The arrival of the coronavirus severely disrupted this year’s sports calendar. But, the commitment of the organizers and the athletes allowed the fans to experience some unforgettable moments in the middle of the pandemic.
The confinement made Formula 1 go from going at breakneck speeds to coming to a complete standstill. The start of the season, originally scheduled for March, was delayed until July. Some races were removed from the calendar. Others were introduced as the FIA adjusted to the crisis. Fans of the motor world were able to witness a historical moment starring Lewis Hamilton. The Briton equaled German Schumacher’s seven world champion titles. He did it after winning the Turkish Grand Prix. It was the 94th win for a driver committed to society.
In July, Lewis Hamilton encouraged his teammates and opponents to kneel before races to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Named the UK’s Most Influential Person of Color in 2020; an extraordinary year for him as he has set new sports records.
The year 2020 has also been marked by an extraordinary feat in cycling. Slovenian Tadej Pogacar became the youngest Tour de France winner since 1904, after completing a sensational time trial performance on the penultimate stage of the race. His compatriot Primoz Roglic was leading the fight against the stopwatch. But he got a monumental surprise with Pogacar. The ‘little Pogi’, neutralized the 57 seconds of delay that he accumulated in what is already one of the most outstanding comebacks in the history of cycling. The final stage, traditionally a mere formality, allowed the young Balkan sensation to taste a taste of glory in the French capital, much to the delight of the Slovenian fans. The Tour started two months late due to the coronavirus pandemic. But, its outcome was tremendous.
In football, the change in format in the Champions League has led many to consider the idea of redesigning the competition for the future. From the traditional two-match system for the quarter-finals and semi-finals, UEFA moved to an ‘8-final’, in which teams that made it through the Group stage played duels in a single match in Lisbon. After a tournament full of twists and turns, Bayern Munich fans were able to celebrate their team’s success after beating PSG in the final. It is his sixth title of champion of the maximum continental competition of clubs.
For this new year, sports fans hope that UEFA and the organizers of the Tokyo Games will have no problems with their long-awaited events. Both the Olympics and the Euro were postponed and despite the uncertainty, the sporting world has shown that it can cope with adversity.
Until then, we leave you with images of someone the sport will miss so much. After the loss of the great Kobe Bryant and other greats, it was time for Diego Armando Maradona. The mythical ‘number 10’ is gone and leaves a legacy full of magic and controversy. The passionate Argentine footballer treasured a level higher than the rest on the ‘field’. Although his reputation was tarnished by drugs, he will always be remembered as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, in the history of the ‘beautiful game’.