10 people respond to the question, “What’s the greatest moment in sports history?” There were so many amazing moments to choose from, but I had to narrow it down to 10. If you think I’ve neglected to name a moment that’s better than the ones listed below, feel free to yell at me in the comments section or berate me on Twitter.
Here’s a good one in terms of historical significance and impact outside of the world of sports: The 1954 World Cup Final, in which West Germany beat Hungary 3-2.
It’s nearly 10 years since the end of World War II. German citizens are ashamed, mentally devastated by the horrors that occurred in their country. There is nothing, absolutely nothing to be proud of if you’re a German. No sense of nationalism, no pride for one’s heritage, and understandably so.
And then your team, as massive underdogs, scores the winning goal with 6 minutes left on the biggest stage in the world’s most popular sport. It was the first time since World War II that the German national anthem was played at a sporting event.
2. young_beard: Bo Kimble shoots his first three free throws with his left hand in honor of a recently deceased team mate Hank Gathers who shot left handed. He made all three, and continued to shoot his first free throws of each game left handed. (EDITORS NOTE: Did you know that when Chris Paul was in High School, he dedicated a game to his grandfather who had died at age 61 by shooting exactly 61 points. He got to 60 points and waited to be fouled, hit one basket and intentionally missed the second to have 61 and then left the game to be with his family. Amazing.)
"The most amazing, thrilling, sensational moment in the history of college football!!!"
He wasn’t wrong. He knew what he had witnessed right at the moment it happened.
4. slinggg: For me it’s Jason Lezak closing the 4x100m freestyle relay at the 2008 Olympics.
This was one of Michael Phelps’ eight races, and he needed to win it to get the record-breaking eight gold medals in a single Olympics. It was the only race that he wasn’t favored to win — the French team for this race was the clear best in the world, the Americans were a distant second.
Before the race, the best 100m freestyler on the French team — and the best in the world; a few days later he would convincingly win gold in the individual 100 free — Alain Bernard, told the media, “We will crush the Americans.”
And then the race happens, and for the first three legs of the race the French do dominate, and Bernard (who is closing the race for the French) goes into the water with a full body length advantage over the American closer, Jason Lezak.
At that time, Lezak was a 32-year-old swimmer who was past his prime and who had never medaled in an individual event. And… watch the video.
When I saw that live it was the only time in sports that I thought, this literally cannot be happening.
5. Valuska: Muhammad Ali knocking out George Foreman in Zaire.
6. hatesseattletraffic: Nolan Ryan making Robin Ventura reconsider his life decisions.
7. colonelcrayons: Kerri Strug doing her vault at the 1996 Olympics. The girl performs the vault despite having injured her ankle, wins gold, and gets carried to the podium by her coach like a pure bawse.
8. displaced_student: Boise State’s Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma in 2007. Greatest ending to any game, ever.
9. Almostinthebutthole: The South Africa World Rugby Cup win in 1995. Practically united a country which was facing incredible turmoil after the abolishment of the apartheid society
10. PuckIsLife: Personally, i feel that it was the United States defeating the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics hockey semifinal. The culmination of what was going on in the world at the time and the sheer unlikelihood that such a young, inexperienced US team could beat the powerhouse that was the USSR makes it such a monumental victory.