Most Memorable Sports Moments of 2021


Jalen Suggs shooting the last second 3 pointer to win the game

By Camilo Sanchez, Staff Writer

The year 2021 had a lot in store in terms of sports. With fans being able to enter stadiums again the atmosphere has changed. All sports have had memorable moments this past year, some more memorable than others.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which were moved to 2021 due to COVID -19, had many memorable and even unforgettable moments. One of those moments was when Simone Biles, a gymnast for Team USA brought the discussion of mental health to the front of newspapers. Biles withdrew from a team gymnastics event due to a medical issue. It was later revealed that this medical issue was not a physical issue but Biles was suffering from mental health issues. The Russian Olympic Committee ended up winning the team gold medal with a score of 169.528. The U.S. settled with silver with a tally of 166.096. The Americans did not win team gold for the first time since 2008.

In June of 2021, a controversial boxing match took place. Logan Paul, a social media star and content creator for Youtube, faced professional boxer Floyd Mayweather who has an undefeated record of 50-0. Many believed Paul had no chance against Mayweather for the fact that he had previously lost a boxing match against another youtuber who had very little experience boxing. Others believed that Paul’s six inch height advantage and 35 pound weight advantage would overpower Mayweather’s skill. Quite frankly, this was not the case. Paul lasted all 8 rounds in the ring with Mayweather but ESPN scored the fight in Mayweather’s favor, 78-74.

Senior at Wayne Hills Justin Polsky said “I really thought that Logan wouldn’t be able to land a punch on Floyd and would be quickly knocked out, but him being able to last 8 rounds in the ring with one of the best boxers in the world is a win for him.”

More recently, New York City Football Club secured their first MLS cup. The game played in Providence Park in Portland, Oregon had no scorers until Taty Morales’ beautiful header from Maxi Morales free kick in the 39th minute. NYCFC maintained their lead all the way until the 94th minute of the game when Timber’s forward Felipe Mora scored. This last second goal tied up the game and the teams went on to play in extra time. After another 30 minutes of extra time no one scored and off to penalties it went. In penalties NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson was able to save the first two shots taken by Portland Timber strikers. The game winning shot was taken by Alexander Callens from NYCFC and the final score of the penalties came out to 4-2. NYCFC won the MLS cup for the first time after only being a team in the MLS for 7 years.

Social studies teacher at Wayne Hills and sports connoisseur Mr. Hittinger was asked to share his top sports moments of 2021. As an avid fan of hockey, one of his picks was when an Eastern Conference team (Tampa Bay Lightning) played Eastern Conference team (Montreal Canadiens) in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1980. Mr. Hittinger said, “An all Canadian conference was the only good thing to come of the one year NHL realignment due to COVID… unlike the Flu Epidemic in 1919, the Stanley Cup Finals were still held, and it was in an intraconference matchup we may not see again until the next pandemic.” The Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup in five games, only losing the fourth game by one goal in overtime.

Mr. Hittinger also enjoyed watching college basketball this year, one of his favorite moments being when Gonzaga hit a desperation three point shot to defeat UCLA in overtime of the national semifinals and advanced to the National Championship. He said “Gonzaga vs. UCLA will forever be on the list of Top 10 March Madness moments! A year after the entire tournament was canceled, the entire country cheered in unison… (full disclosure… my brother and I jumped off the couch as Bill Raftery gave an emphatic, “ONIONS!” call to the CBS viewers).” Gonzaga unfortunately was not able to keep this momentum going, they lost to Baylor in the National Championship.