Celliant’s New Year Countdown: Top Five Moments in Sports History

Michael Jordan at the free throw line, nearly sidelined by the flu; Jim Braddock, the Cinderella Man, throwing a punch for Depression-era America; Seabiscuit coming around the bend.

These are the inspirational moments that make us keep coming back to sports—moments of excitement and adrenaline, the rush of joy and the thrill of victory. At Celliant, these are the moments we support you in reaching, whether you’re pounding out sub-six-minute miles or looking for that second wind in the touch-football arena. We won’t be surprised if you’re off the computer and on to your next race in 2012!

 

5. Katherine Switzer breaks gender barrier in Boston Marathon (1967)

-And she does so in 4:20, with some blocking help from her All-American boyfriend who body checked a race organizer trying to detain the determined Switzer at mile two. Here’s Switzer, who was the first woman to run as an official entrant, on the excitement leading up to the race: “Hot damn, I thought, I have a coach, a training partner, a plan, and a goal: the biggest race in the world—Boston.”

 

4. Injured Willis Reed plays through pain in the NBA Finals (1970)

-When teammates begged Reed to give them 20 minutes in the final game against the Lakers, Reed limped onto the court with a severely injured leg to square up against scoring behemoth Wilt Chamberlain. Said Reed, “With one leg, I was being asked to guard the greatest offensive force in NBA history.”

3. Iron Horse Lou Gehrig gives “Luckiest Man” speech (1939)

-Diagnosed with the disease that would later carry his name, Gehrig took his emotional leave from baseball at home in Yankee Stadium. The “Iron Horse” had held a 2,130 consecutive-games streak over 15 years. In the face of sickness and the end of his playing career, Gehrig intoned the now-famous words, “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.”

2. Slovenian skier Petra Majdic captures cross-country bronze with four broken ribs (2010)

That’s not even the half of it. After falling off the course in a pre-race training run, she suffered a collapsed lung in addition to chest injuries. Though Majdic didn’t know how bad it was until after the race, her pain was apparent. Afterwards, she reported that even rival teams were cheering her on throughout the course.

 

 

1. Abebe Bikila wins gold with bare feet (1960)

Why are marathons always so inspirational? We just couldn’t leave out Bikila’s barefoot marathon in Rome. He became both the then-world record holder and the first sub-Saharan African to win Olympic gold. Why go barefoot, you might ask? For Bikila, it was simple: the shoes didn’t fit.

Help us continue the Celliant conversation.  Which inspirational moments would you add to the list?

 

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