Every so often, we witness sports moments that renew our faith in society – sports moments that make us smile in amazement. In fact, one of those moments happened recently at the FINA World Aquatic Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.
When Team USA coach Andrea Fuentes noticed American swimmer Anita Alvarez sinking to the bottom of the pool during the women’s solo free event, she immediately jumped in and lifted her to the surface. Fuentes’ quick actions were not just heroic, but they were admirable.
Alvarez represented the United States in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics and while she has yet to earn an Olympic medal, she does have two bronze medals from the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima. Fuentes, on the other hand, has won four Olympic medals representing Spain.
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Other Amazing Sports Moments That’ll Make You Smile
Sports moments like the one that happened between Andrea Fuentes and Anita Alvarez are more common than you’d think. They happen every day and while only a few amazing sports moments make national headlines, they all deserve our attention and shouldn’t be forgotten.
It doesn’t matter what the sport is, who the opponents are, or what the circumstances are, these types of sports moments often happen when you least expect them. They can happen during practice, during qualifications, during a game, even during an athlete’s most important moment.
Either way, sports moments like these are worth remembering. They instill a sense of hope and faith into each and every one of us. That’s why we’re going to detail 20 of our favorite sports moments that make us remember that this is more than sports – it’s just humans being human.
20. Meghan Vogel and Arden McMath Race
Meghan Vogel, a junior at West Liberty-Salem High School, had already won the 1,600-meter race at the Division III girls state meet in Columbus, Ohio. In her next race, the 3,200-meter run, she and Arden McMath, a sophomore at Arlington High School, had about 20 meters left when McMath collapsed. Instead of running right by her, Vogel helped McMath to the finish line.
19. Derek Redmond and Jim Redmond 400m Race
Derek Redmond was competing in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. It was during the 400-meter run that Redmond tore his hamstring. Instead of giving up, Redmond started to limp his way toward the finish line. Eventually, his father made his way on the track to assist his son to the finish line. Redmond was disqualified, but there was much more to this sports moment than winning.
18. Andrew Flintoff and Brett Lee Cricket Match
On the third day of the Ashes Test in 2005, Australia and England were locked in a tight cricket match. Australia’s Brett Lee needed 45 runs, but came two runs short as England took home the victory. With his team celebrating, England’s Andrew Flintoff went up to the distraught Brett Lee and comforted him – saying he would buy him a beer after what was a great game for both sides.
17. Tana Umaga and Colin Charvis
During a 2003 rugby match between Wales and New Zealand, Colin Charvis of Wales was completely demolished by a tackle from New Zealand’s Jerry Collins. After the hit, Charvis laid on the ground unresponsive. While the play continued, Tana Umaga of the New Zealand team stopped to his rescue and helped put his opponent in the recovery position – as well as take his mouthguard out – to open his breathing passage. It likely saved his life.
16. Abbey D’Agostino and Nikki Hamblin
This happened during the second heat of the 5,000-meter run at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Abbey D’Agostino of the United States and Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand were running along a pack of women when D’Agostino tripped and fell – causing Hamblin to fall as well. D’Agostino helped Hamblin to her feet and the two continued the race. D’Agostino ended up falling again, but Hamblin helped her to her feet. They both finished the race, even though D’Agostino tore her ACL in the process.
15. Luz Long and Jesse Owens Long Jump
This moment happened in 1936 and was the start of a long friendship between two unlikely people. Jesse Owens was a standout American athlete and Luz Long was one of Adolf Hitler’s prize possessions. They were both at the 1936 Olympics when Owens faulted his first two attempts at qualifying for the long jump. With one jump left, Long walked up to Owens and gave him some advice on how to hit the third jump. Owens ended up qualifying and winning the gold medal as a result. Ironically, it helped prove that Adolf Hitler’s plan was failing.
14. Usain Bolt National Anthem
If you look around the United States today, there are a lot of Americans choosing to kneel during the national anthem. While that’s their right and no one should stop them, it’s athletes like Usain Bolt – who’s not even American – that remind us how to be respectful during the national anthem. At the 2012 Olympics, he stopped in the middle of a live interview to respect the moment of silence while the United States’ national anthem played in the background.
