Sport is filled of highs and lows, winners and losers, so we thought it only right to compile the best and worst of 2016. Whether you’re a positive soul or complete cynic, there’s something on this list for everyone!
5. – Iceland at Euro 2016
Put your hands together for Iceland, the classic underdog entry who took EURO 2016 by storm. Firstly, through their incredible support, and then by going unbeaten in the group stages and famously knocking England out in the Round of 16.
4. – Just A Perfect Year
Next spring’s Six Nations has never looked so tasty for two reasons: Ireland and England.
Ireland didn’t just beat New Zealand for the first time in 111 years, they thrashed them. Add that to victories over South Africa and Australia and you can’t fault the quality among Joe Shmidt’s squad.
In the same vein, England managed to go the entirety of 2016 unbeaten. In a record-equalling year they didn’t record a single loss in 14 tests, a feat which they last achieved in their World Cup-winning year of 2003.
3. – Olympics Golden Boy
American swimmer Michael Phelps further cemented his title as the most decorated athlete in Olympic history.
In typically amazing fashion, Phelps blew away his competition, collecting five golds from six events. This took his incredible collection of Olympic golds to 23, and his total Olympic medal collection to 28.
2. – The King of Scotland
Since winning Wimbledon in 2013 Andy Murray has been firmly perched among the best tennis players of this generation. However, it felt that while Novak Djokovic continued his world-beating form, Murray would never quite make it to the very top of the tree.
Come July 10th this would all change as Murray won his second Wimbledon title, beating Milos Raonic in straight sets. Murray will finish 2016 as the world’s No.1 ranked player.
1. – McGregor’s Double-Strap Record
One man’s achievement cannot be spoken about so much by the general public and not win the top prize in sporting moments.
Conor McGregor’s win in Madison Square Garden has made him the undisputed king of the octagon. In stopping Eddie Alvarez, the Dubliner became the first UFC fighter ever to hold two weight title belts simultaneously.
5. – Beg, Borrow and Steal
USA swimmer, Ryan Lochte, won sympathy by claiming he was robbed at gunpoint at the Rio Olympics, but it was a lie.
In actual fact, it turns out he got drunk, relieved himself on a local petrol station wall and trashed a public toilet. He was later charged with filing a false police report.
4. Sharapova Served Suspension
Maria Sharapova shook the tennis and sporting world when she announced the failure of a drugs test.
Sharapova claimed she had been taking the drugs for a heart condition. However, as the story grew, it was released that 54 top professional athletes across a range of sports had failed tests for that drug within the first 3 months of 2016.
3. – EURO 2016 Mobs
If, by chance, you were too intoxicated during the EURO’s to recall who we’re referring to, it was you, England and Russia.
Three days of England fans being their drunken selves in Marseille, plus 200 seemingly well-trained Russian hooligans was never going to end well. In fact, it left several fans in hospital and caused thousands in damages.
Another low point among fans were the flares and fireworks thrown by Croatian fans during their match with the Czech Republic. The seriousness of this act was heightened by the nervous atmosphere already surrounding the championships.
2. – Rio 2016 Olympics
An Olympic Village not dissimilar to the city’s famous favelas, competition facilities labelled “unsafe” for use, more doping scandals than I’ve had hot dinners, and some of the most blatant corruption ever witnessed in sport.
The Rio 2016 Olympics was riddled with destruction and disaster. The sport has a long road to recovery after this debacle.
1. – Chapecoense Plane Crash
Without doubt, 2016′s sporting low point came in the early hours of Tuesday, November 29th as the plane carrying Brazilian football side Chapecoense crashed.
The crash left destruction in its wake, taking the lives of 19 footballers and at least 75 lives overall (some involved in the flight remain in a serious condition in hospital).
The team was travelling to the Colombian city of Medellín, where they were due to play local side Atlético Nacional in the first leg of the final of the Copa Sudamericana – South American football’s equivalent to the Europa League.
The crash serves as a cruel and tragic end to what was a fairytale journey for the side from southern Brazil. Furthermore, it provides the darkest moment the sporting world endured in 2016.