2016 has been a unique year to say the least. For anyone who follows social media at all, I am sure you have seen the endless videos recapping all the terrible moments this year has brought. This made me think about 2016 in the world of sports. Now 2016 may have not been ideal for most people politically, economically, etc., but it was a great year for sports and here are 10 of my favorite moments in sports this year.

10. Peyton Manning’s storybook ending

https://youtu.be/Efk8oxLJLKY

Peyton Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks the league has seen, and one of the best moments of 2016 was seeing him and the Denver Broncos win the Super Bowl. After a difficult, injury-filled season, Manning was able to persevere and lead his team to a great victory to end his career.

9. Usain Bolt and Andre De Grasse: tough competitors who still have fun

https://youtu.be/hADl4s8Ce5o

Watching this video brings a smile to my face every time. Usain Bolt, one of the world’s most serious athletes, shows his ability to let loose and have fun in an exchange with Canadian Andre De Grasse. Despite the intensity of the Olympics, athletes are still able to have fun.

8. Craig Sager’s emotional and motivating ESPY speech

https://youtu.be/01BMPwDUO74

If you know me, you know I am a huge Craig Sager fan, and the low point in sports for me this year was hearing of his death. He was an incredible man and role model to me, and this speech was one of the most inspiring things I have ever heard. Rest in peace, Craig. You are already missed.

7. Katie Ledecky smashes the world record

https://youtu.be/fRocek0zrmQ

I remember watching this live in awe, realizing history was being made. Ledecky was the face of the 2016 Rio Olympics and the young swimmer’s career is off to a strong start.

6. Alabama’s gamble pays off in National Title Game

https://youtu.be/7M-iEsfL4Qk

Onside kicks are one of the hardest plays to successfully complete in football. Not only did Alabama complete one, they did it in the National Championship game in the fourth quarter when the game was tied with ten minutes remaining. A gutsy move paid off and won them the championship.

5. Kobe’s 60 pt final game

https://youtu.be/BdGeXcJ-hfo

Just like Peyton’s exit, Kobe’s was exactly how I hoped it would be for such a revolutionary player. His 60 point final game will be forever remembered as just a minuscule moment of his incredible career.

4. Kris Jenkins's National Championship game winner

https://youtu.be/L7FFJUz0tdo

Jenkins hitting the game winner was definitely a highlight of 2016. His career was forever changed, and it was a great moment for Villanova.

3. Kyrie’s winning shot in the NBA Finals

https://youtu.be/fZ8yCJgsF_4

Kyrie is clutch. In addition to the winning shot, the victory parade in Cleveland was also a top moment after the city won its first championship in decades. 

2. Two runners epitomize sports in an incredible olympic moment

https://youtu.be/dCVlRFWOjgE

This is one of my favorite moments I have ever seen in sports. It embodies what sports are about and shows two opponents coming together to help each other finish, despite the injuries they sustained. This inspirational moment shows that despite the media and fame influence on athletes, sports can remain innocent and good in the end.

1. Cubs winning the world series

https://youtu.be/HOp8w2PgHlM

I am not the most loyal baseball fan, but I do appreciate sports, and I especially appreciate watching how sports can make history. This year’s Chicago Cubs did just that. It was a long time coming but they finally (108 years later) got their win!

Published by Lia Assimakopoulos