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The most exhilarating finishes in sports history

Sriram Ilango
2.72K   //    08 Mar 2012, 18:12 IST

Watching sports is a habit that we all have. It pumps the adrenaline into your body and makes you scream out at times. Watching close finishes is often like taking a death ride. You don’t know what to do, you can’t sit, you can’t stand and overall in one word, those moments are just – exhilarating.

Here is a look at the top close shaves in the history of sports.

Michael Phelps and the 7th Gold

Michael Phelps came to China in 2008 with a dream – Winning 8 Olympic Gold medal, a feat that no man has ever achieved. He already had six golds and the seventh one was supposed to be the toughest one. In the 100m butterfly event, he had to face off against Milorad Cavic of Serbia who had just broken the world record in the preliminary heat.

The race began, Cavic lead from the start. After the halfway turn, Phelps was placed 4th. He was absolutely nowhere with only 10 meters to go. Even when the race was over, nobody thought that Phelps had done it. But there it was, Phelps had won the race by 1/100th of a second. Cavic stood devastated. Phelps added one more gold to this tally and achieved what he wanted – 8 Golds!

Michael Jordon and THE SHOT

In what is considered to be the greatest Basketball game ever played, Michael Jordon produced a miracle. With only 6 seconds left, Jordon hit a jumper and gave a 99-98 lead to Chicago Bulls over the Cavs. After that, the Craig Ehlo of the Cavs did an inbound and took them to 100-99. Only 3 seconds were left on the clock.

“Give the ball to Michael and everyone else get out of the way.” said the Coach of the Bulls during the time out.

Jordon received the ball, bounced off Ehlo and took the shot which went in on the buzzer. The 20,000 odd people at the Coliseum went stunned. Ehlo could not believe what he had just seen. He trembled and went down in disbelief.

Manchester United and “Football, Bloody hell”

Manchester United had already won the FA Cup and the League in 1999. To culminate their season, they had to win the Champions League against Bayern Munich.

United missed both their midfielders Roy Keane and Paul Scholes due to suspension. With only six minutes on the clock, Bayern had already taken the lead. 90 minutes went by and United never looked like scoring. The referee signaled three minutes of injury time and the English hopes were drying off by the minute.

United won a corner and Beckham took it. The ball rebounded to Ryan Giggs who took a shot; the ball dips at the feet of Teddy Sheringham who placed the ball in the bottom corner of the net. The United bench were delighted in joy! They were preparing for extra-time but the story was not over yet.

With seconds left on the clock, Beckham took his second corner. The commentator was saying “Is it their moment?” and sure it was! The ball fell near the legs of Ole Gunnar Solskjær who perfectly slotted it into the net. After the game, Sir Alex Ferguson exclaimed what every football felt, “Football, Bloody hell!”

United States and the “Miracle on Ice”

United States assembled a team of youngsters who had no professional knowledge of playing Ice Hockey. That team had to face off against the pros, the seemingly unbeatable USSR in the 1980 Olympics. The Cold War was at its height in those years and this game was much more than just ‘a game’.

The Soviet National Hockey team were undefeated for 12 years in the Olympics and the American college boys had no chance of defeating them – Or so did the world think. Only a week before this game, the USSR team had ambushed America with a 10-3 score line.

The final scoreline of 4-3 was unbelievable for everyone. There are no words to describe the last minute of this game. Take a look at the video and see the ‘Miracle on Ice’.

If you know other close finishes, put your opinions in the comment section!

Sriram Ilango
I am neither clever nor gifted. I am only very, very curious.
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