Ashraf Ali Siddiqui describes iconic historic sporting moments
The power of sports lies in transcendent moments when athletes break the bounds of what is possible and raise the bar higher for those who follow. Whether in the ring, on the court, or running down the playing field, these legendary achievements and some historic sporting moments helped define and redefine their given sports, and here are some of them.
The Rumble in the Jungle
On 30 October 1974, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman faced off for the heavyweight boxing championship of the world, in Kinshasa, Zaire. Ali, the ex-champ, was by far the underdog, going up against unbeaten Foreman, known for his savage punching power. Ali adopted an unusual strategy in the ring, leaning back against the ropes and allowing the younger man to punch himself out. Then, in the eighth round, Ali left the ropes and knocked out Foreman with a flurry of punches.
The goal of the Century
Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona had himself quite a day, playing in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in 1986. Moments after scoring his “Hand of God Goal,” he did a 60-yard scamper down the field, slicing through the English defenders like a hot knife through butter, and scored the “Goal of the Century.” Buoyed by Maradona’s unstoppable play, Argentina won its second World Cup.
A perfect score
At the 1976 Summer Olympics, in Montreal, Romanian Nadia Comaneci did the impossible: she became the first gymnast in Games history to receive a perfect score of 10.0 for her performance on the uneven bars. She went on to record six more perfect scores and, at age 14, became the youngest all-around Olympic gold medalist ever.
Breaking the four-minute mile
Roger Bannister an Oxford medical student, did what no one thought was humanly possible. On 6 May, 1954, he ran a mile under four minutes (3:59.4), establishing a world record. Forty-six days later, Australian runner John Landy shaved 1.5 seconds off the time. Then Bannister beat Landy at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, with both men finishing the race in under four minutes—another record.
Swimming in gold
Michael Phelps had the most golden swimming career ever. Among the U.S. swimming sensation’s accomplishments was winning eight gold medals in eight events at the 2004 Athens Olympics, eclipsing Mark Spitz and his seven golds at the 1972 Olympics. In total, Phelps competed in five Olympics and won 28 medals (23 golds, three silvers, and two bronzes).
Go with the FloJo
Florence Joyner is known as the fastest woman of all time. The U.S. sprinter brought great panache to the sport—wearing, for example, one-legged spandex bodysuits—as she established the world record for 100 meters at 10.49 seconds at the 1988 Olympic trials in Indianapolis. Joyner then won the 200 meters at the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea, in a record 21.34 seconds. Both records still stand.
The Lightning Bolt
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt is considered the greatest sprinter of all time, winning unprecedented gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter races in three consecutive Olympic Games. At the 2008 Olympic Games, he became the first man since Carl Lewis to win the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4×100-metre relay in a single Olympics setting world records in all three events. The Weekender