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Partner link: Top 10 Sportsmanship Moments 2017 (part 2)

Part 1 covered sportsmanship moments number 10 to moment number 6 which included brave little Bradley Lowery, Joe Hart, French rugby and German football fans opening their homes to opposition fans, a subtle, yet magical moment in the US Masters between a Spaniard and an Englishman and a US Baseball moment. Now we’re going to reveal the Top Sportsmanship Moment of 2017 – starting with the 5th best moment.

5. All Blacks v Lions 3rd Test

A fantastic test series amidst an arduous tour of 10 games in 5 weeks – coach, Warren Gatland christened it ‘the suicide tour’. The Lions had 5 wins, 4 defeats and a draw in their bruising 10 match tour. And they somehow drew the test series. So the victory presentation and photos had both teams mixed in together with both captains, Kieran Read and Sam Warburton,   sharing and holding the trophy aloft. Both were smiling.

Kieran Read (wearing his 100th cap cap) & Sam Warbuton - all smiles

Kieran Read (wearing his 100th cap ‘cap’) & Sam Warburton – all smiles

Some might feel a draw was a good result for the Lions and a not-so-good result for the ABs, but the smiles in the photo here say it all – it was a thrilling 3rd and final test.   kiwi captain, Kieran Read, was terrific -he  seemed to realise the battle was over and beamed a genuine sportsmanship smile throughout the whole proceedings, despite some players finding it all a bit awkward (as most of them, if not all of them, have never shared/drawn a test series before).

 

4. Lewis Hamilton Risks Title & Lets Team-Mate Overtake Him   

Lewis Hamilton slowed down at the last bend of the Hungarian GP to allow his Mercedez team mate, Valterri Bottas, to overtake him & take his 3rd place spot, and enjoy a spot on the podium.  That cost Hamilton three points and would ultimately reduce his total score – so come the end of the season, this could have cost him the world championship.

Earlier in the race, Bottas was ordered to allow Hamilton past him so Hamilton could pursue Vettel and his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.  Hamilton, promised he would give the place back to Bottas if he couldn’t catch the Ferrari duo. He honoured his promise and pulled aside for his team-mate on the final corner of the final lap – despite reducing his score. Many world championships have been lost by less than 3 points but we’re happy to confirm, Hamilton did go on to win the 2017 World Championship.

 

3. Claudio Ranieri Leicester City’s Sacked Manager’s  Honourable Exit Speech,

After being voted coach of the year in 2016 and winning the Premier League  against 5000-1 odds, Leicester City were struggling in 2017 and the manager, Ranieri, was shockingly sacked.  before he left,  he made an honourable and dignified farewell speech – without any bitterness, no vitriol nor vile, just love. Here’s some excerpts from his final, and most beautiful, goodbye speech:

The adventure was amazing and will live with me forever. Thank you to all the journalists and the media who came with us and enjoyed reporting on the greatest story in football.  My heartfelt thanks to everybody at the Club, all the players, the staff, everybody who was there and was part of what we achieved. But mostly to the supporters.

You took me into your hearts from day one and loved me. I love you too.

No one can ever take away what we together have achieved, and I hope you think about it and smile every day the way I always will.

It was a time of wonderfulness and happiness that I will never forget.

It’s been a pleasure and an honour to be a Champions with all of you.”  Full speech

Ranieri will be forever loved by all Leicester City fans and I think all football fans. Here are some   funny  clips from his video interviews – published by Leicester City FC.

 

 

2. Anthony Joshua’s Classy Tribute to Wladimir Klitschko’

Joshua is a great ambassador for sport. He doesn’t do pre-match bad mouthing the opposition. He treats them with respect, in such a serious and dangerous sport. His first social media message after his epic world title fight against the Ukranian, Wladimir Klitschko: Joshua tweeted to his half-million followers: ‘Styles make fights. Respect @klitschko_official’.

