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.
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’.
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
Listen to these stories on BBC Radio London
If you would like to listen to these stories being told by the author of Great Moments Of Sportsmanship, PR Smith, here they are – the Top 10 Sportsmanship Moments recorded on BBC Radio London – Paul Smith chats with Phil Parry.
If you liked this, you might also like:
Part 1 of 2017 Sportsmanship Moments
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