Hot dogs, fireworks, and the red, white, and blue. The Fourth of July is upon us and as we celebrate our independence, we look back at five best moments in the history of American Sports. From recovering from tragedy to celebrating the most unlikely of upsets, there have been plenty of high moments for the United States on the playing field.
Did your favorite sports moment make the cut?
Here is a look at the five best moments in American sports history.
5. 1999 Women’s World Cup
The goal that sealed the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup. When extra time wasn’t enough and the game went to penalty kicks, Brandi Chastain, one of the last players people expected put a perfectly placed ball in the upper corner to win it all. Chastain proceeded to rip her jersey off and slid on her knee’s in what is now one of the most iconic celebrations of all time.
Not only was it a focal point for soccer in the states, but the moment was even sweeter due to the fact that it was one of the first times fans had embraced female athletes with such magnitude.
4. Phillies vs Mets May 1, 2011
45,713 fans packed Citizens Bank Park on a Sunday night in May for a heated game between the hometown Phillies and rival New York Mets, when in the top of the ninth the news broke that the decade-long manhunt for Osama Bin Laden was finally over. Chants of “USA” shook the stadium so much so that the game had to be paused to understand what was going on.
Players and fans rejoiced and instead of a hostile crowd at a rivalry game, we were all fans coming together at that moment.
3. Jesse Owens Wins Gold at the 1936 Olympics
Three years before the start of World War II, Adolf Hitler was amidst his rise to power as Germany hosted the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Despite the harsh prejudices, Jesse Owens went to Berlin and spat in the face of the Nazi regime as he took home four gold medals, representing not only the United States but minorities everywhere who were being looked down upon.
In 1955 President Eisenhower declared Owens the official Ambassador of Sports for the US.
2. George W. Bush Throws Out the First Pitch
At one of the darkest times in the nation’s history, a time of fear and restlessness, on a cold October night the world turned their attention to Game 3 of the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium. In light of the Sept. 11 attacks, President George W. Bush was set to throw out the first pitch of the first game held at Yankee Stadium.
With people still unsure as to whether there would be another attack, and numerous urges to not go through with it, President Bush decided to step out on that mound and fired a perfect strike. As the crowd erupted, it was more than just a pitch, it was a signal that we as a nation would not be intimidated or let anyone dictate our freedom.
1. Miracle on Ice
“Do you believe in miracles?! Yes!” Al Michael’s famous call from what should come as no surprise here, perhaps the greatest sports moment in American history, the Miracle on Ice. When the 1980 US Olympic Men’s Hockey team had a Cinderella run to the gold medal, the faced the imposing Soviet Union team in the semifinals.
The Soviets had been the most dominant team in hockey for years, decimating everyone they played, including the NHL All-Stars and even the same US team just before the Olympics officially began.
It has been said that no team has sparked the same sense of pride as the underdogs of the 1980 US hockey team.