Top 10 Greatest Moments in Sports History

Over the years, there have been countless events that have captured the imagination of sports fans around the world. Some of these moments have defined careers, broken records, rewritten the rule books, and even changed the course of history. We're talking about the kind of moments that give us goosebumps, that we remember vividly, no matter how many years pass.

But what are the greatest of these moments? Everyone has their favorites, shaped by personal preferences, cultural background, and often by the sports they themselves follow or play. What makes a moment great? Is it the level of skill on display, the stakes of the game, or the drama of the situation? Is it the context, the buildup, the tension, or the payoff? Maybe it's a mix of all these elements, wrapped up in a package of raw, visceral emotion.
The Top Ten
1 The Hand of God - Maradona knocks England out of the World Cup During the 1986 World Cup quarter-final between England and Argentina, Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona scored a controversial goal that became known as the "Hand of God". Maradona punched the ball into the net with his left hand, and the referees allowed the goal to stand despite protests from the English players. Argentina went on to win the match 2-1 and later the World Cup.
2 USA Hockey defeats Soviets 1980 In 1980, the United States Olympic hockey team, a young and largely amateur squad, achieved the seemingly impossible by defeating the veteran Soviet Union team, who were considered the best in the world at the time. In a match now famously referred to as the "Miracle on Ice", the U.S. team overcame the Soviets in a stunning 4-3 victory during the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, catapulting them into the gold medal round and cementing one of the greatest upsets in sports history.

Best sporting moment ever for sure, especially because it was going on during the Cold War.

The best moment to ever happen in American sports, if not international sports, history!

Easy choice given the world's political climate.

3 Muhammad Ali def George Foreman In a historic boxing match held on October 30, 1974, Muhammad Ali defeated George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). This event, famously referred to as "The Rumble in the Jungle," saw Ali deploying his "rope-a-dope" strategy, which involved absorbing punishment from Foreman before launching a powerful counter-attack. This victory allowed Ali to reclaim the heavyweight championship title he had lost seven years prior.

Muhammad Ali was past his prime. Everybody knew that, and he had already been beaten by Joe Frazier. People thought his boxing career was over. But George Foreman was a beast. He was huge and could knock people out faster than Mike Tyson. He had whooped Joe Frazier and Ken Norton, two of the best boxers ever.

But Ali had a plan. He knew if he stood his ground, Foreman would get tired. And holy crap, did he ever. There's a clip of Foreman shooting out four punches a second, Ali on the ropes one foot away from him. Ali was dodging every punch. Near the end of the 8th round, Foreman was off balance. Ali took the chance and sprang off the ropes, punching Foreman on the head rapidly. Finally, with a hard punch to the jaw, Foreman was down for the first time in his life. The greatest moment in sports history.

4 Michael Jordan's "The Shot" In Game 5 of the 1989 NBA Eastern Conference First Round, Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls made a memorable buzzer-beating jump shot over Craig Ehlo of the Cleveland Cavaliers, securing a 101-100 victory for the Bulls. Known simply as "The Shot," this moment is considered one of the greatest in Jordan's career and is emblematic of his clutch performance under pressure.
5 Cubs overcome 3-1 deficit to win 2016 World Series and end 108 year drought In 2016, the Chicago Cubs made history by overcoming a 3-1 deficit in the World Series against the Cleveland Indians. This achievement marked the end of a 108-year championship drought, the longest in the history of Major League Baseball. The victory was clinched in an intense Game 7, which went into extra innings and was even momentarily delayed by rain, adding to the drama of the Cubs' epic triumph.

One of the greatest comebacks in MLB history.

