2021 has been a wild year in the sports world. After the wind-down of the Covid-19 pandemic and the return to normalcy in sports, there was much pent-up excitement and anticipation coming into the year, and sports fans did not find themselves disappointed. After what seemed like an eternity, stadiums began to fill up with fans eager to connect with the game-day experience and atmosphere that we all love. With the return of sports in full force, we were treated to literally hundreds of thousands of sports highlights throughout the year. Just like we did at the end of 2020, it’s only fitting to take a quick look back at some of the standout moments of the year from the world of sports in 2021.
Following a successful playoffs in the Disney bubble, January featured the return of the regular NBA season and everyone’s eyes were on Steph Curry. Following a season where he only played in five games due to injury, the NBA world anxiously waited to see if Curry could ever return to form again, and just a couple of weeks into the season, everyone’s questions were answered. In a game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Curry scored an insane career-high 62 points on only 31 shots and under 40 minutes of play. It was an unreal effort by Curry to pick up the win and the performance of a lifetime.
All of Steph Curry’s 62 points vs. the Blazers.
A new career high in an unbelievable performance 🔥 pic.twitter.com/sWZID5RNbc
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 4, 2021
Connor McGregor’s return to the octagon also made January headlines as he faced off against Dustin Poirier. Stunningly, however, Poirier won the fight in the second round via TKO after a round of powerful kicks to McGregor’s legs proved to be too much, allowing for Poirier to deliver the final blow.
DUSTIN POIRIER! 🗣
🎥 We slow down the epic rematch from #UFC257.
[ FULL EPISODE: https://t.co/ChGYK1khjW ] pic.twitter.com/XFua5Rthvi
— UFC (@ufc) January 26, 2021
Watch all the other best sports highlights from January here.
Every year the month of February is dominated by the biggest sporting event in America, the Super Bowl, and 2021 was no different. In one of the most anticipated Super Bowl matchups to date, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs took on Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Many considered this game the determining factor in any potential future GOAT talks between Mahomes and Brady, and let’s just say there won’t be any conversations. The Buccaneers’ defense suffocated Mahomes, holding the Chiefs to just 9 points, while Brady was able to dissect the Chiefs’ defense, throwing for three touchdowns and winning Super Bowl MVP. This marks Brady’s seventh Super Bowl win in his tenth appearance as he officially put himself in a tier alone as the undisputed GOAT. This montage sums up the dominant win perfectly.
This time last week… pic.twitter.com/6Su4pySsYa
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) February 14, 2021
Now, let’s take a quick moment to shout out all those that help us survive in a Covid-19 world. After a mandatory quarantine, this rugby team wanted to show their love towards the hotel staff that took care of them by singing on their balconies. It was a beautiful tribute and a wonderful way to thank the staff – imagine if every person in quarantine were as amazing as these guys.
🔊Fijian rugby team #KaivitiSilktails (@KaiVT_Silktails) thank hotel staff following their mandatory quarantine by singing from their balconies. ❤️
The squad has relocated to Sydney to play in the @NSWRL #RonMasseyCup competition. 🏉pic.twitter.com/Gu6DcorvhF
— WSC Sports (@WSC_Sports) February 25, 2021
Watch all the other best sports highlights from February here.
March is all about college basketball with March Madness taking over America. Sixty-eight teams, rivalries, upsets, and of course game-winners- how can it possibly get better? This year, we saw two major upsets in the first round, with 15th seed Oral Roberts beating the two-seeded Ohio State and 14th seed Abilene Christian defeating the three-seeded Texas.
15-SEED ORAL ROBERTS UPSETS OHIO STATE! 😱@ORUMBB | #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/GyKqYYGhhm
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 19, 2021
🚨 DOWN GOES TEXAS 🚨@ACU_MBB | #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/EF5SbV9ocb
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 21, 2021
This year’s Cinderella story appeared to be UCLA as they rallied to secure a spot in the Final Four.
WHAT A BATTLE! 😱@UCLAMBB is headed to the #FinalFour pic.twitter.com/M1xoxT9OYZ
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 31, 2021
With the final games played in April, this year’s tournament was as exciting as ever, and yes, you guessed it, yet again, there was no perfect bracket. Maybe you can try your luck next year and beat the 1 in 9.2 quintillion odds.
Another of the month’s biggest talking points was the NASCAR Food City Dirt Race. It has been over 50 years since the last time we saw a NASCAR Cup Series on a dirt track, but that unfortunate streak came to an end. Dust clouds, mud-splattered windows, crashes, and amazing racing dominated the day as Joey Logano beat out Denny Hamlin in the final lap to win the cup. To say the least, the dirt track has been missed.
Miss NASCAR Overtime yesterday?
Here’s how @joeylogano got it done late to score the victory at The Last Great Colosseum! pic.twitter.com/ZQSNy4QOTN
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) March 30, 2021
Watch all the other best sports highlights from March here.