13. Jack Nicklaus vs. Tony Jacklin Golf Match
The 1969 Ryder Cup was a legendary one, as well as being Jack Nicklaus’ first such appearance. Britain and the United States were all tied up when Nicklaus, with a four-foot putt, and Tony Jacklin, with a two-foot putt, met on the 18th green. Nicklaus hit his putt and was one Jacklin mistake away from winning it for the US. Instead of giving Jacklin a chance to miss, Nicklaus conceded the putt – which meant the Ryder Cup ended in a tie.
Jacklin later recollected that Nicklaus told him, “I don’t believe you would have missed that but I’d never give you the opportunity in these circumstances.” It was a great sign of sportsmanship.
12. Andy Roddick vs. Fernando Verdasco Tennis Match
This sports moment happened during a tennis match between Andy Roddick and Fernando Verdasco on May 5, 2005 at the Rome Masters. Roddick had already won the first set and had match point in the second set to win it all. Verdasco hit the ball out on his second serve, giving Roddick the victory. While Roddick walked up to shake his hand, he noticed the out of bounds line was splattered, meaning the ball was in. He stopped the game and gave Verdasco the point. Roddick ended up losing the match after Verdasco made a huge comeback.
11. Benton vs. Maryville High School Football Game
This sports moment happened during a high school football game between St. Joseph Benton High School and Maryville High School. Matt Ziesel, a freshman running back with down syndrome, finally made his debut with his team, Benton, down 46-0. Upon entering, Benton head coach asked Maryville coaches if they would let Ziesel run in for a touchdown. Despite having to give up a shutout, the team agreed and the rest is history.
10. Pete Goss and Raphael Dinelli Sailing Race
In 1996-97, Pete Goss embarked in a race around the world in his Open 50 yacht Aqua Quorum. During the race, he received a distressed call from an opponent, Raphael Dinelli, amidst storm winds. It took Goss two days to finally find the near-dead Dinelli, but he came just in time – not only saving his life, but finding his own way to safety in dangerous conditions.
9. Ivan Fernandez and Abel Mutai Cross Country Race
In December of 2012, Abel Mutai and Ivan Fernandez entered into a cross-country race in Burlada, Navarre. The two were nearing the finish line as first and second place, respectively. Mutai misread the signs and thought he already won, but had a few more steps to go. Fernandez came up behind him and easily could’ve passed him for first place, but noticed Mutai’s confusion and urged him along to the finish line.
8. John Landy and Ron Clarke One Mile Race
This sports moment occurred in 1956 when John Landy and Ron Clarke of Australia were competing in the mile championship at Melbourne Olympic Park. Clarke had fallen after clipping another runner’s heel. Landy, who was close behind, tried to jump out of the way, but landed his spikes on Carke’s arm. Instead of running past, Landy went back and checked on Clarke before making a comeback and winning the race – giving up a chance at a world record to help a friend.
7. West Ham United vs. Everton Football Match
In a 2000 matchup between West Ham United and Everton in the Premier League, the two sides were knotted at 1-1. Everton goalie Paul Gerrard was far away from the net trying to retrieve the ball, but ended up injuring himself – leaving the net wide open. West Ham United had possession of the ball and crossed it in for an easy goal. Instead, Paolo Di Canio of West Ham caught the ball and stopped the play to make sure the goalie was okay – giving up the easy win.
6. Fargo South High vs. Devils Lake High Cross-Country Race
In 2014, Melanie Bailey knew her cross-country career was coming to an end. A senior at Devils Lake High School, Bailey was in the middle of a race at Ponderosa Golf Course near Glyndon, Minnesota when she came across an injured senior, Danielle LeNoue, from Fargo South High. Bailey sprung into action, told LeNoue to get on her back, and carried her to a medical cart to receive attention. Although Bailey didn’t qualify for the state meet, her good deed was priceless.
