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10 Most Iconic Sports Pictures Of All Time

At PledgeSports we’re diehard sports fans, and like many others, we love the nostalgia of reliving some of the best sporting moments. Because of this, we’ve put together a list of the 10 most iconic sports pictures ever captured.

These images and their accompanying stories truly chronicle the thrills and spills that create sport. Enjoy!

Rumble Young Man, Rumble

May 25th, 1965

Ali-Liston_IIIn their heavyweight title rematch, Muhammad Ali defeated Sonny Liston by knockout in the first round. Ali would hold the heavyweight title until 1967 when he was stripped of it for refusing to be drafted into the Army.

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This fight, this punch, and this picture will forever be associated with the greatest boxer of all time.

His Royal Airness

February 6th, 1988

Jordan Slam Dunk CompetitionAir Jordan takes off from the free throw line and soars to a perfect score of 50 to defeat Dominique Wilkins in the finals of the Slam Dunk Contest.

It was the second straight title for the Bulls star, and the ’88 contest is widely considered the best ever because of the duel between Jordan and Wilkins.

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The Miracle Mile

May 6th, 1954

bann1-730x675Long before becoming a distinguished neurologist, Roger Bannister broke a record few believed humanly possible. A mark no runner had ever crossed.

The 1954 Sportsman of the Year ran the first sub-four-minute mile, crossing the line to the roars of astonished viewers.

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During a meet between British AAA and Oxford University, Bannister earned a time of three minutes and 59.4 seconds.

The impossible was now possible.

Black Power

October 16th, 1968 

TommieSmithAP276American sprinters Tommie Smith (centre) and John Carlos (right) raise their black-gloved fists on the Olympic medal podium in Mexico City to signify Black Power.

Smith, the gold medalist in the 200-meter race, and Carlos, the bronze medalist, were kicked out of the Games for their overtly political statement.

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Quitters Never Win

August 5th, 1992

Derek-Redmond-and-his-fat-007Derek Redmond was one of the best runners in the world during the 1992 Summer Olympics. Sadly, he tore his hamstring during the 400m heat and fell to the ground in agony. Redmond decided he wanted to finish the race and started limping towards the finish line. Derek’s father, Jim Redmond, broke past security to join his son in helping him finish the race.

Redmond decided he wanted to finish the race and started limping towards the finish line. Derek’s father, Jim Redmond, broke past security to join his son in helping him finish the race.

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At the finish line, both father and son were crying. “I’m prouder of him than I would have been if he had won the gold medal. It took a lot of guts for him to do what he did,” said Jim.

Jesse Owens

August 9th, 1936

Owens-Medal-Auction_Horo-e1385971882958Known statistically as the most successful athlete at the 1936 Berlin Games, track star Jesse Owens eclipsed what many believed was Adolf Hitler’s Aryan showcase by securing four gold medals and the hearts of fans worldwide (and three world records in 45 minutes).

Owens proved that he was no routine, society-abiding athlete. He was a hero.

Hand Of God

June 22nd, 1986

Diego-Maradona-Hand-of-GodEn route to its 1986 World Cup victory, the Argentina national football team found itself at the centre of some intense controversy.

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During his team’s 2-1 quarterfinal victory over England, legend Diego Maradona scored two goals. His first goal, later dubbed the “Hand of God,” remains to this day the most scrutinised goal in World Cup history.

In the words of Maradona, the goal was scored “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.”

A Legend Is Born

April 13th, 1997

tiger (1)The 1997 Masters Tournament was the 61st Masters Tournament, held April 10–13 at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.

Tiger Woods won his first major championship, twelve strokes ahead of runner-up Tom Kite. The margin of victory and a four-day score of 270 (−18) are tournament records.

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At the tender age of 21, the victory would be Tiger’s first of 14 major titles. Will he ever don the green jacket again?

Lightning Bolt

August 16th, 2008

3713225_origThe final of the World Championships in Berlin was the first time Bolt and Gay had met in the 2009 season. The sporting world waited in anticipation to see if the in-form Gay could push Olympic gold-holder, Bolt. The race that followed showcased the unparalleled speed Bolt possesses.

Bolt improved the world record time he set in Beijing a year earlier, crossing the line in 9.58 s to win his first World Championship gold medal. Taking over a tenth of a second off the previous best mark, this was the largest ever margin of improvement in the 100 m world record since the beginning of electronic timing. 

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Rose Bowl Erupts

6_pic4The United States was facing China in the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final. After playing the Chinese to a 0-0 draw the match went to penalty kicks. Brandi Chastain kicked

As the shootout unfolded it all came down to the fifth and final U.S. spot kick. Step forward Brandi Christain, who, under enormous pressure, slotted home her effort and won the World Cup for her country.

She famously wheeled away in celebration, ripping off her jersey off in joy as 90,000 fans celebrated in the Rose Bowl.

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