Before we get into April’s top sports highlights, let’s just take a moment and appreciate sports leagues returning to normalcy. In the Australian Football League, a game amassed an official crowd attendance of 78,113, marking the largest sporting event in the world since the Covid-19 outbreak. It’s great to see fans come back and bring back that amazing sports atmosphere to games.
#MCG attendance: 73,000 people
The largest attendance at a sporting event around the world since the COVID-19 pandemic. 🇦🇺🏉#AFLPiesDons #AFL #Attendance #Stadium #Covid pic.twitter.com/Mv8qCrB7tJ
— WSC Sports (@WSC_Sports) April 25, 2021
March Madness once again dominated the news in April as well. Despite its name, every year, the finale of the tournament takes place in April for reasons I still can’t explain. In this year’s championship game, the favored Gonzaga Bulldogs saw themselves face off against the Baylor Bears. Gonzaga was 30-0 on the season coming into this game and was looking to complete their undefeated season. Unfortunately for Gonzaga, the Baylor Bears had different plans, beating them 86-70 and shocking the sports world. Check out the best moments from Baylor’s long and grueling journey to their first championship ever.
#MarchMadness is over and it certainly didn’t disappoint!
Congratulations to winners #Baylor for an epic performance throughout the tournament👏#BAYvsGONZ #MarchMadness2021 @BaylorMBB pic.twitter.com/ZXRJDp0t2A
— WSC Sports (@WSC_Sports) April 6, 2021
Watch all the other best sports highlights from April here.
In May, in the world of soccer, Chelsea won the Champions League for the second time in club history. The all- Premier League UCL final saw Chelsea take on Manchester City. Kai Havertz, scored the only goal as the Blues managed to shut out Pep Guardiola’s men as their quest for the elusive trophy goes on.
🔵 Kai Havertz’s first Champions League goal ⚽️🏆@kaihavertz29 | @ChelseaFC | #UCL pic.twitter.com/cc6TpzflbU
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) June 2, 2021
Simon Biles also made history this month, becoming the first woman to land a Yurchenko Double Pike during competition. Check out this gravity-defying display of perfection.
#SimoneBiles made history on Sunday becoming the first woman to ever land a Yurchenko double pike in a competition. 🏅pic.twitter.com/UKisVdWb4x
— WSC Sports (@WSC_Sports) May 24, 2021
Watch all the other best sports highlights from May here.
Track and field had some incredible moments this year, but none even compared to this feat pulled off by American Shot Putter Ryan Crouser in June. During an Olympic Games Qualifier, Crouser shattered the record for longest shot put in world history. He threw the shot a jaw-dropping 76 feet, beating the previous record that stood for 31 years and was perceived as unbeatable. Crouser now holds both world records for longest indoor and outdoor shot put.
This 91-year-old man also went viral in June after capturing everyone’s hearts. Imagine never seeing your favorite team win a championship. Thank God this lifelong fan of Club Atlético Colón didn’t have to endure this misery after his team finally won the Argentinian Football League championship for the first time in club history. You can’t help but smile while watching the video of this man in tears surrounded by family watching Colón win the championship.
91 AÑOS ESPERANDO ESTE MOMENTO, ESTO ES PARA VOS ABUELO, GRACIAS COLON TE AMAMOS CON LOCURA
SOMOS CAMPEONES CARAAJOOOOOOOOOO pic.twitter.com/UAzC7ipTKX
— nati na (@NatiAbat) June 5, 2021
Watch all the other best sports highlights from June here.
OK, July was one of the busiest months on the sports calendar in 2021, so hang on because there’s a lot to get through…
July kicked off with the ending of Wimbledon. Now, we already know that Novak Djokovic is one of the greatest tennis players of all time, but he solidified his position even more after winning the 2021 tournament, giving him his 20th grand slam of his career.
The moment Novak Djokovic won his 20th major title 🙌#Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/JCCQkIUi7J
— ESPN (@espn) July 11, 2021
The main event of the month, though, was the NBA Finals, and for the first time in 50 years, the Milwaukee Bucks were crowned champions. After dropping the first two games, the Bucks were able to rally around two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and dominate the rest of the series, winning four straight. Giannis was named finals MVP, averaging 35 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and one steal, all while shooting 62 percent from the field. It was an historic finals and a historic day for Milwaukee. The whole city was buzzing with excitement, and the parade certainly did not disappoint. Check out the best plays from the finals and best moments from the fans and the city of Milwaukee.
He’s a FREAK!! pic.twitter.com/psoObkEdef
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 15, 2021
Milwaukee Bucks fans celebrated the team’s first NBA Championship in 50 years in the Deer District on Tuesday night – complete with fireworks. The Bucks beat the Phoenix Suns 105-98 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. https://t.co/802xvCoIy7 pic.twitter.com/gmHDCU1sZj
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 21, 2021
We saw Lionel Messi accomplish one of the few feats he hasn’t achieved yet this month as well. At this point, there is little debate as to whether Lionel Messi is the greatest soccer player of all time; there was one little blemish on his resume however, he never won a trophy for his home country Argentina. That blemish was quickly erased as he led Argentina to victory at the Copa America championship.
