The year 2016 was quite a memorable year for sports fans. In this brief summary, I have highlighted some of the major happenings which took place in the sporting world during this year.
Football - In England, while Leicester proved that anything is possible and that some teams do in fact upset the bookmakers, Real Madrid proved that once again they are the undisputed Kings of Europe and Cristiano Ronaldo proved that for the time being, he has the bragging rights over Lionel Messi. While the unfortunate Argentine Maestro has to ponder yet again why he can't win a major trophy with his senior national team for the third straight year, the Portuguese star and his teammates have to thank UEFA for expanding the Euro tournament to the current 24-team format which saw them advance to the second stage of the competition despite not winning a single group game and going all the way to the final where they upset hosts France 1-0 in extra time. The French proved by this loss that they genuinely did win the World Cup in 1998 when they hosted it and that Brazil didn't "give" them the game. They also proved in the process that ten years after his retirement from the national team, they still can't win a major title without the great Zinedine Zidane.
Tennis - Maria Sharapova admitted that she doesn't read. Especially important emails which can potentially affect her career and that taking PED's to cheat in sports is a very "Russian" thing. Germany's Angelique Kerber showed that she definitely has what it takes to win in majors, but at 28 years of age, may not necessarily be the next Steffi Graf. Serena Williams showed that even at 35, she still has what it takes to win a Grand Slam and Novak Djokovic established himself among the all-time greats by finally winning the elusive French Open title much to the chagrin of Pete Sampras fans.
Athletics - Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson demonstrated that Jamaicans are the best at sprinting - especially at the Olympic Games and Almaz Ayana showed that Ethiopians are the dominant force in the 10,000 M. Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers proved that, despite their best efforts, European Sprinters still have some work to do to match their more established Jamaican counterparts. Brazilian Pole Vaulter Fabiana Murer proved that the Olympics are her jinx games after failing to register a mark in the qualifying round. The Women's Pole Vault competition had proven to be a somewhat boring affair at this year's Olympics especially without the Legendary Yelena Isinbayeva competing. But at least the eventual winner - Ekaterini Stefanidi dispelled the notion that Greece cannot produce true Olympic Champions in Track & Field because of past doping scandals involving the likes of Konstantinos Kenteris, Ekaterini Thanou and Fani Halkia.