The month of July is filled with fireworks, friends, booze and memorable sports moments. From the Olympics to FIFA to Wimbledon, athletes from around the world help round out the times we still talk about today.
Fans cheered as the undefeated lost to the underdogs, the world’s greatest players announced their love for the game and athletes triumphed over an injury to create for some of the best staples of sports history.
Here are the top sports moments from the month of July.
5. Jeffries-Johnson World Championship Boxing Match
On July 4, 1910 Jack Johnson, a black American, defeated former heavyweight champion James J. Jeffries, a white American. During a time of rampant racism, this fight was nicknamed “The Fight of the Century,” and was covered heavily in the media.
Johnson defeated Jeffries and became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion.
4. Birth of the “Magnificent Seven” in the 1996 Olympics
At the 1996 Olympics, the women’s gymnastics team won a gold medal in the team competition in Atlanta.
It was the first ever team gold medal for the United States in gymnastics. The team was dubbed the “Magnificent Seven,” including Kerri Strug, Amy Chow, Amanda Borden, Dominique Dawes, Jaycie Phelps, Shannon Miller and Dominique Moceanu.
One of the most memorable moments was Strug, injured, landing her vault routine to clinch the medal.
3. 1981 Wimbledon Championships-Men’s Singles
The McEnroe-Borg rival was highly watched by a multitude of fans. After falling to Borg in the 1980 Wimbledon Championships, McEnroe was victorious in the 1981 finals. McEnroe ended Borg’s 41 straight wins on July 4, 1981. This was McEnroe’s first Wimbledon title.
2. 1999 Fifa Women’s World Cup
On July 10, 1999, United States women’s national soccer team defeated China in one of the most highly anticipated World Cup Championships. The team won on penalty kicks, the game-winner scored by Brandi Chastain, as 90,185 fans cheered them on. It was the most-watched soccer game in US history and the first time the host team won on their own turf.
1. Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man Speech”
On July 4, 1939 was Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day and the day of the memorable “Luckiest Man Speech.” The Hall of Famer had only two years left to live and shared how he was feeling with the fans.
“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”
Gehrig will always be remembered as a Yankee favorite and in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was the captain of the Yanks up until his death in 1941.