By Ken Reed

I think almost everyone is ready to turn the page on 2020, including sports fans who saw their favorite games cancelled, postponed or modified beyond recognition.

SportsWorld did its best to keep the games going during a global pandemic (even at times when public health experts said they shouldn’t), but beginning in March sports as we had come to know them ceased to exist. Even when games were played, the stands were usually empty, taking away the energetic environment that adds to the excitement of sporting events. And throughout the year, thousands of players, from the pros down to the high school and youth levels, had to sit out because they had contracted Covid-19 or had been exposed and were forced to quarantine.

It certainly wasn’t a great year for sports, but that said, there were still plenty of examples of “sport at its best.” Analis Bailey had a nice piece in USA Today recently highlighting some inspiring and heartwarming moments from the world of sports this year.

They included well-publicized moments like Vanderbilt’s Sarah Fuller becoming the first female to play in a Power Five college football game and the Miami Marlins’ Kim Ng becoming the first female general manager in our country’s biggest professional sports leagues in November.

“I thought it would be a big deal, but it’s beyond my expectation,” said Ng. “But it’s also a testament to where we are. People are looking for hope. People are looking for inspiration. I’m happy to be a part of it.”

There were also plenty of less well known moments like when Chris Nikic became the first person with Down Syndrome to finish a full-distance Ironman triathlon.

Covid might have killed numerous sporting events this year but it didn’t touch the human spirit. Sport still gave us plenty of stories to stir the soul in 2020.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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