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A Look at 2017’s Top Sporting Moments

A Look at 2017’s Top Sporting Moments

While 2018 is shaping up to be an extremely impressive year for sports, 2017 had a number of amazing sporting moments and achievements. Here are a few of the most notable moments from 2017.

Neymar Sets New World Record Football Transfer Fee

Neymar’s move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain was always going to be headline worthy news, but the massive fee paid by the French club made it a transfer that has gone down in history. Paris Saint-Germain paid a massive $263 million for Neymar, double the previous world record.

Football transfer fees continue to increase as television revenues grow across the world. In 1990 the record was $11.6 million, in 2016 it was $116 million, 2017 saw Neymar’s $263 million deal. It seems more than likely that the $350 million barrier will be broken in the next year or two, the big question is, which club and player will be the next to break the world record?

Serena Williams Wins Grand Slam No 23

Ever since she arrived on the scene Serene Williams has been breaking records and making tennis history. Last January saw her break yet another record, after an 81-minute match against her sister Venus, Serena defeated her to win another Grand Slam and surpass Steffi Graf as the all-time leader in Grand Slam trophies with twenty-three.

It was also her 216th win in a Grand Slam match, breaking her own world record and her seventh Australian Open victory.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor

The build-up to this fight was huge, in many ways far more of an event than the fight itself. It saw boxing legend Mayweather take on UFC great McGregor. While McGregor has dominated the UFC world, at the end of the day he is not a boxer and this was painfully evident in the match itself.

While the match went ten rounds, Mayweather was in control throughout. He allowed McGregor to tire himself out for a few rounds and then basically started to play with him.

However, the build up to the match was incredible, as were the pay-per-view profits that exceeded $500 million. Furthermore, you could argue that both participants won as they walked away with over $100 million each.

Usain Bolt Retired

The summer saw the retirement of Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, quite possibly the greatest sprinter of all time. Many were surprised at his retirement as he was just thirty years old at the time, but Bolt was determined to go out at the top of his game.

While he was still an incredible sprinter when he retired, he was no longer managing the same astonishing speeds as he had in the past. At the Rio Olympics in 2016 he ran the 100 metres in 9.81, close to 0.3 seconds slower than his World Record set five years early. He is also known to have suffered from a number of back issues in recent years.

However, no one can deny his legacy. He won 19 of his 21 World Championship races, has set numerous World Records, won an amazing number of Olympic gold medals and more.

Those who miss his charismatic presence will be pleased to hear that Bolt will soon be leading the Unicef Soccer Aid World XI football team in a charity match against an England XI led by singer Robbie Williams.

Real Madrid Won a Record 5 Trophies

2017 saw Real Madrid reach new heights of greatness and completely dominate European football. They won a total of five championship trophies, the La Liga, the FIFA Club World Cup, the Champions League, the Spanish Super Cup and the European Super Cup. It was a fantastic year for the team and their fans, made even better by their dominance over rivals Barcelona.

Unfortunately, this season is proving to be less fruitful for the team, however, fans still have fresh memories of 2017 to look back upon and it is unlikely to be too long before the team starts to win again.

The Patriots Pull Off Fantastic Super Bowl Comeback

The 2017 Super Bowl may seem like a distant memory but at the time it was a major event closely associated with politics coming so soon after Donald Trump’s inauguration. The New England Patriots faced the Atlanta Falcons, with the Patriots’ Tom Brady a very public Trump supporter.

People could hardly believe it when the Falcons went into halftime with a 28-3 lead and it finally seemed as if the Patriots could be defeated. However, everything changed very quickly. Tom Brady, possibly one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever live, led a fantastic comeback to claim his fifth Super Bowl ring, going 43 for 62 for 466 yards and dominating the second half.

However, those who are less fond of the Patriots and Tom Brady are probably still celebrating after the Philadelphia Eagles overcame them in the Super Bowl LII in February 2018.

Russia Was Banned From the 2018 Winter Olympics

In 2017 speculation mounted about widespread doping abuse by Russian athletes. Things reached a climax when documentary maker Bryan Fogel went to the New York Times with information about a massive doping scandal that implicated a huge number of athletes, trainers, scientists and even Vladimir Putin.

The upshot of his irrefutable evidence was that Russia was banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics. Any athlete that passed a drugs test was allowed to compete under the title of ‘Olympic Athletes from Russia’. However, on the final day of the 2018 Winter Olympics it was announced by the International Olympic Committee that the sanctions on Russia have been lifted and they will be permitted to participate in all future events.

Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko

This was the second major fight of 2017 and it proved to be far more entertaining than Mayweather vs McGregor. The heavyweight boxing match lasted 11 rounds and ended as one of the most memorable championship fights in recent times.

Both fighters landed some impressive hits with Joshua knocking Klitschko down in the fifth round and Klitschko knocking Joshua down in the sixth. While Joshua ended the fight with a fierce performance, that required the referee’s intervention, the final decision of 2-1 in Joshua’s favour shows just how close this fight really was.

Joshua has won all twenty of his fights (this was the nineteenth), and all of his victories have been by knockout. Joshua’s next fight will be at the end of March 2018 when he is taking on Joseph Parker.

The Golden State Warriors Started a Dynasty

There is a great rivalry between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors but last year showed that it may be becoming a bit one sided. Just one year after LeBron James brought the team back from three games down and shocked the NBA, the Warriors wrapped things up in just five games last year. The Warriors’ dominance was extremely evident in the final game when they went on a fifteen point second quarter tear and never fell behind again. Now with two championships under their belt, 2017 may be seen as the year that the Warriors went from being part of a great rivalry to being a true dynasty.

Albert Pujols Hits Becomes the Ninth Player to Hit 600 Home Runs

Before 2017 only eight players in the history of MLB had hit 600 home runs. However, in early June, Puyjols became the ninth in true style, by hitting a grand slam. This hit, which came off Minnesota Twins pitcher Ervin Santana, put Pujols just 96 hits off another milestone, 3,000 career hits. He is now rapidly approaching that milestone and is most likely to pass it in the coming months.

NFL Celebrations Made a Comeback

Last season saw a lot of serious issues discussed in the NFL, such as racial inequality and the impact of concussions on players’ long term health. However, on a much lighter note, 2017 also saw the return of touchdown celebrations. Now fans can gain even more enjoyment to seeing their teams score as they get to see how the players celebrate the seven points. The celebrations have been taken to new heights by players such as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster who always do their best to outdo each other.

Many More Fantastic Sporting Moments

There is no doubt that many other fantastic sporting moments have been missed off this list. Furthermore, 2018 looks set to be another memorable year with records broken and history made. Sports fans have a huge amount to look back on and look forward to and the years ahead promise to be just as exciting.


OCA News Editor