Rob's Sports, Fitness & Science Blog

The Wonders of Sport

August 15th, 2020 · No Comments · Major Events, Sport

I hope that you are staying safe and healthy. Where I live we are slowly getting back to pre-COVID normality, and I hope you are too. For many of us, sport is back on, and the chance to go and see your teams live is hopefully not too far away.

What sporting events are you most looking forward to? Our major events world calendar has taken a beating, many of the events since April 2020 have been cancelled or postponed. We have tried to keep up but plans have been changing regularly. The major postponement was the 2020 Olympic Games, which was due to begin on July 24 this year, but is now due to start nearly a year later (hopefully!)

There are Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, so why not a sporting version? Have you ever considered what might be the best Sporting World Wonders – the stadiums, events and athletes that epitomise what we love about sport?

There already is a sporting wonder!

On the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, one of the wonders had a sporting link, the Statue of Zeus. The ancient Olympic Games were held in honor of their King of gods, Zeus. In the ancient Greek city of Olympia, sculptor Pheidias carved the enormous statue of Zeus, in the 5th century B.C. It was made of gold and ivory and was reputed to be 40 ft high.

And another one added!

A New Seven Wonders of the World was created in 2007, and that new list included another sporting wonder, the Colosseum in Rome. This arena, built in 80 AD, was one of the first great classic stadiums and is considered the father of all modern sporting stadiums. The arena was primarily a stage for combat, which is not unlike the sporting events of today.

We have created a few wonder lists of our own, for venues, events and athletes. As with the previous 7 Wonder lists, the items are listed in no particular order.

Rob at the colosseum in Rome, Italy

Seven Wonders of the Sporting World (Athletes) 

Here are my top 7 athletes of all time. A wonder must dominate in their chosen sport, be a great athlete, a good role model for the sport, and have worldwide appeal so that their profile is known outside of their sporting circles. I think the off-court behaviour is very important when assessing our greatest athletes, though sometimes the performances are so overwhelmingly great it is hard to leave them off (e.g. Tiger Woods and Serena Williams). 

  1. Lionel Messi
  2. Usain Bolt
  3. Muhammad Ali
  4. Roger Federer
  5. Michael Jordan
  6. Don Bradman
  7. Tiger Woods

Although both males and females were considered for the Athlete list of 7 Wonders, the only female that was close to making the top-7 was Serena Williams. Rather than trying to compare the males and females directly, I also created a female-only 7-Wonders list as the best way to highlight the best of women’s sport.

  1. Babe Didrikson Zaharias (golf, track & field)
  2. Jackie Joyner-Kersee (track & field)
  3. Serena Williams (tennis)
  4. Annika Sorenstam (golf)
  5. Martina Navratilova (tennis)
  6. Mia Hamm (football/soccer)
  7. Fanny Blankers-Koen (track & field)

Seven Wonders of the Sporting World (Events) 

Here are the top 7 sporting events from around the world. These events are the mecca of elite world sport, the must-see events of every sports fan.

  1. FIFA World Cup
  2. Summer Olympic Games
  3. Tour de France
  4. NFL Super Bowl
  5. Wimbledon
  6. Monaco Grand Prix
  7. Baseball World Series

As with the athlete list, I created a female sporting events list to highlight the best of women’s sport from around the world. These events are the mecca of elite women’s world sport, the must-see events for all sports fans.

  1. FIFA Women’s World Cup final
  2. Women’s Singles Final at Wimbledon
  3. Netball World Cup final
  4. Women’s Rugby World Cup final
  5. Gymnastics at the Olympic Games
  6. WNBA final
  7. Women’s Cricket Twenty20 World Cup final

Seven Wonders of the Sporting World (Venues)

Here are the top 7 sporting stadiums from around the world. These are iconic and ‘the’ place to watch the chosen sport. They are unique, architecturally striking and stand out in the world of sport.

  1. Panathenaic Stadium
  2. Bird’s Nest
  3. St Andrews Old Course
  4. Wembley Stadium
  5. Fenway Park
  6. Melbourne Cricket Ground
  7. Maracanã Stadium

You Don’t Agree?

These are just my personal opinions, some food for thought, and I don’t expect to be able to please everyone. I main hope is that these events continue as usual, and we can all go out and enjoy them.

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