Argentina has ended a 28-year major title drought 🇦🇷
They win the Copa America Final against Brazil!
🎥 @FOXSoccer pic.twitter.com/sQ0lUkXxtt
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) July 11, 2021
Here are the full highlights of the amazing victory.
In July over in Europe, there was only one thing on everyone’s mind, the delayed 2020 Euros! England faced Italy at Wembley, but the Azzurri ended Gareth Southgate’s fairytale, winning the game in an agonizing way for the English men on penalties.
🇮🇹 The moment Italy lifted their second EURO title! 🏆 @azzurri | #ITA | #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/MVl5tjZoyK
— UEFA Nations League (@EURO2024) July 11, 2021
Watch all the other best sports highlights from July here.
At the beginning of August, we were treated to the ending of the 2020 (now 2021) Tokyo Olympics. The games this year were as exciting and fun to watch as ever, with way too many highlights to keep track of. Check out this recap of all the best moments from this year’s games.
For all you Brits out there, I’m sure August was the best month of the year as it marked the return of the English Premier League. Considered the most entertaining league in the world, the return to action didn’t disappoint with so many incredible games, goals, and moments. Premier League newcomers Brentford, however, stole the show on opening night, defeating Arsenal in style, but they also were a breath of fresh air off the pitch bringing a real family vibe back to the league. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Watch this class act from the Bees as they celebrate the club’s amazing opener, and share the good times with this very special fan.
Meet Woody O’Rourke..
After being turned away by his local football club because he was born with Down Syndrome, Brentford FC invited him to a game in 2018.
Now, three years later, Woody was there to celebrate Brentford’s first top-flight win in 74 years.
The beautiful game 🙏 pic.twitter.com/e8GQnJjGXN
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) August 16, 2021
August also saw Messi make his short-lived, 24-minute PSG debut against Reims. Although short, his debut still broke records- the game was the most watched Ligue 1 game ever on French TV with over 10.5 million people watching and another 2 million in Spain, making it the most viewed French football league game ever.
This is a little different…
Leo Messi comes on for his PSG debut! #beINLigue1 #SDRPSG
Watch Now – https://t.co/hkoevnV6B4 pic.twitter.com/MorxOZirBI
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) August 29, 2021
Watch all the other best sports highlights from August here.
Emma Raducanu was all the buzz in September. At just 18 years old, she dominated her competition in the U.S Open, not losing a single set in ten rounds and winning her first Grand Slam tournament. Here’s the play that won it all.
The #USOpen has a new champion and tennis has a new superstar ⭐#EmmaRaducanu went 10 rounds without dropping a set! 😲
Here’s the highlights and what a way to win it! 🎾 pic.twitter.com/1EghDyMQ4k
— WSC Sports (@WSC_Sports) September 12, 2021
September probably had the coolest record-breaking moment of the year too. Red Bull pilot Dario Costa decided to fly a plane through two narrow tunnels at a speed of 245 kph creating a new world record. Would you trust him to fly your plane?
This is crazy, like something out of James Bond…
— 𝚂𝚒𝚖𝚘𝚗 𝙸𝚛𝚘𝚗𝚖𝚘𝚗𝚐𝚎𝚛 (@SimonIronmonger) September 9, 2021
Watch all the other best sports highlights from September here.
October marked the ending to the legendary boxing trilogy between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. Coming into the fight, Fury had the advantage, winning the second fight after a controversial draw in the first, and after two years of anticipation, we finally got the third and final fight in what looked like to be one of the best fights of our generation. After a back and forth fight, Fury finally exhausted and knocked Wilder in the 11th round, winning and pronouncing himself the victor of the trilogy.
🚨 Stop what you’re doing & watch this absolutely FILTHY slow-mo ringside cam of @Tyson_Fury‘s KO finish. pic.twitter.com/fErP0BAaVc
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) October 16, 2021
We were even lucky enough to hear the ‘Gypsy King’ serenade us after the fight to celebrate his victory.
Wouldn’t be a @Tyson_Fury win without a Tyson Fury song.
𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙧𝙤𝙖𝙙 𝙨𝙝𝙤𝙬 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙪𝙚𝙨 … 🎶 #FuryWilder3 pic.twitter.com/qcwmluXLxm
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) October 10, 2021
History was also made this month with Bubba Wallace becoming the first black driver to win a NASCAR cup series in 58 years after winning the Talladega YellaWood 500. After his victory, Wallace aimed to inspire and inspire he did.
The energy isn’t stopping anytime soon! 🔥🔥🔥