The 10 most iconic photos in sports history

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Since its invention, the camera has served to document many historical events. In fact, in the age of information, photography is most probably the most widespread technique when it comes to illustrating a fact. In this context, the photographic image is a great tool for real objectivity and allows a representation of things as they are. Man has practiced sports for centuries… Tournaments, matches, races and other competitions attract everyone’s attention and everyone wants to know what feats their favorite athletes have achieved. From the historical victories to those unforgettable moments, here are 10 iconic photos in recent sports history.

{Black Panthers on a podium}

Tommie Smith and John Carlos in 1986

Tommie Smith and John Carlos in 1986

It was at the 1968 Olympics, during the awards for the Men’s 200 meter running event. 4 years had passed since the abolition of racial segregation in the United States and Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated just a few months before. The American sprinters Tommie Smith (gold medal) and John Carlos (bronze medal) took advantage of their time in the spotlight to spread a powerful message. Arm raised, clenched fist with a black glove like the Black Panthers, head down : it was a silent cry against the discrimination Black Americans were still victims of at the time. This image was published everywhere in the world and turned into a symbol of the civil rights movement.

{Muhammad Ali’s ring}

Muhammad Ali and Cleveland Williams

Muhammad Ali and Cleveland Williams

In this match considered by some as his best performance, Muhammad Ali knocks out his opponent. The angle of the picture is perfect as it reflects the stage-like aspect of the sport. We take a step back from the relentless noise of the ring to focus on the two main characters. Contrary to common belief, this photo was not taken at the end of the match. The two boxers would continue to fight through another 2 rounds before Williams finally gave in.

{The “hand of God”}

Maradona's famous foul play

Maradona’s famous foul play

During the 1986 World Cup, the Argentine player Diego Maradona scored a goal agains England with his hand. This goal, followed by another this time scored by foot, would allow Argentina to win the match and go on to the finals, which they won. At the end of the match, Maradona gave this polemic goal its nickname by commenting : “A little by the head of Maradona, a little by the hand of God”.

{Landing on one foot only}

Kerri Strug lands on one foot

Kerri Strug lands on one foot

Even though she was already injured at her left ankle, the American gymnast triumphantly achieved her second jump at vault and landed on only one foot. Despite what turned out to be a broken ankle, Strug shone through heroically, as thanks to her jump, she allowed her team to go up on the podium and better yet, win first place.

{A historical jump}

Bob Beamon beats a record with his 8.9 meter jump

Bob Beamon beats a record with his 8.9 meter jump

For more than 20 years, no one broke Bob Beamon’s record. While he had beaten his predecessor by almost 80 cm, the athlete who eventually beat him (Mike Powell) at the 1991 Tokyo Olympics only did so by 5 cm. This historical jump was captured in an image that has become iconic.

{A longly awaited victory}

Roger Federer, 2009

Roger Federer, 2009

A moving scene : Roger Federer wins the Roland Garros tournament for the first time. This victory marks the birth of a legend because this was the only Grand Slam title he could not boast having…

{“Tiger Slam”}

Tiger Woods and his audience in 2001

Tiger Woods and his audience in 2001

At only 25 years old, Tiger Woods won the world’s most prestigious gold tournament. He was the first player in the history of golf to have all 4 major titles. This historical event even had the American president at the time, George W. Bush, calling him to congratulate him.

{“Miracle on Ice”}

USA vs USSR

USA vs USSR

This meet between the American and Soviet hockey teams at the 1980 Winter Olympics attracted a lot of attention considering the tensions that existed between the 2 countries. The Americans have very little to no chance of winning as their opponents had won the last 6 out of 7 times. Which explains the name “Miracle on Ice”…

{An exceptional gymnast}

Nadia Comaneci

Nadia Comaneci

An extremely talented athlete, Nadia Comaneci was the first to obtain a perfect 10 at the 1976 gymnastics Olympics for uneven parallel bars. At 14 years of age, she executed her movement with incredible precision. Still the youngest gold medal olympian to this day, she would get 10/10 six more times during her career as gymnast.

 

{A symbolic exchange}

Moore and Pelé in 1970

Moore and Pelé in 1970

Following the 1-0 defeat of England against Brazil, the legendary players Bobby Moore and Pelé exchanged their shirts. This historical photo that was shown everywhere in the world is not only a call to love and respect one another but also a reminder that sports is a game where grudges and animosity should not exist.

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