Can You Match the Memorable Sports Moment to the Year?

By: Robin Tyler

One of the greatest upsets in any sport ever, the United States ice hockey team beat the Soviet juggernaut 4-3 at the 1980 Olympics. Just a few weeks before, the Soviets had beaten the United States 10-3, making the result even more remarkable. The United States went on to win gold.

It was at the 2008 Beijing Olympics that Usain Bolt showed he was the fastest man in the world. Bolt won both the 100m and 200m titles, and in world-record times, making him the first man to ever do so.

By signing an MLB contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945, Jackie Robinson smashed through the color barrier by becoming the first African American to do so. Robinson still had to overcome many trials, but he was truly a trailblazer!

Oh and how he did it! Jessie owns won four golds in front of Adolf Hitler and broke three world and one Olympic records. Owens won gold in the 100m, 200m, Long Jump and 4x100m relay.

Many remember that iconic moment when Muhammad Ali, a hero to millions but now ravaged by Parkinson's, lit the Olympic flame at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Ali was also given a medal to replace the one he won in 1960 but tossed into a river due to the the frustration that he was ordered out of a restaurant which served white people only.

With the help of pacemakers Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway, Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile in windy conditions on May 6, 1954. In fact, the wind was so bad, Bannister was going to call off his attempt. He persevered, however, stopping the clock in 3:59.40 seconds.

In 1968, Arthur Ashe wrote his name into tennis history by becoming the first player of color to win the U.S. Open, as well as the first to win a open-era tournament.

Not only did he become the youngest Master champion at just 21, he obliterated the field in doing so. Tiger Woods won by an incredible 12 shots. It was only his 15th tournament as a pro!

Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci stunned the world in at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal when she scored a perfect 10 on the uneven bars. She went onto win three gold medals at just 14 years of age.

Suffering with a disease that would later bear his name, Lou Gehrig—or "Iron Horse" to baseball fans—played the last of his 2,130 consecutive games for the New York Yankees. Sadly, the disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, meant he had to retire. He died just two years later.

The crowd watching the track and field events at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico were stunned into silence when Bob Beamon smashed the long-jump record by an incredible two feet. Undoubtedly, his effort is one of the greatest athletic achievements ever.

With the finals tied at 2-2, the winner of the final match of the NBA finals between the Phoenix Suns and the Boston Celtics would take home the glory. The game needed three overtime periods to finally separate the teams, with Boston eventually winning 128-126.

On October 15, 1989, Wayne Gretzky became the all-time leading NHL scorer with 1,850 points, beating the previous record of Gordie Howe. He ended his career with 2,857 points and 1,963 assists.

In a massive blow to Hitler's supposed Aryan superiority, Joe Louis obliterated the German Max Schmeling on June 22, 1938. In that time, he put the German on the canvas three times.

Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe served up some really epic tennis matches—none more so than their five-set battle at Wimbledon in 1980. Borg won, giving him his five titles in a row.

Only just over 4,000 people saw Wilt Chamberlain throw the first—and to date, only—100-point game in the NBA. Chamberlain, playing for the New York Nicks, achieved the feat against the Philadelphia Warriors.

Bobby Jones won the British Amateur, British Open, U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Open, the majors at the time, in 1930—a feat never achieved again.

Incredibly, Carli Lloyd achieved her amazing feat in the first 16 minutes of the game with her hat-trick goal an incredible long-range effort from almost the half-way line. The U.S. went on to win 5-2 and claim the World Cup.

As told by the Hollywood movie "Invictus," Nelson Mandela, the first democratically elected leader of South Africa, used sport to help reconcile the nation. He was on hand to inspire the South African rugby side to victory over their more fancied rivals, New Zealand, in 1995.

On September 27, 1998, Mark McGwire became the first ever man to hit 70 homers in a baseball season. McGwire achieved the feat playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, and he went on to smash 583 home runs in his career.

A team filled with NBA superstars including the like of Magic Johnson, the "Dream Team" dominated basketball at the 1992 Olympics. In fact, they beat each of their opponents by more than 30 points.

Mark Spitz's incredible feat is often forgotten behind the attacks on the Israeli team at the 1972 Olympics in Munich in which 11 athletes died. Spitz not only won seven gold medals but set seven world records as well.

Though he was only a teenager, the soccer world soon knew who Pele was thanks to his exploits at the 1958 Soccer World Cup. At just 17 years old, Pele helped Brazil to win the tournament by scoring six goals.

