The time has come for balance sheets and, except for some nostalgic people, no one wants to hear about 2020 again! It was, of course, a year full of challenges and (bad) news. Anyway, in good spirit and with renewed energy, we set out to do a review of the year passed highlighting ten moments we considered essential from this latest lap around the sun.
We start, of course, with the inevitable postponements that came about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic we are all living. Maybe this is a little strange, but our first highlight is a non-event. Or rather, several. From interrupted to finished championships to the postponement of the Olympic Games and the European Football Championship, this ill-fated disease has suspended competitions of all modalities and for all ages.
But 2020 was more than COVID 19...
At the start and the end of the year, we said goodbye to two of the greatest sportsmen who ever set foot on this planet, two symbols of the modalities they practised. We are obviously talking about Kobe Bryant and Diego Armando Maradona. Black Mamba and El Pibe leave a legacy that will hardly be forgotten.
With the bad news behind us, we now turn the consecration of the great motor racing idol, British driver Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton became the biggest winner in the history of Formula 1 this year, surpassing the records of the unavoidable Michael Schumacher.
On October 11, we witnessed the 13th victory at Roland Garros by Rafael Nadal. An even more impressive record if we consider that his first win happened back in 2005 and that this time around he won by an expressive 3-0 against his rival Novak Djokovic. Rafael Nadal thus earned his 20th Grand Slam title, dangerously approaching the record held by Roger Federer.
On that same day, the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA 10 years later. Therefore, LeBron James' team paid tribute to Astro Kobe Bryant's departure with an epic return to victory in exceptional conditions.
The end of an era
Finally, after 20 years at the same club, Lionel Messi announced that he would leave Barcelona. Lionel Messi had a year to forget: the star didn't celebrate a single conquest, something that hadn't happened since the distant year of 2008. The relationship with Barcelona's then-President Josep Maria Bartomeu went south as the football star made public his desire to move to another club. Messi would eventually stay at Barcelona, but he certainly shook up the structures at Camp Nou. And his contract ends next summer...
With so many changes and cancellations, let's stop here for a minute to applaud the ability of events such as the NBA and the UEFA Champions League to reinvent their competitions and get them through safely. The Security Bubble created in Orlando and the Final 8 in Lisbon were a success!
We don't highlight Portugal in vain: the country proved once again to be a fantastic destination with excellent infrastructures when organizing the MotoGP Grad Prix and the Formula 1 race as well. Portugal's reentry in both sports' circuits makes us very proud! It also shows that Move Sports' commitment to the country as a privileged destination for sports tours, training camps and tournaments is right.
Finally, we pay the due tribute to João Almeida. The young Portuguese cyclist showed his exceptional skills and talent on the 2020 Tour of Italy, keeping the pink jersey for 15 days and finishing in an honourable fourth place on his debut in the competition: the very best place from a Portuguese athlete in the Giro. And he is only 22 years old!
It's undeniable that 2020 was a challenging year! Rather than forgetting about it, we prefer to look at the last year as one to remember, given that we learned precious lessons from the hardships we had to endure.