The year 2021 was anything but normal, especially within the world of sports. However just like clockwork, we as fans were given so many memories and moments that we can now cherish forever. We saw new champions break into the mold, record setting accomplishments be made, and the pure elation that comes from sports, which makes them so enticing to many people around the world was clearly there. With the year coming to a close, it is time to lookback and remember the best moments that will now live within history. Here are the some of the top sports moments of 2021 and we all can hope that 2022 brings similar, if not more excitement to come:
Atlanta Braves overcome the odds and win the World Series:
-Halfway through the MLB season, many believed that the Atlanta Braves quest for a championship was done. They had lost star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. to a season ending injury and their record wasn’t very good. However, the front office decided to go for it and made some midseason acquisitions that at the time were questionable at best but in the end, they were the correct moves. The Braves went on a magical run to win their division and clinch a spot in the playoffs. They ousted the Milwaukee Brewers in a four-game opening series only to have another meeting with the big, bad Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers were favored in the series and having knocked Atlanta out of the playoffs in the previous postseason, looked to have the upper edge. Despite everything being against them, the Braves took down the defending champion Dodgers in six games and were then slated to face off against the Houston Astros in the World Series. Once again, the Braves were the underdogs but found ways to win and ended up capturing their first championship since 1995. It was a special run to a title and proof that any team can win a championship, despite all the odds being stacked against them. It was a feel-good story and one of hope that many people could look too, especially during the trying times we still find ourselves living in.
2020 Summer Olympic Games:
-The 2020 Summer Olympics were finally played after being postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak and they didn’t disappoint. The United States finished in first with 113 total medals including 39 gold, 41 silver, and 33 bronze medals. China came in second finishing with 38 gold, 32 silver, and 18 bronze medals. For the United States, this included the men’s and women’s national basketball teams taking home the gold medals. The United States women’s national soccer team took home the bronze medal in their competition. The games were a reminder that nations could come together and cheer on their country men and women after dealing with such a stressful and tiresome past year.
— TWSN (@TWSN___) July 29, 2021
McGregor/Poirier III at UFC 264
-Such a highly anticipated event that ended in pure shock and left so many speechless. Conor “The Notorious” McGregor was all set to face off against Dustin Poirier for the third time, with each of them winning one of the previous two matches. The two fighters took the octagon on July 10th for a match that was looked to be one of the better UFC events in recent memory. As the fight started, both men were taking hits from each other, and it was a back-and-forth showdown. As the first round was ending, the ringside doctor stopped the bout as McGregor suffered a broken tibia, rendering him unable to continue with the match. Poirier was declared the winner but how the match ended was the true talking point. For this highly built-up rematch to end on a major injury was incredible and something that the sport hadn’t really seen before. After the fight, McGregor, in his usual fashion kept up the trash talk and even with McGregor being in recovery from the injury, Dana White announced that a fourth fight between the two men will happen.
Dana White has announced a 4th fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor will happen when McGregor has recovered from his injury.
— TWSN (@TWSN___) July 11, 2021
Giannis and the Bucks finally break through:
-After so many years of being questioned whether or not he could win a NBA title due to his style of play, Giannis Antetokounmpo and his Milwaukee Bucks finally broke down the barrier and won. They bested the heavyweight Brooklyn Nets in the second round of the NBA playoffs and then took down the red-hot Phoenix Suns in the Finals, winning four straight to capture the title. Antetokounmpo himself, wasn’t even sure that he would be able to play in the Finals after suffering an injury in the previous round, but he battled through and gave everyone a performance to remember. This includes a 50-point game in front of the Bucks faithful to secure the championship. It was a special moment for NBA fans and sport fans as a whole because of the likeability of Antetokounmpo. The Bucks finally winning after so long had to be on this list due to the exceptional circumstances surrounding the situation. Isn’t it a bit ironic that the season he finally commits to staying with the Bucks long-term, he wins a title?
— TWSN (@TWSN___) July 21, 2021
Fans back in stadiums around the world!
-The best part of 2021 in sports was the return of fans to arenas and stadiums around the world. Many sport venues dropped the capacity limits that were placed at the height of the pandemic and sport fans alike could once again pack stadiums to root on their favorite teams. It truly was a beautiful sight to see after watching so many games with empty stadiums or virtual fans. Fans are a critical part of what makes sports so much fun as they help bring out the excitement and joy in the games. Players feed off the emotion of the home crowd and home-field advantage was truly a factor once again. Especially in sports such as college football where the student sections are always a blast to watch, having fans back in the venues was something special to behold. After such a troubling year we all had in 2020, 2021 allowed everyone a sense of normal and that is something that I don’t think anyone will ever take for granted again.