Joshua instagram message of respect to his opponent

After the fight, in front of 90,000 fans in Wembley, Joshua posted a message of respect to his opponent

Klitschko also praised Joshua via social media and in his press interviews. Mutual respect between two top pro’s.

 

1. Thailand’s New Snooker Star, Sunny Akani, says ‘Thank You For The Game’ to his victor, Ronnie O’Sullivan

During a World Class Battle – a Star & a Friend-For-Life emerged in early just 3 weeks ago (7 Dec).  A new kid on the block, who took on the world’s best and gave a masterclass in the exquisite skills of snooker combined with the wonderful warmth of great sportsmanship.

Thailand’s 22 year old Sunny Akani, dazzled the 5 times world champ, Ronnie O’Sullivan and when things went wrong for the young Thai – he just smiled, repeatedly. Such was the mutual respect and warmth of friendship between the two, that they did the post-match interview together. Sunny said Ronnie was his hero. And then he thanked Ronnie for the game. So few remember that without an opposition you don’t have a game -hence thanking the opposition is so refreshing to hear.

To see the commentators’ reaction to Sunny & his snooker shots – watch the above video. If you just want to see the wonderful interview between two new lifelong friends – skip forward to 11 mins 20 seconds)

Ronnie said British audiences already love Sunny because (not only is he brilliant) but he ‘played with a smile on his face.’ Audiences love that, said Ronnie. They then both bowed to each other with the prayer-like ‘Wai’   gesture & then briefly spoke Thai to each other whilst wearing great big grins!

Absolutely beautiful – watch this video to the end because a star is born.  Congratulations to Sunny Akino on achieving the number one sportsmanship moment 2017 and to Ronnie for being, well… the wonderfully humble, honest, humorous, friendly and most talented, Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Happy New Year To One and All

—end—

If you liked this, you might also like:

Part 1 of 2017 Sportsmanship Moments

The Power of A Smile

 

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Partner link: Top 10 Sportsmanship Moments 2017

Here we are, once again, reviewing the year. Some great stories this year, plus a surprising number 1 moment. We’ll start with number 10 and work our way down to the number 1 moment – which surprises many but once they see the video – they get it!

Having just completed the BBC Radio London interview with the amazing host, Phil Parry, we are awaiting confirmation as to when exactly the Top 10 will be released – probably Wed 27 Dec.

We will release just numbers 10 to 6 for now and we will wait until BBC Radio London announce our final choice before publishing the remaining numbers 5 to 1, with 1 being 1st place, or the Top Moment…. so pls bear with me.

Meanwhile, here are numbers 10- 6…….

 

Number 10.

Moment/s of Kindness with the wonderful Bradley Lowery (so many moments….)

Jermaine Defoe became friends with the six-year-old, terminally ill little Sunderland supporter, the wonderful Bradley Lowery. They met when Bradley was a mascot & they became great friends. Little Bradley’s   bravery, humour and warmth of character inspired Jermaine & (in Jermaine’s own words) taught Jermaine a lot about the precious gift of life & love.

 

There were many magical moments – which you can see Jermaine talking about on video. But there’s one in particular …

Jermaine was playing for England at Wembley and had Bradley with him as a mascot in the queue in the tunnel, when Joe Hart, the England captain, turned around and asked Jermaine to lead the team out with Bradley – an incredible gesture by Joe Hart. Full story here.

Bradley Lowery Foundation to help other children

Bradley Lowery Foundation to help other children

Incidentally, little Jermaine’s parents got a standing ovation at the BBC Sports Personality of the year awards when they announced the Bradley Lowery Foundation to help other children.

 

9.  Racing 92 Rugby Club Invite Munster Rugby Fans to Stay With Them 

When they rescheduled Champions Cup match because of the sudden death of the Munster coach,  Anthony Foley (in Paris on the morning of the match), Racing 92 RFC sent a message to Munster Supporters Club inviting fans, when they return to Paris, to stay with the Racing 92 fans homes – as it is expensive to have to travel to Paris twice for one game.

This trip was already very emotional for the many Munster fans. And now this great French club do this?

“We are absolutely blown away by it. As a supporters club, we are deeply appreciative of the offer, we don’t even have the words to express our gratitude to Racing supporters,”

Ian Buckley, secretary of Munster Rugby Supporters Club.

Racing 92 and Munster logos

Racing 92 and Munster – friends for life

The brotherhood of rugby knows no bounds. These two clubs are friends for life now.

And, good news, it’s not just the brotherhood or rugby that knows no bounds… the brotherhood of football is alive as well too……

 

8  Dortmund Open Their Homes To Monaco Fans  

After the Champions League match was postponed for a day because of three explosions aimed at the Dortmund team bus (with only one relatively minor injury)   caused the game to be postponed by one day.

Dortmund’s official Twitter account called on their own fans to help out their Monaco fans, using the hashtag #BedForAwayFans.

Dortmund FC tweet asking their fans to help Monaco fans

Dortmund FC ask their fans to help Monaco fans

The next day at the match the Monaco fans  chanted  ‘Dortmund, Dortmund’ – you can see it and hear it all here .

 

7. Magical Masters Moment in Augusta

Spain’s Sergio Garcia and Britain’s Justin Rose were both trying to win their first U.S. Masters when a special moment occurred on the 15th hole.  Both players were playing ‘incredible golf’.

Augusta, Georgia

Augusta, Georgia

Garcia got an eagle & then Rose putted a very high pressure birdy to keep the score level. As they walked off the green, Garcia, patted Rose on the back amidst a fantastic battle in arguably, the greatest golf tournament in the World, The Masters in Augusta.

https://goo.gl/images/yGF81p

the beautiful Hogan Bridge, Augusta

Friendship & encouragement of your opponent during the heat of battle – extraordinary stuff.

BTW, Garcia won it in the end, on the day, that would have been his hero, Seve Ballesteros’, 60th birthday.

 

6. Baseball’s Respect & Friendship Among Competitors

Texas Rangers Baseball star, Adrian Beltre made his 3,000th career hit in Major League Baseball. The next day, the Rangers played the Mariners in Seatle and Beltre faced ace pitcher Felix Hernandez.

Hernandez was about to pitch to Beltre, when he stopped,…. walked over to  Beltre and gave him a  quick hug (for reaching the career milestone, the night before), then walked back and pitched at him.

An old baseball ball

Baseball respect and friendship

It was a quick moment … a public display of friendship & respect between two opposition players.  You can see it here.

 

Coming soon …. after BBC Radio London sports show host, Phil Parry announces the winner plus broadcasts the interview with me covering all 10 Top 10 Sportsmanship Moments of 2017.

 

Partner link: Top 10 Sportsmanship Moments 2016

Well here we are again, having sifted through hundreds of amazing sportsmanship stories, we’ve final got out Top 10 moments and ultimately, the Number 1 Moment from 2016. As always, we’ll do it in reverse order.

 

In 10th Place:   Irish and Swedish Football Fans Dance Together – Euro 2016

sw-irl

Swedish and Irish fans happily sing Abba together before their big Euro 2016 match

Euro 2016 had some good football and some really great fun between the fans. Jointly singing to the famous Swedish band, Abba, Irish & Swedish fans joined together and had a lot of fun dancing in the sunshine together. Followed by a great game of football (1-1), followed by more dancing, singing and all round fun. THIS IS A CELEBRATION OF THE BROTHERHOOD OF FOOTBALL – watch the smiling faces .

In 9th Place: Indian and English Cricket Fans:  Opposition Fans Swap Shirts

English cricket fan swaps shirt with Indian fan

English cricket fan salutes india’s superiority and swaps shirts

Victorious Indian cricket fan swaps shirt with heavily beaten English fan. Just look at all the smiling faces as the Englishman is big enough to acknowledge that India are the top team this time around.  Watch the smiling faces as Indians all around him applaud and smile warmly.

In 8th Place: Fijian Rugby Never Gives Up

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Keep Trying For 60 Years & Then Win Gold – Fiji Olympic Heroes. For the first time ever in the history of the Olympics, the Fijian National Anthem was played as the Rugby 7s team stood on the podium and celebrated their first Olympic gold medal. The Fijians have, in my opinion, played the most exciting 15 a side rugby for a long, long time. The ‘voice of rugby’,  Bill McLaren, used to describe the Fijians as the most exciting rugby players in the world. Sadly, New Zealand poach many of their best players which dilutes their chances in the 15 a-side-game. Perhaps this historic Olympic win will help them find a sponsor and to ultimately retain their best players. Many congratulations to the brilliant Fijian rugby nation.
Fiji @fiji Tourism Fiji High Commission of Fiji, London Fiji Rugby Fiji national rugby sevens team Fiji National University (FNU) National Archives of Fiji

 

In 7th Place: British Olympian Loses Crown With Dignity (& Friendship)

Photo of Jessica Ennis-Hill throwing the javlin

Jessica Ennis-Hill

Great Britain’s Jessica Ellis-Hill shows great humbleness in losing her Olympic title to Germany’s brilliant  Nafi Thiam in  #Rio2016Olympics. The young German produced 5 personal bests (out of 7 disciplines) to beat the #London2012 heptathlon champion. Look at the photos and you’ll see Ellis Hill smiling warmly and embracing the young German. What a great champion Jessica Ellis -Hill was – she knew how to win and how to lose – with dignity and warmth.

 

In 6th Place: Athletics: Never Give Up – Even When The Chips Are Down

Former refugee, Britain’s Mo Farah fell over mid race in the 10,000m final in #Rio2016, got up, dusted himself off and went on to win the race and a gold medal.  Mo Farah’s parents were refugees from Mogadishu, Somalia and young Mo found life very difficult in Britain, getting into trouble. Tomorrow, he is being awarded a knighthood by the Queen in Buckingham Palace when the Queen will say ‘Arise Sir Mo’. He already did, bristling with bravery and buckets of courage, he never gave up, even when things went horribly wrong and went on to win gold.

 

In 5th Place: Wise Words From A Baseball Manager:

The Chicago Cubs waited 108 years to win the World Series (baseball). 5 million people showed up to see the victory reception! Even the dinosaurs wore the Cubs shirts.

dinosaur-cubs-b-2016

Their wise coach, Joe Maddon gave some very wise advice to his players as the pressure built. This advice should be shared with all sports people: “Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure.”

Don't ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasuree

Wise words from Chicago Cubs Manager

In 4th Place: Magnificent Maori Gesture At Start of Munster Game

A magnificent gesture from the Maori All Blacks before playing Munster when they laid an All Blacks shirt on the ground, in the rain. It had the initials AF on the shirt as a tribute to Munster and Irish Rugby legend, Anthony Foley’s, unexpected death. Listen to the Munster crowd applaud this wonderful gesture. All Blacks teams have a special place in the hearts of Munster fans – as you can see some other amazing moments between these teams.

 

In 3rd Place: Olympian Medal Winner Donates His Medal To Help Sick Boy

Photo of olympic flame

The Olympic flame burns brightly

The Olympic flame burns brighter than ever when you hear of this Olympian Polish discus thrower’s generosity of spirit. Piotr Mallachowski donates his silver medal to Olek Szymanski, a young boy who has retinoblastoma – a horrible eye cancer. The money raised from selling his Olympic silver medal enabled the yong Polish child to go to New York for treatment. More  .

 

In 2nd Place: Tennis: Changing The Referee’s Decision To Help The Opposition 

Although USA’s Jack Sock had won the critical point, he told his Australian opposition,  Lleyton Hewitt,  that his last serve (although judged to be OUT) was in fact IN. Sock said: “that was IN if you want to challenge it.” Hewitt couldn’t believe it (watch his startled face) & said OK “I challenge it” (which means they get to see a replay of the serve – which showed the ball was served onto the line – which is IN!  This was at a crucial stage in the match. The crowd gave Sock a standing ovation. Hewitt  then won the critical point.

 

In 1st Place: The Great Sportsmanship Programme’s 2016 Moment Of The year…. goes to…….

Football: Giving The Opposition The Cup

http://www.espnfc.co.uk/copa-sudamericana/story/3007505/atletico-nacional-ask-conmebol-to-declare-chapecoense-the-copa-sudamericana-2016-champion

Brazil’s Chapecoense  football club were loved by everyone as they came from the small city,  of Chapeco, had been promoted form the   4th division to the top flight  and were on their way to the biggest match in their history to play Atletico Nacional the final of the Copa Sudamericana in Colmbia when their plane crashed killing 71 of the 77 passengers (3 of the 6 survivors were players). Full story

The opposition club insisted the Copa Sudameicanna be given to Chapecoense  football club. Around the world we share some of the pain of the families and friends of Chapecoense Football Club. Clubs, international teams from different sports bowed thier heads in a minute’s silence to show solidarity and respect for the Chapecoense  football club.

We also salute Columbia’s Atletico Nacional for its kind sportsmanship gesture – insisting the cup be awarded to Chapecoense – proving that some things are far more important than winning. This is our number one moment of sportsmanship  from across the world of sport in 2016.

#Copa Sudameicanna #Chapecoense  #AtleticoNacional

Please do post a comment. And/or send us your sportsmanship story.  Let’s inspire each other in 2017.

 

Partner link: Top 10 Great Sportsmanship Moments from 2012

There were so  many with the London 2012 Olympics, Euro 2012, Ryder Cup and so much more.   Here’s our Top Ten starting with Number 10 and working our way down to our Number 1  Great Sportsmanship Moment of the year.

 

10.      Golf –  Young American’s  Honesty Of The Highest Order  

November:  A young American golfer traded his lifetime dream for honour & integrity. Blayne Barber, finally qualified to play on the PGA tour. His dream had come true. However, he thought he accidentally moved a leaf while playing out of a bunker. No one saw it. He asked his caddie and others, they said no he was fine. But he wasn’t happy. So he penalised himself 1 shot. He still qualified, (and still won by 4 shots) but as he drove home he realised it should have been a 2 shot penalty so he phoned in and disqualified himself.  Honourable Young Golfer Throws Away His PGA Dream

 

Golfing Dream Is Lost

Golfing Dream Is Lost


9.      Tennis – Spanish    Friendship Despite Defeat

January: Despite losing an epic Australian Open Final lasting 5 hours and 53 minutes, Spain’s Rafal Nadal wore a beautiful smile. At 2am in Melbourne he addressed the packed arena by saying with great humour: “Good morning! First I would like to congratulate him (Djokovic). I thank the ball boys, the umpires, the sponsors and so on ……“I will never forget this game even though I lost it.”

 

8.      Boat Race  -  Oxford Lose With Honour

April: When a swimming protester interrupted the oldest boat race in the world, the race had to be restarted. Soon after there was a clash of blades (oars) which snapped an Oxford oar. Severely hampered, they limped on refusing to give up. Cambridge won easily. If Oxford decided to stop racing Cambridge would still be winners but the race would be recorded as ‘race not completed’.  Oxford insisted in finishing the race.

