Here it is – the Top Ten Sportsmanship Moments 2022. You can click the ‘play’ button below to hear the stories from BBC Radio London
You can scroll down and see each story with photos and videos of each of these, handpicked Top Ten Sportsmanship Moments 2022.
BBC’s Phil Parry
In 10th Place: Japanese fans have ‘previous form’. They have done this before. At other tournaments. In other sports (Rugby World Cup). They are known for their sporting respect. They lived up to their reputation in Qatar by picking up rubbish after their group stage games. They did this after every game they played in, respectfully picking up their rubbish in the stadiums with smiles on their faces. The team also tidies up the dressing rooms – leaving the spotless, with ‘Thank You’ notes and sometimes small gifts like origami. Link
My friend has been at that amazing Japan-Spain match… after qualifying top with an incredible win… the Japanese fans are organising a litter pick and tidy up in the stands… pic.twitter.com/7O7C3cF8y3
— Faisal Islam (@faisalislam) December 1, 2022
9th Place: American Speed Skater gives up her Winter Olympics place in the squad (Feb)
Team USA’s top-ranked speed skater Erin Jackson nearly didn’t qualify for the 2022 Olympics after slipping during trials. But Brittany Bowe wouldn’t allow her to miss it, as she gave Jackson her initial spot on the roster. Bowe was added to the field after some nations returned Olympic quota spots – so both skaters were able to compete in the end. To make matters even better, Jackson won the 500m gold. She was the first Black woman to medal in speed skating, and the first American to win gold in the 500m since 1994. . Link
8th Place: Snooker’s World Title Final Opponents Embrace for 64 Seconds
Ronnie O’Sullivan’s relief, joy, sympathy, friendship and admiration for his opposite number, Judd Trump, was revealed by his big extra-long hug (64 seconds) they gave each other at the end of the final in the Crucible. In this final, O’Sullivan equalled Stephen Hendry’s modern-day record number of world titles and O’Sullivan also surpassed the great, then 45 year-old, Ray Riordan (back in 1978) to become the oldest (46 years old) world champion in history. You can see the hug after O’Sullivan wins the match.
You can also see Ronnie O’Sullivan’s kind words to a Young Chinese Snooker Superstar back in 2019.
7th Place: New Zealand Athlete Allowed Englishman Through To Win
There were some Sportsmanship moments from the 2022 commonwealth games but nothing better than this classy moment from New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde. Hayden was in the lead coming to end of the race but he knew he had a time penalty, so he allowed Alex Yee of England to overtake him while he applauded Yee into the lead and over the finish line.
GOLD!! Alex Yee has won the first gold of the 2022 Commonwealth Games!! 🏴🥇
And this was so classy from Hayden Wilde, who knew he had a time penalty and applauded Yee into the lead 👏👏
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 29, 2022
6th Place: Italian Tennis Player Changes Line Call To Austrian’s Advantage
Early on in the Semi-finals of the Swiss Open (23 July), at the Roy Emerson Arena in Gstaad, Austria’s Dominic Thiem’s shot was called ‘out’ by a linesman. His opponent, the talented Italian, Matteo Berrettini, declared it was, in fact, ‘In’. The umpire changed his decision in line with Berrettini. Tennis has many examples of this great sportsmanship culture – see the clip (it’s the sixth match here) .
5th Place: Boxing Tyson Fury and Derek Chisora showed great sportsmanship when Fury visited Chisora’s dressing room after they had fought for world heavyweight titles (in Tottenham Hotspurs new stadium). They chatted and enjoyed each others’ company after a savage boxing match – spending time together, sharing food (cheese burgers) and some laughs as they relaxed together.
4th Place: Lionesses Inspire a New Generation
An elite group of women footballers QUIETLY TRAINED away each night, each week, each month, through hail, rain and snow all year round – for years. They went on to win the 2022 Womens’ Euros with some spectacular goals (back-heeling in the semi-final and lobbing the keeper in the final). Striker, Beth Mead, went on to win the 2022 BBC Sports Personality of the Year (the SIXTH footballer in 68 years to win the prestigious). The team won it at Wembley by beating Germany – whom England (male or female) last beat at Wembley Final in the men’s famous 1966 World Cup Final. Incidentally, back then, in 1966, women’s football was banned by the FA (from 1921-1971). Since then, the Lionesses team have shown real resilience, perseverance, skills and, most importantly, character, in fact, lots of characters, like our own Chloe Kelly (went to Elthorne Park School, in Hanwell). These have Lionesses instilled interest, hope and belief in a new generation of female (and male) footballers.