5. Matt Strunk vs. Lucas Ortiz Wrestling Match
This sports moment takes us back to 2016 during the Wilson Duals Tournament – a high school wrestling tournament in Pennsylvania. Lucas Ortiz, a senior at Conestoga Valley, entered the season with 99 career wins, but wasn’t able to compete all year due to an injury. A wrestler from Chambersburg, Matt Strunk, knew Ortiz was one win away from 100 and knowing this was his last chance to get it, decided to forfeit a match against him – giving Ortiz 100 career wins.
4. Eckerd College vs. Florida Southern College Softball Game
In 2014, Eckerd College and Florida Southern College met for the first half of a season-ending double-header. Chelsea Oglevie, pitcher for Florida Southern, had a 2-1 lead with one out remaining. That’s when Kara Oberer, an injured Eckerd player, stepped up to the plate and hit a three-run home run to take a 4-2 lead. Despite this being Oglevie’s final college appearance and giving up a go-ahead home run, she helped the injured Oberer round the bases safely.
3. Justin Wadsworth and Anton Gafarov
Alright, let’s go back to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Anton Gafarov, a Russian professional cross-country skier, had fallen early in the race and broken one of his skis. As the medal favorite, his chances were slipping as he tried to continue with the broken ski. That’s when Justin Wadsworth, a Canadian ski coach, ran onto the course – despite Gafarov’s Russian coaches doing nothing – with an extra ski and gave it to Gafarov.
2. Trinity Classical vs. Desert Chapel Basketball Game
This sports moment happened in 2014 when Desert Chapel Christian School was playing their final game of the season against Trinity Classical Academy in Santa Clarita, California. Desert Chapel was down 23 points with under a minute left. That’s when Trinity coach sent Beau Howell – an autistic player – into the game. Despite missing his first few attempts, the Desert Chapel players gave him the ball with 30 seconds left and let him score a basket in a moment Beau will remember forever.
1. David Purley and Roger Williamson Formula 1 Race
Warning – this amazing sports moment has an unhappy ending. Roger Williamson had won the 1971 and 1972 British Formula 3 world championships before making his Formula One debut in 1973 with March Engineering. In just his second Formula One race, his car burst into flames after crashing into the side wall. Instead of driving by, David Purley got out of his car and ran to Williamson’s car in an attempt to get him out of the flames.
He tried everything he could, including a fire extinguisher, but couldn’t rescue Williamson – who died on the scene. It’s an unhappy ending, but Purley did what several other drivers weren’t willing to do – stop in an attempt to save a life.
Amazing Sports Moments Happen Every Day
I don’t know about you, but the sports moments we detailed above make me feel good about where this world is headed – especially amidst all the negativity we witness today. It’s refreshing to know that there are good people in the world, even on some of the world’s biggest stages.
Perhaps the best part about sports moments like those listed above is that they reciprocate. Just by hearing these stories and witnessing them on video, I feel more inspired and motivated than ever to be a better person. It’s amazing what’s possible when we care for one another.
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If you enjoyed these amazing sports moments, then you’ll be delighted to know they aren’t going anywhere. Just look at the recent story of Anita Alvarez and Andrea Fuentes – sports moments like those are happening every day and we should take a moment to appreciate them.
20 of the Longest Winning Streak in Sports History
Winning doesn’t come easy in any sport, so it takes a special and talented team to put together the longest winning streak in sports history. It requires consistency, execution at its finest, and unrelenting determination. It’s truly amazing what’s possible when you don’t give up on yourself.
It doesn’t matter what sport you play, there’s one common goal for everyone involved — win. Don’t get me wrong, individual stats and records are nice, but they’ll never replace the rewarding feeling you receive after a win — especially the longest winning streak in sports history.
When you think about it, there are so many things that can go wrong over the course of a game, let alone a streak of games, which is what makes the longest winning streak in sports history such an incredible accomplishment. You need things to go your way every single night.
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Who Owns the Longest Winning Streak in Sports History?
As we meander our way to the longest winning streak in sports history, we’re going to touch base on a wide range of different sports — including hockey, soccer, football, basketball, track and field, baseball, and even some squash. There’s a lot to cover, so prepare yourself!
We’re also going to take a look at a wide range of levels, including professional sports, college sports, Olympic sports, and even high school sports. You might remember witnessing some of these winning streaks, but there will also be some winning streaks that take you by surprise.
