2016 was a terrible year for many but it was also unforgettable for many sports fans. Here is SportsRageous’ list of the top 10 sports moments of the year featuring Leicester City winning the English Premier League.
10. Dee Gordon’s home run for Jose Fernandez
One of the most shocking deaths of 2016 was Jose Fernandez, who got killed in a boating accident at the age of 24 back in September. Miami Marlins teammate Dee Gordon, who is not known for his power, hit the best home run of the MLB season as a tribute to Fernandez.
9. Conor McGregor becomes two-division UFC champion
Despite having a 2-1 record for 2016, Conor McGregor had the best year of his career. He defeated Nick Diaz to redeem himself from his loss earlier in the year. “Notorious” ended 2016 by winning the UFC lightweight championship by defeating Eddie Alvarez to become the first-ever UFC fighter to hold titles in two different divisions simultaneously.
8. Peyton Manning ends career with Super Bowl title
The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl by defeating the Carolina Panthers. The Broncos used their suffocating defense to prevent Cam Newton from taking over the game. It also became Peyton Manning’s final game and what a way to cap off his legendary career.
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7. Simone Biles’ record-breaking Olympics
The biggest star of the 2016 Rio Olympics was a 4-foot-8, 19-year-old American gymnast. Simone Biles captivated the world by having one of the best performances in Olympic gymnastics history. She won four gold medals and one bronze at the Rio Olympic Games.
6. Portugal wins EURO 2016 without Cristiano Ronaldo
France was favored to win against Portugal in the finals of EURO 2016. Portugal was not supposed to be there but Cristiano Ronaldo put the team on his back. However, Ronaldo got injured in the eighth minute and has to be taken off but Portugal was able to win the game and championship with a score of 1-0 thanks to the goal by Eder.
5. Kobe Bryant erupts for 60 points in his final game
Kobe Bryant announced early in the 2015-16 NBA season that he was retiring at the end of it. He limped into the final game of the Lakers season against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. Bryant put on a vintage performance as he exploded for 60 points to give the Lakers the win.
4. Neymar’s penalty kick wins Gold Medal
Although the 7-0 defeat at the hands of Germany back in the 2014 World Cup was hard to forget, Neymar made it all go away with one penalty kick. In the Gold Medal game between Brazil and Germany, Neymar scored the game-winning penalty in the shootout as more than 80,000 fans inside the Maracanã Stadium erupts in joy.
3. Cleveland finally wins a championship after 52 years
The city of Cleveland has not won a championship in 52 years. However, LeBron James put the whole city on his entire back to help the Cavaliers win their first-ever NBA championship. The Cavs were down 3-1 but they were able to come back and win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
2. Chicago Cubs end 108-year World Series title drought
The most miserable team in the world was the Chicago Cubs but that all changed in 2016. The Cubs were the best team in baseball all season long but they were down 3-1 in the World Series against the Cleveland Indians. However, the team battled back and forced the best Game 7 in baseball history to win their first World Series since 1908.
1. Leicester City wins the English Premier League
The best moment of 2016 when small English club Leicester City won the English Premier League. It was arguably an impossible task at the start of the season but Claudio Ranieri built a team that won it all. Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez forced their way to superstardom as Leicester City became English champions.
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