From the Olympic and Paralympic Games to Andy Murray’s tears, sports reporter Jordan Jarrett-Bryan looks back on the most dramatic moments in an amazing year for British sport.
We have heard the “It’s been an amazing year of sport” statement umpteen times in 2012. But it really was.
So, let’s do this chronologically.
Pantomime season came 10 months early as boxer David Haye gatecrashed the post-fight press conference between Vitali Klitschko and Brit Derrick Chisora. Haye, there “working” as a commentator for a foreign broadcaster, was taunted by Chisora, and when Haye was confronted by the fellow Londoner… well, it all kicked off.
A fight between the two was arranged, and it was the most popular UK fight of the year.
The biggest football story of the year didn’t even involve a football, as we witnessed Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba suffer a cardiac arrest whilst playing in an FA Cup game against Tottenham Hotspur in March. He was dead for 78 minutes before being resuscitated. Despite returning to good health, he retired from professional football.
The finale of the Premier League was the most exciting since Arsenal pipped Liverpool to the title on the last day of the 1989 season, as Manchester City won their first Premier League title with the last kick of the season, in May.
Rory McIlroy won the US PGA, his second major, as well as being part of the European side that retained the Ryder Cup. McIlroy, rose to number one in the world rankings in August and is in a relationship with tennis beauty Caroline Wozniacki. All this at the age of just 23.
In September, world tennis number three Andy Murray ended a 76-year wait for a British male to claim glory in a grand slam, beating Novak Djokovic in the US Open final. His earlier gold medal in the Olympic final, beating world number two Roger Federer, made it a unique year for British tennis.
Many people’s favourite sporting moment was Bradley Wiggins becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France. He then went onto win gold at the Olympics and become favourite to win BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year 2012. He is just as popular for his sporting achievements as for his off the track personality – many feel they can relate to him and praise his conduct and down to earth character.
And then there was the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Games made many sports sceptics want to be involved and showed the impact sport can have on society – if only on morale. Athletes including Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, David Weir, Katherine Grainger, Ellie Simmonds, Sarah Storey, Nicola Adams and Jonnie Peacock all claimed gold and changed the perceptions towards women in sport, disability in sport and the cultural diversity of sport. Was there a better day in 2012 that glued the nation in joyous harmony than “super Saturday”?
Other significant British sporting moments that should get a mention:
– Scottish football giants Rangers going into administration.
– Ricky Hatton making a comeback before again retiring after another defeat.
– Former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff getting a boxing license and winning his first professional fight.