 

7.      Football – Spanish Captain’s Humility & Respect

July:   During the final minutes of the Euro 2012 Final, you can hear, on video, the Spanish captain, Casillas, asking the referee to end the game early – out of respect for Italy as Spain look like scoring a 5th goal against 10 man Italy. He didn’t want to start celebrating Spain’s winning of the Euro 2012, he simply respected Italy too much to insult them with another goal and a record defeat. Spanish Flair & Great Sportsmanship Prevail

Football Humility

Football Humility

 

6.   Speed Skating – Canadians & Americans Celebrate Greatness

October:  Despite America being the arch enemy on ice, for all Canadians, when American JR Celski broke the speed skating world record by becoming  the first man ever to skate 500m in under 40 seconds, the  whole Canadian stadium erupted in celebration  - the American fans, the Canadian fans, the coaches, the competitors even the stewarts cheered and whooped – they all recognised greatness and applauded it regardless. Opposition Fans Cheer New World Record 


5.    Cricket -   South African Respect

December: When Australia’s captain, Ricky Ponting, walked out for the last time in his test cricket career, the whole  South African team formed a guard of honour and applauded him. Ponting scored 13,378 from 168 test matches (only one other man on the planet who has scored more test runs – India’s Sachin Tendulkar). A magical moment of Respect.

 South African Respect

South African Respect

 

4.    Snooker –   Fair Play from A Welsh Dragon

May: Amidst the intensity of a World Snooker Championship semi-final, Mathew Stevens (previously beaten in 2 finals and 3 semi-finals & his first semi-final since 2005) showed great sportsmanship when he declared a foul on himself when he barely double hit the ball by accident. No one saw it including referee Brendan Moore and opposition, Ronnie O’Sullivan. However, Stevens insisted on declaring it.  O’Sullivan tapped the table with his cue in applause for Stevens sportsmanship.

 
3.     Baseball   - American Respect & Friendliness

May: 28 year old baseball pitcher for Detroit Tigers, Armando Gallaraga, pitched ‘the perfect game’ – a feat accomplished by only 20 other pitchers ever – BUT unfortunately the umpire made a terrible mistake and disallowed it. The perfect game is when the pitcher pitches a victory  and  faces 27 batters in 9 innings and none of them get to 1st base.  Gallaraga said afterwards  ‘Nobody’s perfect. Everybody makes mistakes’ and shook hands with the umpire.

 

2.     Athletics – Jamaican & British Athletes’ Enjoyment

August: So many Olympic moments from Nicola Adams’s radiant smile to the whole stadia packed with smiling spectators cheering on great performances regardless of which country.  We were posting up to 3 stories a day on the Great Sportsmanship facebook page during the Olympics. The Iconic moment when Mo Farah & Usain Bolt imitated each other. Both with big smiles enjoying themselves, doing what they love and remembering to have some fun.


Olympics Enjoyment – A Celebration Of Fun, Sport & Culture

 

1.      Golf  –   American Friendliness & Respect

Sep: The Ryder Cup is unique in sport. The world’s best pro’s compete for no money – just pride. They  actually shake with nerves when they play in the Ryder cup. There’s an awful lot of emotion and history attached to this competition. The European team invoked the spirit of the late great, Seve Ballestos. Captain, Jose Maria Olazabal, talked about Seve’s passion in his team talks. The team wore navy blue jumpers and white shirts with a silhouette of Seve on the sleeve. When they won Jose said “All men die but not all live…you made me feel alive again this week’.  There were many moments of sportsmanship during the 3 day epic battle (see original post).   But this next moment caught the eye…….

When Justin Rose sunk a huge putt on the 17th, the camera just catches a subtle moment, America’s Phil Mickleson smiling and giving Just Rose a very clear thumbs up.

The Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup

 

Tell us your favourite sportsmanship story from 2012. Add it here, as a comment (see below) or visit our facebook page, Great Sportsmanship . And here’s wishing you many more wonderful sportsmanship experiences in 2013. Say ‘Yes’ to Great Sportsmanship.  finally, please do consider making a new year pledge – become a sportsmanship ambassador and promote this programme /sportsmanship wherever and whenever you can.