News

A Number of Firsts Highlighted 2010 Year in Sports

Spain's David Villa, right, takes a penalty kick during the World Cup group H soccer match between Spain and Honduras at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Monday, June 21, 2010.
Spain's David Villa, right, takes a penalty kick during the World Cup group H soccer match between Spain and Honduras at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Monday, June 21, 2010.

Multimedia

Parke Brewer

The 2010 year in sports was an exciting one marked by a number of firsts.  Among them, Spain won its first World Cup football championship.  Serbia won its first Davis Cup title.  Caroline Wozniacki became the first Danish tennis player to be ranked number one in the world.  And American golf star Tiger Woods failed to win a tournament for the first time in his professional career - during a turbulent year in which he admitted the rumors of his infidelities were true.

For the first time ever, football's premier event, the World Cup, was held in Africa.  No one, either in the stadiums or watching on television, will forget the blaring vuvuzelas throughout the nine host cities.

The final was played at the huge Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg, where Spain captured its first World Cup with a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands in extra time, on a goal by Andres Iniesta.

In early December FIFA voted surprisingly for Russia to host the 2018 World Cup and for Qatar to become the smallest and first Middle East nation to host the tournament in 2022.

American golfer Tiger Woods dominated headlines in 2010 but mostly not for his game.  Rumors became reality when he admitted to a string of extra-marital affairs.  His reputation ruined, he lost millions of dollars in endorsements and was divorced by his Swedish wife Elin.  For the first time in his pro career, he did not win a tournament, and he fell from the number-one world ranking.  In team golf, Europe recaptured the prestigious Ryder Cup from the United States.

In tennis, Caroline Wozniacki did not win any of the major tournaments, but she won enough to become the first player from Denmark, male or female, to ascend to number one in the world.  American Serena Williams, injured for much of the year, captured  two of the four majors, the Australian Open and Wimbledon.  On the men's side, Rafael Nadal of Spain won the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, to regain the top ranking from Switzerland's Roger Federer.  

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics might be remembered more for their tragic start rather than their athletic feats.

In a training run the day of the Opening Ceremonies Nodar Kumaritashvili of Georgia was killed when his luge sled flew off the track into a support pole.  Warmer than normal weather resulted in snow being trucked in to Cypress Mountain and thousands of spectator tickets had to be canceled because the footing on top of the hay bales underneath was unsafe.  Still, competition went on.  Whistler Mountain events were not affected.  That's where alpine skier Lindsey Vonn became the first American woman to win the Olympic downhill gold medal.  Later in the season she was the first American -- and only second woman ever -- to win the overall World Cup title three straight seasons.

But despite tragedy and weather issues, the host Canadians rejoiced on the final day when their beloved men's ice hockey team captured the gold medal with a thrilling 3-2 overtime win over the United States.

In the professional hockey ranks, from which the Olympic teams were drawn, the Chicago Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup since 1961, beating the Philadelphia Flyers in six games.

The Los Angeles Lakers won their second straight National Basketball Association title, beating the Boston Celtics, four games to three, and Kobe Bryant was once again named Most Valuable Player.

Quarterback Drew Brees guided the New Orleans Saints to their first ever National Football League Super Bowl title.  Their 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts provided a big morale boost to the city five years after the ravages of Hurricane Katrina.

Baseball's San Francisco Giants won their first World Series since moving to California from New York back in 1958.  They were victorious in five games over the Texas Rangers, who appeared in their first World Series.  But sadly, the steroids issue made headlines in baseball as well.  New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez admitted he took performance-enhancing drugs while playing for the Texas Rangers six years ago.  On the other hand, retired star pitcher Roger Clemens was indicted on charges of lying to Congress two years ago, when he claimed he had never used performance-enhancing drugs.  His trial will be in 2011.

In the other bat and ball sport, Sachin Tendulkar of India became the first batsman to surpass 14,000 runs in test cricket.  And Sri Lankan bowler Muttiah Muralitharan retired with a world record 800 wickets, achieving the feat from his final ball in his final test match in July against India.

And in a thrilling Formula One season that came down to the final race, German driver Sebastian Vettel won his and the Red Bull team's first ever championship.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs