The year 2012 will undoubtedly go into history books as one that saw victories, losses, excitement, drama and inspiration in the sporting arena. There were athletes who showed patriotism in the London Olympics, there were those who expressed the depth and strength of the human spirit to beat all odds and rise to stardom, while others fell into sheer disappointment and whose faces we may never see again!
1. Michael Phelps Makes History
American swimmer Michael Phelps overcame the challenges to become the most decorated Olympian of all time at the 2012 London Olympics. He won a total of 22 medals at the London finals, 18 of which were gold. He is considered the best Olympian ever having attained the record for most Olympics medals in a career.
2. David Rudisha Wins Olympic 800m
Kenya’s David Rudisha, 800m world record holder, broke his own record to clinch the gold medal at the London Olympics. He set the time at 1:40:91 to prove that he is still the master of the 800m, and not even Botwana’s 18-year-old Nijel Amos could match him.
3. Didier Drogba‘s Classic Exit
There is no better way for Drogba to have ended his stay at Chelsea than with the 89th minute equalizer against Bayern, and later on giving the Blues victory with his penalty shootout in the Champions League.
4. Manny Pacquiao Defeated
In June, World Boxing Champion Manny Pacquiao suffered his first loss since 2005. The Filipino was defeated by American Timothy Bradley. Again, he got a knockout in the 6th round in a bout pitting him against his arch-rival Juan Manuel Marquez that left him unconscious. This defeat saw him drop in rankings and later on talks of his retirement.
5. Chipolopolo Crowned Africa Cup of Nations Champs
19 years ago, Zambia lost its entire national team to a plane crash in Gabon. The national team has since been viewed as an underdog. However, they proved the continent and the whole world wrong when they held the Ivorians to a draw in a tense-filled 120 minutes. The penalty shootout bore fruits when the Zambians beat the Ivorians to clinch Africa’s most coveted trophy.
6. Stephen Kiprotich Wins Uganda’s First Medal
Nobody expected Kenyan-turned-Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich to win the men’s marathon at the London Olympics. He beat Kenya’s great names at the event to cross the line and win Uganda’s first medal in forty years.
7. LeBron James Wins First NBA Title
NBA superstar LeBron James led his team Miami Heat to clinch the 2012 NBA Championships. This becomes his first title. He put up a starling performance scoring 26 points, giving out 13 assists and hauling down 11 rebounds. This saw him become the first player since Magic Johnson to record a triple-double twice in a Finals series.
8. Jerry Sandusky Goes to Jail
In October, former Pennsylvania State American football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced between 30 and 60 years in jail. He was found guilty of 45 counts of child molestation. His victims, 10 in number, suffered in his hands for a period of 15 years. The coach who is said to have mentored one of the country’s most illustrious football teams is serving his term and has not given any apologies. Sources say he could be spending the rest of his life behind bars.