3rd Place: Italian Skier’s Message of Hope to American Opponent
American star skier Mikaela Shiffrin didn’t win any medals but her, arguably, greatest moment in the Winter Olympics came when she read a message left for her by the Italian skier Sophia Goggia who had loaned Shiffrin her skis in practice earlier. Sometimes it’s small things and occasionally off the battlefield that mean so much. When the American collected her borrowed again the skis for the main event, she noticed a hand-written stick-on message on the skis. The message contained 4 words which made the American’s eyes well-up with tears. The message simply said: ‘Fly Mia. You Can.’ The American, Shiffrin later said: “She actually wrote a small message on them, on a sticky note. I saw it at the start and I almost started crying, like you know, “you can fly on these skis.” [link]
2nd Place: The Indomitable Spirit of the Ukranian Paralympic Team
After struggling to leave its besieged nation, the Ukrainian Paralympic Team not only managed to get out of the country safely despite Russian aggression, they won a lot of medals.In fact they finished with 29 medals – in second place only behind host China (63), They were led by vision-impaired biathlete Oksana Shyshkova. An extraordinary effort from a country whose travel infrastructure, heat/energy, food, water, medical supplies and its people are being destroyed by Russia, right now.
1st Place: Mr. Messi
So Argentina won the 2022 World Cup. There were many moments of great sportsmanship throughout the competition.
It’s not this really beautiful moment, when a blind Argentinian fan’s Dad helps his son to ‘see’ with his fingers as his Dad moves the boy’s fingers around a miniature pitch as Messi scores against Mexico in the group stage. You can feel the boy’s unbridled emotions. Sport is for everyone. Click the ‘Play’ button below.
Watch this beautiful moment as a blind Argentinian fan feels the emotion of a Lionel Messi goal during the World Cup. #Beautiful #Messi #FootballIsForEveryone #Argentina #WorldCup #Respect #Sportsmanship https://t.co/WFT2oPmT2G
— The Great Sportsmanship Programme (@THE_GSP_) December 19, 2022
Nor is it the man in the wheelchair being hoisted by some of the 4 million Argentinians who attended the victory parade in Buenos Aries. His massive smile reveals the utter joy of sport. Click the play button below
Scenes. 🤣 pic.twitter.com/pdYEJGVMrR
— Football Tweet ⚽ (@Football__Tweet) December 20, 2022
Nor is it this wonderful Argentinian commentator couldn’t hold back his emotion when reporting on the final penalty kick that decided the World Cup. Andres Cantor welled up as he announced that Argentina had just won the World Cup.
A look at Andres Cantor as he makes the call that crowns 🇦🇷 World Cup champions. Such an emotional and moving moment for Cantor, who was born in Argentina and moved to the US as a teenager. A voice, and a human, for the ages ❤️❤️pic.twitter.com/eYeoBdeNRZ
— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) December 18, 2022
It is this. This subtle moment after the immediate celebrations of Argentina winning the World Cup, Messi is just strolling around the pitch on his own when he is tapped on the back and then hugged by the head chef of the Argentina national team, Antonia Farías. Messi’s reaction was a big long bear hug – warmed even more, by his lovely smile – showing his class and sharing his joy with a member of staff. The humility of the man and the warm smile – remind us all of another world’s greatest, whose smile was infectious….. the late great Pele. Messi’s moment here speaks volumes about this Argentinian icon, the man who (like Pele) got kicked up and down most pitches, never moaned, never groaned, never rolled, NEVER DIVED, just played the most exotic beautiful football with a warm and humble smile.
Antonia Farías, the head chef of the Argentina national team, runs on to the pitch to congratulate Messi. 🇦🇷
Look at his reaction. 🤗pic.twitter.com/Xf1xhcQhuj
— Football Tweet ⚽ (@Football__Tweet) December 21, 2022
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Thanks to Cian Smith.