6 Jesse Owens debunks the Aryan Myth At the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, American track and field athlete Jesse Owens debunked Adolf Hitler's "Aryan superiority" myth by winning four gold medals in front of a predominantly German crowd. Owens' victories in the 100m, 200m, long jump, and 4x100m relay events made him the most successful athlete of the Games and sent a powerful message against racial discrimination during a time of escalating racial tensions and impending global conflict.
7 South Sydney Rabbitohs break their 43-year Premiership drought In the 2014 National Rugby League Grand Final, the South Sydney Rabbitohs ended their 43-year Premiership drought with a victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. The Rabbitohs won the game 30-6, marking their 21st Premiership win and cementing their status as one of the most successful clubs in the history of Australian rugby league.
8 Red Sox overcome 3-0 deficit in 2004 ALCS to beat rival Yankees In the 2004 American League Championship Series, the Boston Red Sox made a historic comeback from a 3-0 deficit to beat their long-standing rivals, the New York Yankees. This marked the first time in Major League Baseball history that a team had overcome such a deficit in a seven-game series. The Red Sox went on to win the World Series, ending an 86-year championship drought famously referred to as "The Curse of the Bambino".
9 Dwight Clark's "The Catch" In the 1982 NFL Championship Game, San Francisco 49ers receiver Dwight Clark made a historic catch that is simply referred to as "The Catch". Clark caught a six-yard pass from quarterback Joe Montana in the end zone, securing a 28-27 victory over the Dallas Cowboys and propelling the 49ers to their first Super Bowl appearance. The Catch has since been commemorated with a statue outside the 49ers' Levi's Stadium.
10 Cavaliers overcome 3-1 deficit to win 2016 NBA Finals and end Cleveland's championship drought In 2016, the Cleveland Cavaliers made NBA history by overcoming a 3-1 series deficit in the NBA Finals to defeat the Golden State Warriors. Led by LeBron James, the Cavaliers' victory in Game 7 marked the first NBA championship in the franchise's history and ended a 52-year professional sports championship drought for the city of Cleveland.
The Contenders
11 Roger Bannister finally breaks the "Barrier" On May 6, 1954, British middle-distance runner Roger Bannister achieved the seemingly impossible by running a mile in under four minutes, a feat many had thought to be unachievable. Bannister's record-breaking time of 3:59.4 at the Iffley Road Track in Oxford, England, shattered the existing record and broke the psychological "barrier" that had long been associated with the four-minute mile.

Definitely one of the most surprising events for the time. He didn't have the training of some other athletes due to the time he needed to devote to his medical studies.

12 Bill Mazeroski hits a walk-off home run in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series to defeat the Yankees In the seventh game of the 1960 World Series, Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski hit a walk-off home run to secure a 10-9 victory over the New York Yankees. Mazeroski's historic hit remains the only Game 7 walk-off home run in World Series history, cementing the Pirates' unexpected triumph over the heavily favored Yankees.
13 Leicester City wins the Premier League In the 2015-2016 season, Leicester City Football Club, once considered an underdog, defied all odds to clinch the English Premier League title. Their victory marked one of the biggest upsets in sports history, as they began the season with 5000-1 odds of winning. Leicester's incredible performance during the season under manager Claudio Ranieri is now remembered as a classic "Cinderella" story in professional football.

Leicester wins the EPL, and it's only 11th on this list? This is exactly why the world perceives most Americans to have low IQ and be ignorant about the rest of the world.

How isn't this higher? Proves that just a bunch of Americans are on here.

14 Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'round the World" In 1951, New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson hit a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of a tie-breaking playoff game against the Brooklyn Dodgers. This home run, referred to as the "Shot Heard 'Round the World", gave the Giants a dramatic 5-4 victory and the National League pennant, in what is often considered one of the most memorable moments in baseball history.
15 2011 World Series - Game 6 Game 6 of the 2011 World Series was a thrilling contest between the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals. With the Rangers leading the series 3-2 and the game 7-5, the Cardinals were down to their final strike twice in the 9th and 10th innings but managed to tie the game both times. In the 11th inning, Cardinals' third baseman David Freese hit a walk-off home run to force a Game 7, which the Cardinals won to secure the championship.
16 Australia defeat USA in the 4x100m Freestyle Relay In a memorable race at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the Australian men's 4x100m freestyle relay team defeated the heavily favored U.S. team, breaking the world record in the process. The victory, marked by the exuberant celebration of the Australian team, was a major upset and a highlight of the games for the host nation.

