After what seemed like a whirlwind 12 months, it is that time again to look back and reflect on the year that was. We enjoyed plenty of unforgettable and inspiring sporting moments in 2016, with the top 10 moments highlighted below.
- Colin Kaepernick Causes Controversy
What was meant as a personal gesture became one of the biggest sporting stories of the year when 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to take a metaphorical stand during the pregame national anthem by kneeling to protest police brutality and unjust treatment of the black community. While many saw this as a sign of disrespect and anti-American behaviour, other NFL stars followed his lead. Suffice it to say, death threats, scoldings and animosity followed, but Kaepernick never wavered, stuck to his beliefs and remained on one knee for the duration of the season, making it even more noteworthy and admirable.
- Ronaldo Becomes Real Madrid’s Top Goal Scorer
There is no doubt that Christiano Ronaldo is a superstar both on and off the field. His amazing talent, combined with good looks and generous heart has won him millions of fans the world over. But it is still on the soccer pitch that he truly shine, scoring 324 goals to become Madrid’s top scorer.
- Portugal Wins EURO 2016
Ronaldo makes an appearance once again, this time leading Portugal victory and earning his first major trophy of his international career. Ronaldo did, however, suffer an injury in the final game against France, but thanks to a strong defensive game, Portugal was able to beat the odds with a 1-0 win.
- LeBron James Wins His First NBA Title
LeBron James is a mega sports star who has come a long way to earn his first and much-deserved NBA title. LeBron helped the Cleveland Cavaliers win teir very first championship, and in the process was named Finals MVP.
- Michael Phelps Going for Gold
If there was ever a doubt as to who the world’s greatest swimmer is, then Michael Phelps’ Olympic performance definitely squashed those doubts. American star athlete Phelps became the most decorated Olympian in history when he earned his 19th medal in the 4×200 men’s convey, followed by a further three by the finale of the Games. That means he has a record-breaking 23 Olympic medals to his name, 18 of which are gold.
- Usain Bolt’s Olympic Performance
Usain Bolt officially became the fastest man in recorded history as well as the first runner to win three straight gold medals in the 100, 200 and 4×100 meter Rio during the summer Olympics in Rio.
- Peyton Manning Makes NFL History
Peyton Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, and he further proved that fact when he helped lead the Broncos to a Super Bowl 50 win over the Carolina Panthers. By doing so, Manning became the first signal-caller in the history of the NFL to win two Super Bowls with two different teams. What a way to end an illustrious, record-breaking career.
- Summer Olympics, Rio
Rio 2016 had so much memorable moments that it is really hard to pin point just one. Simone Biles broke gymnastics records, as did Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps, who ended his Olympic career on a high note. The Olympics are meant to be a spectacle in celebrating the world’s best athletes, and Rio 2016 certainly delivered.
- Kobe Bryant’s Last Game
Whether it’s causing controversy in his personal life or his incredible dunking ability, Kobe Bryant is the basketball star we all love to hate. But there is no denying the man has talent. He proved this when he played his final professional game, earning an astonishing 60 points before retiring. This was the perfect way to end his illustrious career, which included 18 All-Star titles, five NBA titles, and an NBA MVP award.
- We Say Goodbye to ‘The World’s Greatest’
While 2016 featured some truly moving, thrilling and entertaining moments in sports, there were also moments of tragedy. One of the biggest tragedies of the year was the death of boxing legend Muhammed Ali in June after a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. Not just an inspirational athlete, Ali was also a political and civil rights activist and every bit the sporting icon he will forever be remembered as.
Visit BetOnline for all your sports betting needs and enjoy a thrilling and rewarding 2017.