2. Oscar Pistorius accused of murder — Feb. 14
disbelief greeted the news that Oscar Pistorius, who triumphed over
disability to compete with able-bodied athletes at the Olympics, had
shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day. South
Africa's "Blade Runner", a double amputee who uses carbon-fiber
prosthetic blades to compete, will be tried for murder next year.
Pistorius told a Pretoria bail hearing: "I am absolutely mortified
by the events and the devastating loss of my beloved Reeva."
3. Andy Murray wins Wimbledon — July 7
Andy Murray ended Britain's
77-year wait for a Wimbledon men's champion by vanquishing Novak Djokovic in an electric final at the All England Club in July.
Willed on by thousands of Union Jack-waving fans on Centre Court and
millions across Britain, the Scot won tennis's most prestigious
title in straight sets. Murray told Reuters: "I know what it feels
like to lose in finals, in a Wimbledon final, but now I know what it
feels like to win and that's certainly a lot better."
4. Oracle comeback secures America's Cup — Sept. 25
Ellison's Oracle Team USA capped an incredible comeback to retain
the America's Cup in San Francisco after a winner-takes-all showdown
with Emirates Team New Zealand. Hit with a pre-match penalty that
required Oracle to win 11 races on the water, the American boat
appeared to be down and out at 8-1 behind. But helped by speed
improvements and installing Britain's multi Olympic champion Ben
Ainslie as team tactician, Oracle reeled off race after race to win
sailing's biggest trophy.
5. Alex Ferguson announces retirement — May 8
The news was not
entirely unexpected but it still stunned British soccer. Alex
Ferguson, the country's longest-serving and most decorated soccer
manager, announced he was retiring after more than 26 years and
1,500 matches at the helm of Manchester United. The 71-year-old
Scot's era at Old Trafford brought the northern English club 13
league titles, two European Cups, five FA Cups and four League Cups.
6. Mariano Riveira retires — Sept. 26
Baseball's greatest closer
was reduced to tears on the mound as he brought the curtain down on
a stellar 19 years in Major League Baseball. The New York crowd rose
to their feet, chanting Rivera's nickname "Mo". "It definitely was a
magic moment," said Rivera, who rose from poverty in Panama to be
one of the most revered players in America's favorite pastime. He
recorded 652 saves and served as the Yankees' closer for 17 seasons.
7. Yelena Isinbayeva thrills home crowd at worlds — Aug. 13
Russian Yelena Isinbayeva pulled off a winning leap when it mattered
most to claim her third world title in front of a partisan home
crowd in Moscow. The double Olympic champion was the only vaulter to
jump 4.89 meters. "I'm the pole vault queen, the crowd is mine,"
said the 31-year-old who then sparked controversy with comments on
Russia's anti-gay laws. Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won three
titles at the championships.
8. Gareth Bale joins Real Madrid — Sept. 1
Ending months of
speculation, Tottenham Hotspur forward Gareth Bale finally put pen
to paper and joined Real Madrid for a world-record transfer fee of
100 million euros ($132 million). The fee eclipsed the previous
record of 94 million euros that Real paid for Cristiano Ronaldo from
Manchester United in 2009. The Welshman said Spurs would "always be
in my heart" before jetting off to Madrid to take his place among
[to top of second column]
9. Red Sox win World Series for wounded Boston — Oct. 30
closer Koji Uehara struck out Matt Carpenter for the final out as
the Red Sox clinched their first World Series at Fenway Park since
the 1918 championship. The win came six months after the city was
shocked by the deadly marathon bombings, and the Red Sox had emerged
as a beacon of hope for Boston. Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, who won
the Most Valuable Player award, said of Boston: "We stick together.
It's a family, and we fight against the world."
10. Sachin Tendulkar's last test — Nov. 16
Indian batsman Sachin
Tendulkar struggled to hold back the tears after calling time on a
24-year cricket career in Mumbai, his birthplace. The "Little
Master" finished his career as the sport's most prolific
international run-scorer but was unable to sign off with a century
against West Indies in his 200th and final test. "My life's been 22
yards for 24 years," said Tendulkar who scored 15,921 test and
18,426 ODI runs.
Wrestling dropped from Olympics — Feb. 12
Wrestling fans were
shocked when the IOC announced it was dropping the sport from the
Olympic program because of its failure to modernize after decades of
waning interest. Wrestling responded by overhauling its rules,
administration and gender equality policy and was reinstated for the
2020 Games. The sport featured in the ancient Olympics as well as
every modern Games, apart from 1900.
Sabine Lisicki's meltdown in Wimbledon final — July 6
dispatched defending champion Serena Williams and last year's
runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska on her way to the Wimbledon final but
found nerves a tougher opponent than Marion Bartoli. The German
succumbed to the pressure and sobbed her way through a 6-1 6-4
defeat. Former men's champion John McEnroe said: "There would have
been no place Lisicki would rather have been an hour ago. Now it's
the last place she wants to be."
Sebastian Vettel ignores team orders — March 24
cruised to a fourth successive Formula One title but his road to the
championship hit a speed bump in Malaysia when he chose to defy his
team's orders and overtake Red Bull team mate Mark Webber. Vettel
was told to stay behind Webber, with both asked to save their tires
and fuel to ensure a one-two finish. Vettel said: "I am the black
sheep right now ... all I can say is apologies to Mark." The
relationship between the two deteriorated beyond repair.
(Editing by Robert Woodward)
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