After 36 years, Australia solidified their gold medal by setting a world record in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay during the Sydney Summer Olympics in 2000. Ian Thorpe had been trailing USA's Gary Hall, coming into the final 50 meters, but recovered and won against the USA, while setting a new world record of 3:13.67.

17 Patriots 28-3 comeback in Super Bowl 51 In Super Bowl LI, the New England Patriots executed an unprecedented comeback, overcoming a 28-3 deficit against the Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots scored 25 unanswered points to force the game into overtime — a first in Super Bowl history — and went on to win the championship 34-28, marking one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history.
18 Italy wins the 1938 World Cup In the 1938 FIFA World Cup hosted by France, the Italian national football team emerged victorious, defending their title won in 1934. In the final match, Italy defeated Hungary 4-2, becoming the first team to retain the World Cup. This victory was a significant achievement, asserting Italy's dominance in international football at the time.

Before the World Cup, Mussolini told the Italian soccer team this: "WIN OR DIE." Uruguay and Italy were up against each other in the finals, and Italy won 4-2. Eleven lives were saved just from a soccer game.

If a team got a death threat from one of the worst people ever and yet they found a way to win, this is truly the greatest moment in sports history.

19 Giants stun Pats In the Super Bowl In Super Bowl XLII, the New York Giants stunned the previously undefeated New England Patriots with a 17-14 victory. This upset was highlighted by the "Helmet Catch" by Giants wide receiver David Tyree, which set up the game-winning touchdown. The Giants' victory prevented the Patriots from achieving the NFL's first perfect season since 1972.
20 Brazil wins Olympic Gold in soccer on a PK from Neymar At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Brazil's national soccer team won their first Olympic gold medal in a thrilling final against Germany. After the match ended in a 1-1 draw in regular and extra time, it went to a penalty shootout. Brazilian superstar Neymar converted the decisive penalty kick, securing the gold medal and giving Brazil a significant victory on home soil.
21 Derek Redmond finishes the 400m in 1992 At the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, British sprinter Derek Redmond suffered a heartbreaking injury during the 400m semifinals. Despite tearing his hamstring midway through the race, Redmond continued to hobble towards the finish line. His father rushed from the stands to help his son complete the race, resulting in one of the most poignant and memorable moments in Olympic history.
22 Jackie Robinson breaks the color barrier In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball when he started at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15. Robinson's MLB debut marked the end of racial segregation in professional baseball that had relegated black players to the Negro leagues since the 1880s. His career paved the way for other black athletes and is celebrated annually in MLB with Jackie Robinson Day.

It made the world understand that it does not matter what color you are, but just how well you play.

23 Larry Bird and Magic Johnson retire Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, two of the NBA's greatest players, both retired in the early 1990s. Bird, known for his time with the Boston Celtics, retired in 1992 due to chronic back issues, while Johnson, a star of the Los Angeles Lakers, initially retired in 1991 after being diagnosed with HIV, made a brief comeback in 1996, before retiring permanently. Their retirements marked the end of an era characterized by their fierce but friendly rivalry which greatly influenced and popularized the NBA.

The greatest basketball player of all time and his greatest rival retire. You just can't beat that.

It was incredible because it was two incredible players retiring in the same match.

24 Villanova wins 2016 National Championship on 3-point buzzer beater The 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Game saw Villanova University win the national title in a dramatic fashion. With the game tied at 74 and just a few seconds remaining on the clock, Villanova's Kris Jenkins hit a three-point buzzer-beater to defeat the University of North Carolina, giving Villanova its first national championship in 31 years.

Never been so excited about sports in my life.

25 Aaron beats Ruth's record On April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit his 715th career home run, breaking Babe Ruth's long-standing record of 714. Aaron's historic achievement came in the fourth inning off Los Angeles Dodgers' pitcher Al Downing. The monumental home run marked a major milestone in baseball history, solidifying Aaron's place among the game's greatest players.
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