Pulse List 2016 7 memorable sporting moments of the year

Sports fans have experienced all manners of entertainment, intrigue and heartbreaks to last a lifetime this year.

  • Published: , Refreshed:
Riyad Mahrez play

Leicester City's Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez poses with the Premier League trophy on May 7, 2016

(AFP/File)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Like every year, the world of sports had a lot to offer in 2016.

Across many different sports, sports fans have experienced all manners of entertainment, intrigue and heartbreaks to last a lifetime this year.

Here we take a look at some of the biggest and unforgettable sports events that took place in 2016.

1. Leicester City defy odds to win the English Premier League

Leicester City Premier League trophy presentation play

Leicester City Premier League trophy presentation

(Getty Images)

 

The English Premier League is arguably the toughest and most interesting football league in the world of football.

It serves its fanbase a lot of intrigue season after season and 2016 served up more twists and turns than even the league’s followers are used to.

The season started with the top teams failing to produce a consistent run of good results that slowly, but steadily gave Claudio Ranieri’s underdogs the chance to rise up the table and pull off a very unlikely triumph that defied the odds and stunned critics and mesmerized the neutrals.

What made Leicester’s league win all the more remarkable is the fact that they only narrowly escaped relegation the previous season.

Led by Jamie Vardy’s prolific finishing, buoyed by Riyad Mahrez’s wizardry in the middle of the park, and N'golo Kante's sturdy marshalling of the rock solid back four, the team held on and pulled off the most remarkable success story in football this year to the delight of their fans and neutrals.

2. Chicago Cubs end 108-year trophy drought

The Chicago Cubs celebrate after defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series play

The Chicago Cubs celebrate after defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series

(Getty/AFP)

 

One of the most well-documented stories in the history of Major League Baseball was the Chicago Cubs trophy drought that lasted for 108 years until November this year when the team that had been tagged Loveable Losers finally shed that reputation and won a 2016 World Series in dramatic fashion.

The American baseball team generated a lot of buzz as their thousands of teeming fans came out in their droves to roar the team to victory at Wrigley Field on a rainy Wednesday night as history was made.

3. Chapocoense plane crash

Brazil's Chapecoense football club fans participate in a tribute to the players killed in the LaMia airlines plane crash at the club's stadium in Chapeco, Santa Catarina, Brazil, on November 30, 2016 play

Brazil's Chapecoense football club fans participate in a tribute to the players killed in the LaMia airlines plane crash at the club's stadium in Chapeco, Santa Catarina, Brazil, on November 30, 2016

(AFP/File)

 

For all of the bundles of joy that football holds for a lot of its followers, bad things do happen sometimes, and this year saw its fair share of football tragedies.

Most notable, and still fresh in the memory, is the tragedy of Brazilian team Chapocoense Real whose plane crashed in Medellin on Monday, November 28 on their way to face Athletico Nacional in the first leg of the Copa Sudamerica final.

According to the authorities, the plane ran out of fuel and couldn’t make it to an emergency landing at the nearest airport.

The unfortunate crash claimed the lives of 76 people including players, coaches, backroom staff, journalists and crew members onboard.

Only six people survived the tragedy, three of them being players of the club.

Following a request from final rivals, Nacional, to CONMEBOL, the team was awarded the trophy.

4. LeBron James makes a splash

LeBron James play

LeBron James

(Getty Images )

 

When NBA star Lebron James accepted his Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year award in December, few people were in doubt that he thoroughly deserved it.

The award was a culmination of the two-time Olympic gold medalist’s outstanding season where he led his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, to their first NBA championship trophy, earning the honour of being the first team to ever turn around a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals

LeBron James starred in game seven of the finals with a triple-double of 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, earning himself a unanimous Finals Most Valuable Player award, his career third.

The star’s announcement of signing a new deal worth a total of $100m with the Cavs also made waves as the deal made him the highest paid player in the league with a $31million salary.

5. Super Falcons pull off 'unexpected' AWCON victory

Super Falcons play

Super Falcons win 2016 Africa Women's Cup of Nations title.

(CAF)

 

That the Falcons won another African Women Nations Cup trophy in December is not exactly a big story, seeing as they had won the competition for a record nine times.

It was the show of shame that followed their triumph that highlighted it as one of the year's top stories.

Upon returning home from the tournament, the Nigerian government have treated the winning team with neglect, refusing to pay them their match bonuses and other allowances after their return.

Gaffe-prone  Minister of Youths and Sports Solomon Dalung made the situation worse when he said the government didn’t make adequate preparation for the Falcons because the team was not expected to win; a statement that didn't speak well to the facts.

The Falcons are yet to be paid and have defied rumours of a possible ban and taken to the streets to protest the unfair treatment they've been given by the government.

6. Portugal conquer Europe

The Portugal national team celebrate after winning the Euro 2016 tournament. play

The Portugal national team celebrate after winning the Euro 2016 tournament.

(Reuters)

 

Portugal shocking the world of football to win Euro 2016 is one of them most memorable sporting moments of 2016.

World Champions Germany, host France and the likes of Italy and Spain were considered favourites ahead of the tournemant. Portugal however defied all odds to lift the trophy, finishing third in the group stage, and winning just one game in 90 minutes throughout the tournament.

Cristiano Ronaldo was injured very early in the final against France but the Real Madrid star remained active on the touchline as Eder's lone goal in extra time was enough to clinch the country's first major international trophy. 

7. Usain Bolt bows out of the Olympics in style

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt dominated his event over three Olympic games -- Beijing, London and Rio play

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt dominated his event over three Olympic games -- Beijing, London and Rio

(AFP/File)

 

Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt, participated in his last Olympic games, and he bowed out in grand style.

The  30-year-old fastest man in the world achieved the incredible feat of winning the 'triple-triple' as he won the gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m races to make it nine Olympic gold medals.

This meant that the Jamaican ended his Olympic career with a 100% win record.

He is no doubt the greatest sprinter of all time and he will be greatly missed.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.