The 50 best sports photos of 2016

source
Ezra Shaw/Getty

2016 was a wild year for sports.

There were comebacks, like the Cleveland Cavaliers coming back from a 3-1 deficit and then winning the NBA championship in a dramatic Game 7, giving Cleveland its first NBA title.

There was the Chicago Cubs’ breaking a century-old curse and winning the World Series in a gripping seven-game series over, coincidentally, the Cleveland Indians.

Elsewhere, Peyton Manning concluded one of the greatest careers in NFL history with a Super Bowl title, Leicester City overcame 5,000-to-1 odds to win the Premier League, and Kris Jenkins sealed an NCAA championship for Villanova with a miracle of a shot.

And this is all without mentioning the Rio Olympics, which saw Michael Phelps cement his legacy while young American athletes like Katie Ledecky just began to shape their own.

These amazing moments and more were captured in stunning photography from outlets like Getty and the Associated Press.

While we couldn’t compile every great photo that captured the biggest moments in sports this year, here are some of our favorites.


Usain Bolt cruises to an easy win in the men’s 100-meter semifinal at the Rio Olympics.

source
Cameron Spencer/Getty

LeBron James makes a stunning chase-down block in the final minutes of Game 7 of the NBA Finals. He would later call it the most important play of his career.

source
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty

Read more: LeBron James says this play is the most important of his career so far


Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant celebrates after making the final out of Game 7 of the World Series.

source
Ezra Shaw/Getty

Moments later, the Cubs celebrated their first championship since 1908.

source
David J. Phillip/AP

Simone Biles momentarily defeats gravity.

source
Lars Baron/Getty

Peyton Manning celebrates winning the Super Bowl to cap off his final season in the NFL.

source
Patrick Smith/Getty

Cam Newton was not a happy camper after the Super Bowl.

source
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Neymar brings home a gold medal for Brazil at the Rio Olympics.

source
Laurence Griffiths/Getty

Jonnie Peacock of Great Britain wins his second straight gold medal in the 100 meters at the Rio Paralympics.

source
Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images

Simone Manuel reacts after tying for first place, becoming the first African-American woman to win gold in an individual swimming event.

source
Adam Pretty/Getty

Novak Djokovic breaks down after an early exit at the Rio Olympics.

source
Clive Brunskill/Getty

LeBron James weeps after the Cavaliers completed a comeback to win the Finals, bringing Cleveland its first NBA championship.

source
Ezra Shaw/Getty

Miami Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds consoles Dee Gordon after he hit a home run in his first at-bat following the death of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez.

Read more: Marlins player cries after hitting leadoff home run in first at-bat after Jose Fernandez’s death


Iceland players lead fans in an organized celebration during their surprise run at Euro 2016.

source
Claude Paris/AP

An Australian archer takes aim with a Rio favela in the background.

source
Quin Rooney/Getty

Villanova’s Kris Jenkins lets go of the winning buzzer-beating 3-pointer in the NCAA title game.

source
David J. Phillip/AP

Katie Ledecky breaks away to win gold during the 400-meter freestyle.

source
Al Bello/Getty

Ledecky’s teammates react after Ledecky pulled off a comeback to win gold in the 4×200-meter relay.

source
Tom Pennington/Getty

British cyclist Chris Froome runs up a mountain at the Tour de France after an ugly crash.

source
Bernard Papon/AP

Sidney Crosby celebrates winning the Stanley Cup.

source
Christian Petersen/Getty

Christ the Redeemer looks down on a Japanese boat at the Rio Olympics.

source
Clive Mason/Getty

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick celebrate a playoff win during the 2015 postseason.

source
Maddie Meyer/Getty

Serena Williams celebrates after winning Wimbledon, tying Steffi Graf with 22 majors.

source
Julian Finney/Getty

Lawrence Erekosima of Alabama plays in the confetti after helping Alabama beat Clemson to win the national championship.

source
Harry How/Getty

Tiger Woods returns to the golf course for the first time in over a year at the Hero World Challenge.

source
Christian Petersen/Getty

Stephen Curry lies flat on the ground in Game 6 of the NBA Finals after a collision with LeBron James.

source
Jason Miller/Getty

Silver medalist Claire Cashmore of Great Britain, left, gold medalist Katarina Roxon of Canada, center, and bronze medalist Ellen Keane of Ireland celebrate their Paralympic medals won during the 100-meter breaststroke.

source
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon leaps over a mascot during the dunk contest at the NBA’s All-Star Weekend.

source
Vaughn Ridley/Getty

Dodgers fans applaud longtime announcer Vin Scully during his final game as a broadcaster.

source
Harry How/Getty

Michael Phelps’ rival Chad le Clos looks at Phelps mid-race.

source
Martin Meissner/AP

Rickie Fowler shrugs in the middle of some kissing couples after Team USA’s win at the Ryder Cup.

source
Sam Greenwood/Getty

Divers plunge into the mysteriously green diving pool at the Rio Olympics.

source
Matt Dunham/AP

Kobe Bryant walks off the court after scoring 60 points in the final game of his career.

source
Mark J. Terrill/AP

Leicester celebrates winning the Premier League championship, overcoming 5,000-1 odds.

source
Michael Regan/Getty

Leicester fans celebrate as heartily after their team secured the championship.

source
Ross Kinnaird/Getty

Maria Sharapova speaks at a press conference after testing positive for a banned substance.

source
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Brownlee brothers collapse at the finish line after winning gold and silver in the triathlon.

source
Bryn Lennon/Getty

Fencers lunge at the Rio Olympics.

source
Matthias Hangst/Getty

Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche flips upside down after a huge hit from the Capitals’ Dmitry Orlov.

source
Rob Carr/Getty

Stephen Curry with Kevin Durant after the Warriors beat the Thunder to advance to the NBA Finals. Perhaps he said, “See you soon” — Durant joined the Warriors one month later.

source
Ezra Shaw/Getty

Jordan Spieth suffers an agonizing meltdown over the final holes of The Masters.

source
Chris Carlson/AP

Fans pay tribute to the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real at the club’s stadium in Chapeco after 19 players were killed in a plane crash in the Colombian mountains.

source
Buda Mendes/Getty

Crowds gather in Muhammad Ali’s childhood neighborhood during his funeral procession.

source
Mark Humphrey/AP

Colin Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid take a knee during a the national anthem of a September game to protest social injustice.

source
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

A table-tennis player concentrates diligently during a match at the Rio Olympics.

source
Mike Ehrmann/Getty

Irish boxer Michael Conlan expresses his displeasure with the judges after a loss in the Rio Olympics.

source
Jae C. Hong/AP

Tim Tebow reacts after hitting a home run at his first at-bat with the Mets.

source
Luis M. Alvarez/AP

Mongolian wrestling coaches protest a result by stripping on the mat.

source
Laurence Griffiths/Getty

J.R. Smith takes a shirtless selfie at the Cavaliers’ championship parade.

source
Mike Lawrie/Getty

Ben Roethlisberger throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins under some near perfect conditions in Miami.

source
Mike Ehrmann/Getty

Now, take a look at what happened to the other coaches in the NBA when the Spurs hired Gregg Popovich…

source
Bahram Mark Sobhani/AP

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? The other coaches in the NBA when Gregg Popovich took over the Spurs in 1996 >