In 1973 Bobby Riggs, a former world number-one tennis player, brashly declared that he could beat any female tennis player on the circuit. He couldn't. In an exhibition match, Billy Jean King beat in in three sets, taking home $100,000 in the process.

Buster Douglas was a 47-1 outside the the heavyweight title fight against Mike Tyson on February 11, 1990. But he dominated Tyson, before sending him to the canvas. Douglas lost the title the next year to Evander Holyfield.

Although rugby internationals had been played since the early 1900s, the first Rugby World Cup only arrived in 1987. It was won by New Zealand, although possibly the strongest rugby nation at the time, South Africa, was in international isolation due to apartheid.

Diego Maradona was at the peak of his powers during the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. Representing Argentina, he managed to score a goal using his hand while trying to head a ball into the net against England. The English players protested, but the goal stood. A few minute later, Maradona sealed the match with a goal which he dribbled past a number of English players to slot home.

Don Larsen's feat came in Game 5 of the World Series. His efforts saw the Yankees win 2-0.The Yankees went on to win the World Series.

Jack Nicklaus is perhaps the greatest golfer ever; if measured by Majors, then he surely is. Nicklaus' last Major came at the age of 46 at the U.S. Master, taking his overall tally to 18.

Described as one of the greatest boxing matches in history, the "Rumble in the Jungle" saw Muhammad Ali reclaim his world heavyweight crown from George Foreman. The fight was held in Zaire.

Sonny Liston had been the champion since 1962, but on February 25, 1964, Cassius Clay decimated him, with Liston forced to throw in the towel after six rounds. Clay had opened cuts on Liston's face, and a shoulder injury further complicated matters.

By winning the Triple Crown in 1973, Secretariat became the first horse in 25 to achieve the feat. In the last race of the series, Secretariat won by a massive 31 lengths in a world-record time that still stands today.

Cal Ripken Jr. spent his 20-year baseball career only playing for the Baltimore Orioles between 1991 and 2001. His record of consecutive games was set at 2,632, an amount that will probably never be broken. Ripken Jr. also received pretty much every accolade in baseball.

Hank Aaron was the man to break Babe Ruth's long-standing home-run record. He did so on April 8, 1974. Aaron's record was in turn broken by Barry Bonds a few decades later.

The matchup between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants saw the Colts run out winners in sudden death and was the first NFL championship game to go into overtime.

After losing to Bjorn Borg in the 1980s, John McEnroe finally got one over his great rival, winning the 1981 Wimbledon final in four sets: 4–6, 7–6 (7–1), 7–6 (7–4), 6–4.

Cricket as a sport had been played internationally since the late 1800s. The first Wold Cup for the sport only took place in 1975, however. It was won by the West Indies, who defeated Australia in the final.

Perhaps it was written in the stars that France would win the first World Cup held in the country. A golden generation of footballers saw them to victory over Brazil, certainly their more fancied rivals.

Australia's Don Bradman is the greatest cricket player of all time, of that there is no doubt. And he would have finished his career with a batting average of 100 if he could score 4 runs in his final innings. It seemed a foregone conclusion, but England's Eric Hollies had other ideas, and he bowled Bradman for a duck.

In the fifth inning of the third game of the 1932 World Series, Babe Ruth pointed to the stands beyond center field. The very next ball, he sent the ball sailing into the bleachers in that region, and the legend of the Ruth "called shot" was born!

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Image: WikiCommons by International Newsreel

About This Quiz

Let's face it, most of us love our sport. You wouldn't be attempting this quiz if you didn't, right? But picking memorable sports moments from the past 120 years is not an easy task. There simply have been so many that narrowing it down to 40 is always going to be very subjective. What we might think is a memorable sports moment might not be that memorable for you and vice versa! 

However, there are moments where we can all agree they were certainly memorable. We might not have been there, but the legends behind the story still remain giants in our eyes. Take the story of Babe Ruth pointing to the bleachers and telling the crowd where he would hit the next ball. Or Cassius Clay becoming the world heavyweight boxing champion for the first time. And what about Usain Bolt announcing himself to the world with the 100m and 200m sprint double, in world-record time, at the Olympics? Yes, we remember these great moments, but to excel in this quiz, you are going to also have to remember the year in which they happened. Do you think you can do that? Well, let's test that sporting knowledge of yours!

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