We often look to sports for our heroes and inspiration. As children, we always want to be the fastest and strongest of our peers, but it is sometimes the super human effort or the dogged determination, which is responsible for our ability to succeed. There have been moments in sport when the world has sat on the edge of their seat and everyone watching had been drawn in to the moment. Those moments inspire more than any gold medal, any oversized trophy or any prize purse on offer. Here are some of the most inspirational people and events that people still remember today.
Jesse Owens – The Berlin Olympics
Jesse Owens is arguably the most inspirational character in the history of sport. Owens has inspired generations of African Americans since he was the first of his race to be included in the US Olympic squad. He was not only included, but he went on to win four gold medals in the Berlin Olympics that was organised by the Nazi party of Germany. He was the fastest man in the world over 100 and 200 metres. He won gold for sprinting in the 4×100 metre relay and he was the long jump gold winner proving that that there was no truth in the idea of the Hitler’s ‘Master Race’. He needed to overcome racial obstacles at home before being selected to go to the Olympics and Nazi Germany was never going to be an easy place to compete, but his wins started many in his position on the road to athletic glory.
Lance Armstrong – Tour de France
After suffering from cancer that had spread from his testicle throughout his body, Lance Armstrong’s career and life could have been over. He decided against the traditional Chemotherapy because it would have harmed his lungs and the rest of his body too much. The traditional route pumps the body full of toxins and that would have made it impossible to compete at sports if he managed to recover. The cancer had spread to his lungs and brain, but he decided to have an operation to remove the tumours rather than allow toxins to kill them in Chemotherapy. After his fight with cancer, he went back to cycling and became the winner of the Tour de France seven times in a row. No other athlete has ever come close to his record and it is more amazing because he had only managed to win two stages of the race prior to suffering from cancer.
James J Braddock – Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World 1935
Jim Braddock was known as the ‘Pride of the Irish’, but his best-known moniker is ‘Cinderella Man’. He was an undernourished dockyard worker during the time of the great depression and his family were known to struggle to have food on their table much of the time. He fought as an underdog all the way to the heavyweight world title after trying to earn money for food by prize fighting. He only started to win when a friend who would be his manager fed him before a fight and he realised that the reason he had lost so many fights was because Braddock was weak with hunger most of the time. His story inspired many who were poor and had no hope of escaping their situation.
Liverpool FC – The Champion’s League Final 2005
The game has become known as the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’ and it is when a team that had no right to be in the final proved that they deserved to lift the cup. At half time, Liverpool were losing by three goals to nothing and they had been totally outclassed by their Italian opponents AC Milan. Even the most die-hard fan could not see a way back for the once mighty reds. The second half started and Liverpool Captain Steven Gerrard came out playing like a man possessed and he managed to pull a goal back in the 54th minute. Two minutes later, Vladimir Smicer had brought Liverpool to within a goal. It was on the 60th minute of the game that Xabi Alonso found the net to level the scores. Istanbul went crazy and so did many millions of fans around the world. Imagine the odds you would have been offered for an in-play bet at half time for Liverpool to go on to win. After extra time, the game went to Penalties and Liverpool won the trophy for the fifth time.
Anyone would have made a lot of money if there was the opportunity of betting with Bet Victor at the time. Luckily, we can place bets online now, but this was not always the case.