Year in Sports: 2020
2020 was somewhat an uneventful year in the sports sector. The Pandemic took the world by storm, and many important sporting events were either canceled or postponed. Some major events that were postponed are the Tokyo summer Olympics, T20 cricket world cup male category, and Euro cup 2020 football tournament. The Wimbledon tournament was canceled this year. We also witnessed the deaths of legends such as Kobe Bryant and Deigo Maradona. Let’s look at the important sporting events of 2020 in different areas of sports:
Many major football tournaments were postponed to curb the spread of the Coronavirus. These include UEFA Champions League and Europa League games, Euro 2020, Copa America, and FIFA Club World Cup. As the games resumed during the second half of the year, Liverpool won the 2020 English Premier League title after 30 years. Also, Arsenal defeated Manchester United 1-0 to get the first league win at Old Trafford since 2006. Argentina’s superstar footballer Lionel Messi scored the 700th goal of his career. He also decided to stay at the Spanish side for one more season.
At the end of the year, Argentina’s legend player Diego Armando Maradona passed away due to heart failure. He was a beloved player who had won many major tournaments for Argentina, including the World Cup many times.
The beginning of 2020 bought devastating news for basketball fans as US basketball legend and former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna passed away in a helicopter crash. Bryant took the NBA title while playing with the Lakers five times (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, and 2010). Bryant played with the US national team which led to two Olympic gold medals in Beijing 2008 and London 2012. The NBA All-Star game MVP (Most Valuable Player) award has been permanently dedicated to Kobe Bryant’s memory. The NBA took to the website to announce the award as “The Kia NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award”.
In the middle of the year, NBA suspended the 2019-20 season until announced after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for Covid-19. But, NBA returned at the end of July as teams returned to Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and resumed working. In August, NBA postponed three playoff games after the Milwaukee Bucks refused in protest of the shooting of a black man in Wisconsin. The games returned after the management successfully negotiated with the team. Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo took home the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the NBA 2019-2020 seasons.
Although the Wimbledon tournament was canceled this year due to Covid-19, the rest of the major tennis tournaments took place as usual. The Australian Open took place at the beginning of the year. Novak Djokovic (Serbia) took home the men’s singles title, and Sofia Kenin, an Us tennis player, took home the women’s singles title. This was Kenin’s first-ever Grand Slam title. In the US Open, Dominic Thiem (Austria) won the men’s singles title; Naomi Osaka (Japan) won the women’s singles title. Even though initially postponed, French Open took place in the second half of the year. Polish player Iga Swiatek defeated US’ Sofia Kenin to win women’s singles. Spain’s Rafael Nadal won the men’s single. In other news, Serbian supers Djokovic and many other players tested positive for Covid-19 after Djokovic hosted a series of exhibition matches to raise money for people affected by Covid-19.