Esther Vergeer Retires From Tennis
Zach Bigalke – When the draw for women’s wheelchair singles was released at the Australian Open this year, it was apparent something big was happening. The queen of the discipline, Esther Vergeer, was nowhere to be found in the bracket. Ultimately the 31-year-old Dutchwoman would announce her retirement two weeks after the tournament, bringing one of the most dominant careers — in any sport, and at any level — to a quiet conclusion. After going a decade without a defeat in singles play, her last defeat coming on January 30, 2003. Over that span she claimed 21 Grand Slam singles titles, 21 Grand Slam doubles titles, and won 470 consecutive tennis matches. Her retirement allowed us to put in perspective what it means to be great on the field of competition, and how sport can provide the platform for anyone to persevere and prosper.
Note: Video is a bit old but give a nice perspective of an incredible athlete
YouTube Video Courtesy of Paralympic Games
Wrestling Returns to the Olympics
Zach Bigalke -In February, the International Olympic Committee voted to drop wrestling from its list of core sports. The move, intended to open up spots for new sports on the Olympic program starting in 2020, instead had the effect of galvanizing an often fractious global wrestling community. With a concerted six-month lobbying and reform effort, the sport’s international governing body was able to unite its national federations as one voice to bring the ancient sport toward a modern future. In September, those efforts paid off as the IOC voted to reinstate wrestling competition for 2020 Tokyo Games on the first ballot of the voting for which sports programs to add to the program. The verdict rectified a gross miscalculation by the IOC as the Olympic program regained one of the key sports linking the modern Olympiad to its ancient Greek roots.
YouTube Video Courtesy of Sports International
UCONN Winning Record-Tying 8th National Title
Rich Stowe – As a UCONN fan this had special meaning to me as I wrote about back in April. Any time you can tie a great like Pat Summitt in championships, it has to be on the list of greatest moments.
YouTube Video Courtesy of UConn Huskies
Baltimore Ravens vs. Denver Broncos, The Mile High Miracle
John Yeomans – Before the game even started the storylines leading up to the game helped impose the drama, with Peyton Manning trying to keep his sensational comeback season going, as Ray Lewis was on his last ride and hoping for a second ring. The game had it all; back and forth action, a sensational comeback, and Peyton Manning withering away in the freezing cold once again. After going into double overtime Manning threw a crucial interception that helped, the Ravens seal the deal with a Justin Tucker field goal and kept them on their quest to a Super Bowl victory. It was during this 38-35 2 OT win that people started to see that Baltimore was destined to get their greatest player back to the promised land.
YouTube Video Courtesy of Sean Smith
Chris Weidman Knocks Out Anderson Silva for Middleweight Championship
Chris Pagliuca – On July 6th, 2013 at UFC 162, Chris Weidman knocked out Anderson Silva to become the UFC Middleweight champion. Now, some of you may not believe this is a top sports moment of 2013, especially if you’re not into MMA, but let me see if I can convince you. Anderson Silva is like the Floyd Mayweather of MMA; he was an astonishing 16-0 in the UFC, going undefeated for 7 straight years before facing Weidman. Silva also competed in two weight classes and holds many UFC records including the record for most consecutive title defenses. So when the former Hofstra wrestler, and UFC up-and-comer viciously knocked out the man who many believe to be the greatest MMA fighter of all-time, it was definitely one of the most shocking moments in MMA history and deserving of being a top sports moment in 2013.
Note: 20:30 into the video is the moment in question
YouTube Video Courtesy of UFC- Ultimate Fighting Championship
Auburn vs. Alabama: The 2013 Iron Bowl
Adam Solowiei – The Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn has seen many incredible games with large implications but this year’s edition could be the great ever. The undefeated Crimson Tide were well on their way to attempt a three peat as National Champions if they can only get past arch rival, Auburn. With one second left and tied at 28, Nick Saban sent out his backup kicker to attempt a 57 yard field goal. He came up short and the ball was returned 100 yards by Chris Davis for the game winning score crushing the Crimson Tide’s chances at a Three Peat and adding another layer to the Iron Bowl legacy. You tell me if the announcer was a bit excited.
YouTube Video of Auburn Athletics
Now you have seen some of the Sports Unbiased writers favorite sports moments of 2013. Do you agree? Was Mariano Rivera’s final Yankee Stadium moment tops? How about MMA, NBA Finals, or any other moment listed by our writers? Vote below if you agreed with any of these moments or leave a comment for any moment you think deserved to be included. Sports Unbiased loves feedback and user interaction so get to it and let your voice be heard.