands at 3:43.13 — which was set by Hicham El Guerrouj in Rome in 1999.
Chris Hoy 3 medal win, 2008
Chris Hoy managed to achieve a total of 3 gold medals for team GB at the Beijing Olympic Games, ascending to the British face of the cycling world. On top of this, he was also granted a knighthood, and voted as Sports personality of the year. In 2012 he went on to win a further two gold medals, which makes him the most successful British olympic athlete. He now owns his own bike range, ‘HOY bikes’.
Derek Redmond finishes with his father’s help, 1992
After a highly promising yet injury plagued career, Britain’s Derek Redmond finally had a chance of 400m glory when he went into the 1992 Games in Barcelona in excellent form. Despite an impressive win in the quarter-finals, tragedy struck in the semis when Redmond’s hamstring snapped halfway through the race. In one of the most touching moments in the history of the Games, Derek’s father ran onto the track and helped his son slowly battle his way to the finish, where he was met with a standing ovation from the 65,000 strong crowd.
Michael Jordan’s “The Shot”, 1989
In the Chicago vs. Cleveland playoffs, Michael Jordan managed to pull the team to victory with perhaps the most legendary shot in basketball history. The skill involved in the shot isn’t what made it famous, but rather the timeliness. The Cavaliers were leading 100-99, with three seconds left of play left. Jordan managed to maintain ball control and put away a 3-pointer securing their victory with a final score of 101-100.
Michael Vaughan urn lift, 2005
Michael Vaughan, captain of the England cricket team, was the first captain in 18 years to lift the urn in the Ashes tournament. It was a relieving end to the series for both the team and the country.
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