There will be some winning streaks that don’t quite crack our list, but the streaks below are some of the most impressive, as well as the longest. Without further ado, let’s take a look at which teams or individuals have put together the longest winning streak in sports history!
20. Pittsburgh Penguins
Sport: NHL (hockey)
Year: 1992-93 season
Streak: 17-game winning streak
From March 9th to April 10th, the Pittsburgh Penguins put together a win streak of 17 games — the longest winning streak in NHL history. The streak began with a 3-2 win against the Boston Bruins and ended with a 6-6 tie in the regular season finale against the New Jersey Devils.
While there were no shutouts during the 17-game winning streak, the Penguins did score more than five goals in 10 of those games — including a nine-goal game against the Philadelphia Flyers and two 10-goal performances against the Hartford Whalers and New York Rangers.
19. New England Patriots
Sport: NFL (football)
Streak: 21-game winning streak
The New England Patriots entered Week 5 of the 2003 season with a 2-2 record. In a game against the Tennessee Titans on October 5th, 2003, the Patriots began what would become the longest winning streak in NFL history. New England didn’t lose a game until October 31, 2004.
The Patriots ended up closing out the 2003 regular season with 12-straight wins and continued that dominance into the playoffs, winning all three of their playoff games to be named champion. Already on a 15-game winning streak, they opened the 2004 season with six-straight victories.
18. New York Giants
Sport: MLB (baseball)
Year: 1916 season
Streak: 26-game winning streak
The New York Giants started off the 1916 season with a 2-13 record through the first 15 games, but followed that with a 17-game win streak. Later in that same season, they put on another streaky display, winning 26 straight games from September 7th until September 30th.
It’s important to note that they did tie once in the middle of that streak, but it wasn’t a loss — so the streak is still valid. The game that ended the incredible streak was an 8-3 loss to the Boston Braves. It was the second half of a double-header and the Giants won the earlier game 4-0.
17. Miami Heat
Sport: NBA (basketball)
Year: 2012-13 season
Streak: 27-game winning streak
From February 3, 2013 through March 25, 2013, the Miami Heat won 27-straight games in spectacular fashion. They defeated 20 different teams in that span, recorded 17 double-digit victories, and erased seven double-digit deficits as they steamrolled through the league.
The Heat scored more than 100 points in all but nine of those games during the streak. They escaped a jump scare on February 26th against the Sacramento Kings. The game went into two overtimes, but the Heat managed to win by 12 points to secure their 12th-straight win.
16. Golden State Warriors
Sport: NBA (basketball)
Year: 2015-16 season
Streak: 28-game winning streak
The Golden State Warriors finished the 2014-15 regular season on a four-game win streak and opened the 2015-16 season 24-0 before finally losing to the Milwaukee Bucks. Their 28-game winning streak is the second-longest streak in NBA history and they were unstoppable.
The Warriors would go on to win the 2015 NBA Championship, set a record with 73 wins during the 2015-16 season (which included their 24-0 start), and made it to the NBA Finals for the second-straight year in 2016. This was also before they added Kevin Durant, so let that sink in.
15. Los Angeles Lakers
Sport: NBA (basketball)
Year: 1971-72 season
Streak: 33-game winning streak
The Los Angeles Lakers own the longest winning streak among the four major professional sports in the United States. They won 33-straight games from November 5, 1971 until January 9, 1972 — a streak that included an overtime win and 16 road games (17 home games).
The Lakers scored more than 100 points in every game during the streak, with 154 points being their highest score in a single game. They finished the regular season 69-13 and went on to beat the New York Knicks in the 1972 NBA Finals to secure the franchise’s fifth championship.
14. Tennessee Lady Vols
Sport: NCAAW (women’s college basketball)
Streak: 46-game winning streak
The Tennessee Lady Vols were one of the most dominant women’s college basketball teams under head coach Pat Summitt. After winning six straight games to end the 1996-97 season as NCAA Tournament Champions, Summitt led her team to a perfect 40-0 season in 1997-98.
The 46-game winning streak is the most in Lady Vols’ basketball history and was a true testament to how dominant this team was for well over three decades. The 46th victory was also the school’s third consecutive NCAA Tournament Championship and sixth overall.
