12 Biggest Moments in Sports 2018
Date Posted: December 27, 2018
2018 was a history-making year for sports as teams won back-to-back championships, titles were made, underdogs won over fan favorites, and so much more.
As the year slowly comes to a close, we have rounded up 2018’s historical sports highlights. From glorious wins to disappointing downfalls, we bring you the biggest sports moments that made it to the headlines this year. We have compiled 12 snapshots from throughout the year 2018 that will make you bask in nostalgia for the year that just passed.
1| NFL: Philadelphia Eagles Won the Super Bowl for the First Time
For the first time in Philadelphia’s history, the Eagles came out as champions at the Super Bowl LII. They beat the New England Patriots with a score of 41-33 in Minneapolis last February 4. The Eagles were also the underdogs during the game as sportsbook William Hill gave Philadelphia +185 odds and New England -215 odds.
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was also named as Super Bowl MVP that day. He made history as the first player to ever throw and catch a touchdown in one Super Bowl when he caught the fourth-down touchdown pass.
The NFL proudly tweeted about Foles’ TD catch. The tweet read:
“UP. Nick Foles is catching TD passes. In the @superbowl. Unbelievable.”
YUP. Nick Foles is catching TD passes.
In the @superbowl.
— NFL (@NFL) February 5, 2018
The Patriots also made history that day when they became the first team to make 600 yards of offense in a game and still lose.
2| Winter Olympics: Ester Ledecká, First Woman to Win 2 Gold Medals in Single Winter Games
Czech snowboarder Ester Ledecká made history at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics for being the first woman to win a gold medal in two different sports in the same Winter Games.
Ledecká made her title official when she claimed her victory in the women’s snowboarding parallel giant slalom on February 24. She also won gold in the alpine skiing women’s super-G event a week before that.
@NBCOlympics tweeted about Ledecká’s history-making moment. NBC announced:
“The first woman to earn two gold medals in two different sports in a single #WinterOlympics! Ester Ledecka just won the parallel giant slalom one week after earning gold in the super-G.”
The first woman to earn two gold medals in two different sports in a single #WinterOlympics!
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) February 24, 2018
The 23-year-old snowboarder was just like any other athlete. She was always thrown with doubt by people around her and now she stands victorious as she makes her mark in snowboarding.
Ledecká said in an interview:
“I was dreaming about this moment since I was a little child. A lot of people were telling me that it is not possible to do both sports and to be at a high level in both sports and today I proved it is possible.”
3| UFC: Brian Ortega Knocks out Frankie Edgar in First Round
Last March 3, Brian Ortega and Frankie Edgar came face to face at the UFC 222 ring. The fight ended early as Ortega knocked out Edgar during the first round. The quick match landed Ortega in the history books as he is the first man to ever KO or knockout Edgar in MMA.
With less than a minute left in the first round, Ortega stunned Edgar with a big elbow in which he proceeded with a perfectly placed uppercut toward Edgar. This knocked Edgar out for good and bolstered Ortega to a title shot against featherweight champion Max Holloway. The fight’s swift turnout was also added to Ortega’s spotless victory record.
The UFC tweeted a GIF of Ortega’s uppercut with the caption:
“UN – BE – LIEV – ABLE”
— UFC (@ufc) March 4, 2018
This was not Edgar’s first loss. The former UFC lightweight champion had lost to José Aldo, Benson Henderson, and Gray Maynard throughout his 13-year MMA career, but all of them were mostly by unanimous decision.
4| Boston Marathon: Desiree Linden, First Woman to Win Since 1985
Amidst April 16’s cold rain and headwind, Michigan native Desiree Linden became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years.
CBS Boston News celebrated Linden’s triumph in a tweet which read:
“She’s Done It!!! American Des Linden wins the #BostonMarathon !”
— WBZ | CBS Boston News (@wbz) April 16, 2018
After finishing the marathon, Linden was shivering from the rain with a golden wreath on her head as she talked to the reporters. She said:
“It’s supposed to be hard. It’s good to get it done.”
