Victories, sorrows, returns, firsts, postponed organizations … What happened in the sports world in 2020?
Tribunes without spectators, postponed organizations … The world of sports found itself in a dystopia scenario in 2020. The coronavirus pandemic, which changed the life on the planet, revealed a completely different picture in sports.
One of the symbols of 2020 was the Olympic Games. Sport’s oldest tradition has postponed for the first time in the modern era. The delay of games in Tokyo for the summer of 2021 cost the Japanese government $ 2.8 billion.
The European Championship, one of the biggest festivals of football, was also in the shadow of the pandemic. Italy and Turkey will make the opening match of the tournament was moved to 2021.
European football also had to give up its habits. The Istanbul final in the Championship League, which gave a virus break, left its place to the 8th final in Lisbon. The Europa League ended with the same scenario with the Sevilla classic in Germany.
Bayern Munich was the superpower of the season leading up to the summer months. The Bavarian team, which completed the season without defeat during the return between the pandemic, became the sole owner of the summit in the Champions League and Bundesliga.
The crisis was great in Barcelona, which played a role in Bayern Munich’s adventure. Catalans waking up from the dream after the 8-2 historical defeat shaken by Messi’s demand for separation.
The crisis, which has become the most talked about topic of summer, has been postponed like many things in 2020. The star player, who could not afford the free release fee in his contract, remained in the club after 10 days of meeting. However, he did not hide his disagreement with the management. Bartomeu administration, the target of the legend, could not resist much. Barcelona will elect its new president in January.
Camp Nou was dark and Real Madrid was light. The Magenta Whites regained the championship throne in La Liga after Zidane’s return to coaching.
In England, on the other hand, the expected moment was experienced for years. Klopp’s Liverpool dominated the Premier League and sang championship songs 30 years later. However, this enthusiasm was outside of Anfield Stadium. The fans, who could not enter the stands due to the pandemic measures, frantically celebrated the victory that came after a quarter of a century on the streets of the city.
In Italy, there was no surprise. Juventus celebrated its 9th consecutive championship.
The pandemic in France put an end to the season. With the recommendation of the government, registered 10 weeks before the end, Paris Saint-Germain at the top was declared the champion.
The virus has had a huge impact on the football economy. The income loss in world football has reached 14 billion Euros. Non-spectator matches and reduced broadcasting revenues also affected the transfer market. Summer 2020 was far from record signatures. Real Madrid, the biggest star of the transfer seasons, had the first transfer-free summer in its history.
Life stopped in basketball. Turkish Airlines was unable to complete the season for the first time in Euroleague history.
While the flooring remained empty in Europe, the NBA economy did not accept this risk. The story of basketball’s number one stage with the virus started with an important lesson. The star center of the Utah Jazz, Rudy Gobert, downplayed the pandemic at the press conference on March 7. After 3 days, the virus test was positive. The NBA management suspended the season on March 11.
Pandemic season ended in the bowl of high-level measures in Orlando. While the teams gathered in a single campus, the audience shared the excitement from the beginning of the screen. An old champion was on stage in the new world. Led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat in the final series and won the trophy 10 years later.
While the Lakers shared the championship record for arch-rival Boston Celtics, LeBron James celebrated the championship with the third team in his career.
LeBron James wasn’t just busy with basketball in 2020. The star actress was also in the first line in the racism protests memorized. After the murder of George Floyd, the teams did not appear on the field for two days, but the season continued with the agreement between the league management and the players to fight racism.
NBA stars also played an active role in the November presidential election. While athletes made the agenda with Trump criticisms, LeBron James was named “Sportsman of the Year” by Time Magazine for his stance against social injustice.
Another organization that faced the problem of racism was Formula 1. Lewis Hamilton, who supported the protests that spread from the United States to the world, drew attention to the difficulties experienced by minorities in motor sports.
Hamilton made history on the runways while reflecting on social issues. Blowing like a storm in the 17-race season shortened by the pandemic, the British broke the records. Having captured Michael Schumacher’s race-winning record, Hamilton is also the new partner of the legend’s symbolic record.
The Mercedes pilot, who declared the 7th world championship of his career with an epic victory in Istanbul Park, is one step away from leaving Schumacher behind.
2020 Schumacher brought different emotions to its fans. While the legend’s records were diminishing one by one, his son Mick Schumacher entered the sparkling scene of motorsports with his Formula 2 championship epaulet.
There were also moments of fear in Formula 1. On the Mugello Track, pilots tried to escape the chaos. But the main tension was in Bahrain. Romain Grosjean, who was trying to get rid of his car that turned into a fireball by splitting in two, fought for 28 seconds on the edge of life. The French pilot, who survived the accident with burns, ended his Formula 1 career.
The memories of tennis caught in the tournament calendar virus barrier are just scandals. The main actor of the events is the men’s world number 1 Novak Djokovic. The Serbian tennis player, who invited the tennis stars to the Adriatic Tour during the days of isolation, became the target of criticism due to the organization that will be on the agenda with the cases that emerged afterwards.
Djokovic was not satisfied with that. The fourth round of the US Open, where he came undefeated after his Australian Open victory, became a key stage he would want to forget in his career. Djokovic, who was expelled from the tournament due to the ball hitting the line referee in the part where the game was stopped, suddenly became the number 1 of the discussions.
The unchanging rule of tennis was in effect in Paris. Rafael Nadal, who won his 13th victory at the French Open, caught Roger Federer, who had 20 trophies in the Grand Slam championships. A record that seems impossible to break took its place in the dusty pages of its history in 2020.
Armand Duplantis, who took to the track in the Diamond League races in Rome on September 17, opened the door to a new era in pole vaulting. The golden boy of athletics, who improved 1 centimeter to the 26-year outdoor record of the legendary laner Sergey Bubka, was now a world star when he posed with a rating of 6.15.
The modern genius of chess, Magnus Carlsen, also enriched his record collection. The Norwegian grandmaster took his invincibility streak into 111 games.
The duel of the year in boxing was between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. Fury, who overthrew Wilder by knockout, took the WBC heavyweight champion belt.
Ring legend Mike Tyson took the stage at the age of 54. Facing Roy Jones in the show match, “Iron Mike” left with a draw after his first fight 15 years later.
Slovenia with a population of 2 million has surpassed the whole world in road cycling. Tadej Pogacar, 21, who won the Tour de France. Became the youngest athlete to wear the yellow jersey in the past 116 years. Another Slovenian Primo Roglic on the Spanish Cycling Tour ended the season full of surprises by climbing to the top of the podium.
2020, which left unpleasant memories in sports fans, is now being replaced by 2021. Large organizations postponed to the new year will be a beacon of hope for humanity to return to normal.