13. Oklahoma Sooners
Sport: NCAAF (men’s college football)
Streak: 47-game winning streak
The Oklahoma Sooners own the longest winning streak in college football history. After starting the 1953 season 0-1-1, the team would go on to win nine-straight to close out the season. The Sooners would then go 31-0 over the next three seasons and even begin the 1957 season 7-0.
The streak would span a total of 47 games from October 10, 1953 until November 16, 1957. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish played spoiler in a 7-0 shutout victory over Oklahoma in front of 63,170 home fans. They finished the season 10-1 and won their third Orange Bowl in five years.
12. UCLA Bruins
Sport: NCAAM (men’s college basketball)
Streak: 47-game winning streak
The UCLA Bruins were dominant under the greatest college basketball coach of all-time, John Wooden. Things really started to take off during the 1966-67 season. The team was already on a four-game win streak from the following season, but finished the 1966-67 season a perfect 30-0.
They carried that streak into the 1967-68 season, winning the first 13 games of the season and bringing the streak to 47 games. The team not only won the 1966-67 National Championship, but did so in seven of the next eight seasons and this wasn’t even the school’s longest streak.
11. Arsenal F.C.
Sport: Premier League (soccer)
Streak: 49-game unbeaten streak
Although not exactly a ‘winning’ streak, it would be wrong not to mention the 49-game unbeaten streak put together by Arsenal from 2003 to 2004. They only won 36 of those games, but the other 13 games ended in a tie — meaning they technically didn’t lose, hence the word ‘unbeaten.’
The streak started on July 5, 2003 when Arsenal beat Southampton 6-1 and ended on October 24, 2004 after a tough and controversial 2-0 loss to Manchester United. During the streak, Arsenal was led by Thierry Henry’s 39 goals (48 games) and Robert Pires’ 23 goals (40 games).
10. Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters
Sport: NCAAW (women’s college basketball)
Streak: 54-game winning streak
The 1981-82 season was a special time for women’s college basketball with it being the inaugural year of the NCAA Championship. It was also a special season for the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters, who were already buzzing after a perfect 34-0 record in the 1980-81 season.
The Lady Techsters would open the 1981-82 season with 20-straight victories, bringing their total streak to 54-straight wins. After the loss, they would win their next 15 games en route to being named the first ever NCAA Champions. It was their first of two Championships in school history.
9. Mount Union Purple Raiders
Sport: NCAAF (men’s college football)
Year: 1996-1999, 2000-2003
Streak: 54 game-winning streak, 55-game winning streak
The Mount Union Purple Raiders could be one of the most dominant college football teams of all-time. Although they compete at the Division III level, they’re consistently among the best college football teams and own two of the longest winning streaks in college football history.
From 1996-1999, the Mount Union Purple Raiders won 54-straight games — a streak that ended in a playoff loss at the end of the 1999 season. After that loss, the Purple Raiders would win their next 55 games until 2003. They also won 110 straight regular season games from 1995-2005.
8. San Francisco Dons
Sport: NCAAM (men’s college basketball)
Streak: 60-game winning streak
From 1954-1957, the San Francisco Dons were one of the most dominant and consistent college basketball teams. The Dons didn’t have high expectations for the 1954-55 season, but won their first two games of the season before suffering their first loss to the UCLA Bruins.
After that loss, the Dons (led by Hall of Fame legend Bill Russell) would go on to win 60 straight games, which included being named NCAA Champions in 1955 and 1956. Their win streak would come to an end six games into the 1956-57 season, losing 62-33 to No. 7 Illinois.
7. Team USA
Sport: Olympic Basketball
Streak: 63-game winning streak
No country has ever been more dominant at basketball than the United States and they seem to prove it every four years when they compete in the Olympic Games. In fact, they won their first 63 games in the Olympics from 1936-1972, winning seven gold medals during that streak.
Ever since losing to the Soviets and watching their win streak come to an end, Team USA has gone 80-5 in Olympic Games and won nine more gold medals — including the past four. They were on a 24-game win streak entering the 2020 Olympics, but lost to France in their first game.