According to the Associated Press, Linden’s finishing time of 2 hours, 39 minutes, and 54 seconds is one of the slowest in the women’s race since 1978. The runner-up, fellow American Sarah Sellers finished four minutes behind.
5| eSports: Ninja Vegas 18, the First Big Fortnite Battle Royale Happened Last April 22
Internet personality and American Twitch streamer, Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins coordinated an event to gather fans, fellow gamers, and big esports personalities for the first ever Fortnite battle event called Ninja Vegas 18 held at the eSports Arena in Las Vegas. The event peaked with over 667,000 viewers streaming through Twitch.
The day after the event, Ninja tweeted his gratefulness for the success of Ninja Vegas 18. He said:
“What an incredible event last night. I’ll never forget it and the people I met.”
What an incredible event last night. I’ll never forget it and the people I met.
— Ninja (@Ninja) April 22, 2018
This event is the first Fortnite tournament held since the game was launched in September 2017. The goal for the competition is that whoever gets to kill Ninja in the three games has a corresponding cash prize. Nearly US$50,000 across three games is up for gamers to grab in the tournament. On the other hand, if Ninja wins a game, he would donate US$2,500 to the Alzheimer’s Association.
The three games were divided into micro tournaments of three. Ninja won once in Heat Two – Game One. His farthest rank was during Heat Two – Game Three in which he placed 35th.
6| Government: U.S. Supreme Court Lifted Sports Gambling Ban
On May 14, the United States Supreme Court determined that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) is now unconstitutional which meant that it was up to each individual state to allow sports wagering or not.
The state of New Jersey challenged the sports betting law and came out victorious as the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor. It was a historic day for American sports as almost half of the country is open to the thought of legalizing sports betting.
Samuel Alito, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, said:
“The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make. Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own.”
Since the legalization started, businesses in states like New Jersey and West Virginia have opened up to expanding toward the sports betting market.
7| Champions League: Real Madrid Wins Back-To-Back-To-Back
During the UEFA Champions League finals last May 26, Real Madrid claimed their third consecutive Champions League title when Gareth Bale made the jaw-dropping goal that beat Liverpool with a score of 3-1. Sportsbooks have predicted it right with Bet365 setting Real Madrid with 1.73 odds and Liverpool with 2.1 odds.
Not only did Real win three consecutive Champions Leagues, but it is their fourth win in five years as well. This also serves as Real Madrid’s 13th Champions League title.
Real Madrid C.F. tweeted a video of the team celebrating with the Champions League trophy. It had the caption:
“?? #CHAMP13NS OF EUROPE!!!”
— Real Madrid C.F. ???? (@realmadriden) May 26, 2018
Real Madrid tops any European teams in terms of trophies, games, wins, and goals. As of May 27, the Spanish giants have made 13 trophies, 421 games, 252 wins, and 937 goals.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid C.F.’s basketball team Real Madrid Baloncesto also won the EuroLeague. This is the first time in the club’s history that both of its teams won the European titles.
8| NBA: Golden State Warriors Champions Again
Following their 2017 Championship title, the Golden State Warriors won the NBA Finals once again having defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Game 4 marked the Warriors’ total win over the Cavs with a finals score of 4-0. The turnout was not a surprise for OddsShark as it had predicted the Warriors’ win from the start with -20000 odds and the Cavs with +7500 odds.
This is the Warriors’ third win in four years. This is also the 13th time an NBA team has won two consecutive times. And they are the seventh team to do so, joining the Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, and Miami Heat.
Stephen Curry made a total of 37 points, six rebounds, and four assists. This was Curry’s third NBA Championship win with the Warriors.
NBA tweeted a picture of Curry kissing the trophy with the caption:
“3x champ with the @warriors… @StephenCurry30!”
— NBA (@NBA) June 9, 2018
Finals MVP Kevin Durant made 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. @nbastats posted a tweet about Durant’s point record and historic triple-double. The tweet read:
“Kevin Durant posted his 1st career #NBAFinals triple-double with 20 PTS, 12 REB, 10 AST to help the @Warriors become 2017-2018 NBA Champions! KD is the 5th player in NBA history to produce a 20-point triple-double in a Finals-clinching victory.”
