Reliving the biggest moments in sporting history is important, as it ensures that the athletes’ feats are never forgotten. Certain events changed history!
From victories that seemed an impossibility, to displays of outright excellence, there have been many memorable sporting moments throughout the years.
Since there’s no way to relive these kinds of occurrences, yet, except by keeping the stories alive in articles and opinion pieces, we outline them every so often to ensure these feats stay in the public memory!
1936: Jesse Owens’ Four Gold Medals
The Nazis had managed to bend the Olympic Games’ choreography to suit their demented ideology, but hadn’t reckoned on Jesse Owens. The African American athlete swept all before him as he made off with four titles in the 100m, the 200m, the long jump, and the 4x100m relay.
The long jump was a particularly sweet triumph, as Owens had beat German Luz Long, and the pair not only embraced during the medal presentation, but proceeded to parade around the stadium arm in arm, as well. Not quite what old Hitler had in mind.
1954: Bannister Breaks the Four-Minute Mile
No milestone in middle-distance running can be said to be as revered as the moment that Roger Bannister, a runner from Britain, became the first athlete to break the four-minute mile mark.
Despite the fact that he was only able to train for around 45 minutes every day, because he was a full-time Med student, he made history on the 6th of May 1954, completing a mile in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds. It would take a long time for this record to be broken, with Hicham El Guerrouj only managing to do so in Rome in 1999, when he brought it down to 3 minutes 43.13 seconds.
1956: Marciano Retires Undefeated
Rocky Marciano, with 49 wins in as many fights, not to mention the 43 knockouts he is credited with, stands as the only Heavyweight boxing champion in that sport’s history to retire after winning every single fight in his professional career!
He went on to defend his title a total of 6 times, and never made a comeback, even though he apparently seriously considered one in 1959, when Ingemar Johansson had wrested the Heavyweight Championship from Floyd Patterson.
2000: Redgrave Picks Up his Fifth Gold Medal
Sir Steve Redgrave joined the ranks of sporting greats when he managed his fifth consecutive rowing Gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. After he had won his first four, he jokingly requested that anyone seeing him near a boat again shoot him, but he went on to do just that, joining the Great Britain Coxless Four in Sydney. They won the Gold medal after edging a thrilling race by just 0.38 seconds, and Sir Redgrave’s status as a rowing legend was cemented.
2005: Liverpool Win the European Cup for the Fifth Time
In terms of football-as-theatre, no European Cup Final has come close to the 2005 Istanbul Champions League Final.
3 – 0 ahead at half time, Italian superstars AC Milan were happily anticipating victory, but hadn’t reckoned in Steven Gerrard, the Liverpool team captain. Urged on by Gerard, Liverpool came back with three goals in just six minutes, levelling matters, and went on to win the match in a tense penalty shoot-out thereafter. This feat stands, quite simply, as one of the greatest football comebacks in history.
2008: Phelps Breaks Record, Wins Gold
At the Beijing Olympics of 2008, Michael Phelps managed to win an incredible eight medals in his swimming category, a feat which saw him trump the previous record set by an American Olympian, Mark Spitz, who brought home seven.