6. UCLA Bruins
Sport: NCAAB (men’s college basketball)
Streak: 88-game winning streak
We already mentioned how great of a coach John Wooden was, but the 88-game win streak is perhaps his greatest accomplishment as head coach of the UCLA Bruins. The streak spanned across four different seasons and he won the NCAA Championship three of those four years.
The streak began on January 30, 1971 after defeating UC Santa Barbara 74-61 and ended on January 19, 1974 in a 71-70 loss to Notre Dame. The Bruins had two perfect 30-0 seasons in 1971-72 and 1972-73. It was the longest winning streak in men’s college basketball history.
5. North Carolina Tar Heels
Sport: Women’s College Soccer
Streak: 101-game winning streak
The North Carolina Tar Heels have had one of the most dominating women’s college soccer teams of all-time. They’ve won 21 NCAA Championships over the past 40 years and own the longest win streak of any other women’s college soccer team with 101 consecutive victories.
It all started on September 23, 1990 and ended on October 19, 1994 when the Tar Heels lost 3-1 to No. 4 ranked Duke. Despite the loss, the Tar Heels still went on to win their ninth consecutive NCAA Championship and 12th overall. The streak included three straight perfect seasons.
4. UCONN Huskies
Sport: NCAAW (women’s college basketball)
Streak: 111-game winning streak
The UCONN Huskies have accomplished things that no other women’s college basketball team have come close to matching. Under the leadership of Geno Auriemma, they’ve consistently been one of the top college basketball teams and are known for their incredible win streaks.
Over the years, they’ve put together win streaks of 47 games, 70 games, and 90 games, but nothing compares to their 111-game winning streak from 2014-2017. They won 37 straight to end the 2014-15 season, went 38-0 in 2015-16, and went 36-1 in the 2016-17 season.
3. Edwin Moses
Sport: Track and Field
Streak: 122-race winning streak
If you want a win streak that doesn’t receive enough praise and attention, this is definitely one. Edwin Moses will go down as the most dominant athlete to ever run the 400m hurdles and one of the most dominant track and field athletes of all-time, winning 122 consecutive races.
The streak spanned over 10 years and included 107 consecutive finals. He won an Olympic Gold Medal twice during the streak and might’ve won a third if it weren’t for the 1980 Olympic boycott. He also set a world record for 400m hurdles, though that record has since been beaten.
2. De La Salle Spartans
Sport: High School Football
Streak: 151-game winning streak
If you want to know how to dominate the high school football community, just ask the De La Salle Spartans because they’ve been doing it for over 30 years. In fact, they had the second longest winning streak in sports history from 1992-2004, winning 151 consecutive games.
The streak included 43 shutouts and they scored more than 50 points in 60 of the games. They were coached by Bob Ladouceur and the streak finally came to an end after a devastating 39-20 loss to Bellevue (Wash.). They also went 30 years without losing to a Northern California school.
1. Jahangir Khan
Streak: 555-match winning streak
Jahangir Khan is regarded as the greatest squash player to ever live and will forever be remembered for revolutionizing the sport. His 555-match winning streak is the longest winning streak in sports history and will likely remain that way for a very long time — if not forever.
The streak ended on November 11, 1986 in a World Open final against Ross Norman of New Zealand.
Khan spoke of his amazing accomplishment, saying, “It wasn’t my plan to create such a record. All I did was put in the effort to win every match I played and it went on for weeks, months, and years until my defeat to Ross Norman in Toulouse in 1986.”
Who Will Have the Next Longest Winning Streak in Sports History?
Winning doesn’t come easy to anyone, but those with the longest winning streak in sports history make it look easy. They’ve put together some of the most dominant, consistent, and incredible performances through the years and are what make sports so exciting to watch.
When we witness a team string a few wins together, we always wonder how long they can sustain it and when it will come to an end. Some teams fold before they can add to their win streak, while other teams continue to build on their streak and etch their name in sports history.
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With the way sports are today, it’s going to be hard for any current teams to find their way on this list, but it is possible. You never know when a team will get hot and once they do, you never know how long it will last. All we can do is sit back, stand witness, and enjoy the entertainment.
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