Kevin Durant posted his 1st career #NBAFinals triple-double with 20 PTS, 12 REB, 10 AST to help the @Warriors become 2017-2018 NBA Champions! KD is the 5th player in NBA history to produce a 20-point triple-double in a Finals-clinching victory. #SAPStatLineOfTheNight pic.twitter.com/4UBB5nAmdB
— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) June 9, 2018
Meanwhile, now former Cavs player LeBron James made 23 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists that night. LeBron remained seated on the side as the game progressed with four minutes left.
9| Tennis: Rafael Nadal Wins French Open for 11th Time
Rafael Nadal won his 11th French Open title and 17th Grand Slam title last June playing against eighth-ranked Dominic Thiem. Nadal won the three games with scores of 6-4, 6-3, and 6-2. Betfair gave Nadal 1.55 odds to win and Thiem with only 14.00 odds which reflects that Nadal was a clear winner from the start.
He was grateful for his victory as he said:
“This is unbelievable, it’s not even a dream. Nobody dreams of winning 11 titles. I’m very happy to have won, especially after I suffered from cramps in the third set. That happens in a match where you are pushed like I was today.”
Nadal also commended his 25-year-old opponent by saying:
“Dominic played great and I am sure he’ll win here in the next couple of years. He’s a good player and an even better person.”
@rolandgarros posted pictures of Nadal cradling his Coupe des Mousquetaires. The tweet had the caption:
“Better than your wildest dreams…”
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 10, 2018
10| World Cup: VAR Was First Used
The world of sport continues to innovate with the help of technology. This year, the World Cup was the first tournament to use a Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
The VAR reviews decisions by the head referee with the use of video footage and a headset for communication.
France was the first team to get a penalty from VAR. During their match against Australia, Antoine Griezmann became the first player in the World Cup to be awarded a penalty via VAR after Aussie’s Josh Risdon was given a yellow card. Griezmann then used that opportunity to score the first goal in the game.
11| Women’s Tennis: Naomi Osaka, First Japanese to Win Grand Slam Singles
After defeating tennis veteran Serena Williams at the U.S. Open, 21-year-old Naomi Osaka claimed her title as Japan’s first ever Grand Slam singles champion. The match ended with a 6-2, 6-4 score.
The US Open tweeted a video of Osaka’s moment as she lifts her trophy up in the air. The video had the caption:
“Your 2018 #USOpen champion…”
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2018
However, the event was overshadowed by Williams’ outburst toward the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos. After the first set, Ramos gave Williams a code violation as he spotted her coach giving her hand signals from the player’s box.
Williams’ had a meltdown in which she smashed her racket to the ground and accused Ramos of being “a liar” and “a thief for stealing a point from me.”
12| Baseball: Ronald Acuña Jr., Youngest Player to Hit a Postseason Grand Slam
During Game 3 of the National League Division Series, Atlanta Braves left fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. made his first career grand slam in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
At 20 years and 293 days old, Acuña is now the youngest player to ever make a postseason grand slam. The Braves rookie broke the 65-year-old record that was previously held by New York Yankees’ Mickey Mantle. Mantle was 21 years and 350 days old when he made it to the history books during the 1953 World Series.
@FoxSportsSouth tweeted a photo of Acuña’s reaction to his history-making moment with the caption:
“20. YEARS. OLD.”
20. YEARS. OLD. pic.twitter.com/TTt1IA1GLO
— FOX Sports South (@FOXSportsSouth) October 8, 2018
Acuña’s homer propelled the Braves to victory as they won the game with a score of 6-5. The Venezuelan said in an interview:
“I was just really focused on that at-bat, and thank God I was able to make contact. We just have to show up with the same mentality [in Game 4], be positive and try to get back to Los Angeles with the series tied.”
As a Braves Rookie, Acuña is only the fourth rookie to hit a postseason grand slam. His name is next to 2011’s Paul Goldschmidt, 1999’s Ricky Ledee, and 1951’s Gil McDougald.
2018 has ended with a great note from across all sports platforms. You can look forward to what 2019 will bring to your favorite teams and players. More historic moments will come as the 2018-2019 games are about to end and new champions will arise.