Top Sporting Events
Few elements of day-to-day life carry more cultural significance in our society than sports. No matter where someone is from, what their background is, or what their life is like, watching a sporting event can make them a part of something greater than themself. In international tournaments, star athletes rally their nations to show out with pride for their country. In local matches, communities are brought together. In short, sports play a huge role in shaping culture, and that was certainly the case in 2022.
From the perspective of a Cherry Hill resident and American sports fan, these were the five athletic events that most significantly defined 2022.
Eliud Kipchoge breaks the world record for the fastest-run marathon
There are few sporting competitions easier to understand than running: you just have to move faster than everyone else. And yet, despite the seeming simplicity of running, humans continue to make incredible innovations and advancements to push the limits of what can be done on a track or path. When Eliud Kipchoge ran the Berlin Marathon in September 2022, he came closer than any person ever has to breaking the two-hour-barrier for marathon times. With a time of 2:01:09, Kipchoge broke his own world record and achieved an incredible athletic feat.
The Los Angeles Rams win Super Bowl LVI
No list of major sporting events would be complete without the inclusion of the event that serves as the yearly peak of the U.S.’s fascination with football. This game, while not necessarily an all-time great in the Super Bowl series, certainly had exciting storylines to follow. The Cincinnati Bengals came out of nowhere to impress America after years of falling short in the regular season, making it to the big game in surprising fashion. Meanwhile, even the fiery and resurgent Bengals were ultimately no match for Sean McVay’s super-team from LA, led by a quarterback in Matt Stafford whose big moment was long overdue.
Beijing hosts the Winter Olympics
Every four years, the world’s greatest athletes in cold-weather sports gather for an incredible showcase of talent and showdown of nations. In 2022, the latest installment of Planet Earth’s biggest event took place in Beijing, China. From political controversies to impressive athletic feats, these games did not disappoint. Norway’s performance at the top of the medal standings solidified its status as a global winter superpower, retaining its title from the 2018 Olympics.
The Philadelphia Phillies win the National League Pennant
No one, not even the most loyal Philly fans, could have expected this. Amidst a rollercoaster of an MLB season, onlookers seemed unsure if the Phillies would even make it to the postseason, let alone win in October. To the contrary, the Phillies took autumn by storm, dominating a “Red October” that carried them through an unlikely playoff run. While their dominance met its end in the World Series, the NL Pennant win was the high point of an exciting time for local supporters of Philadelphia’s team.
Argentina wins the 2022 World Cup
Some might call this placement recency bias. I think Lionel Messi would call it “history.”
The year’s sporting calendar saved its best for last, with an incredible World Cup captivating nearly every nation in the world. In a country where American football typically reigns, this December it was global football’s turn. From controversies over LGBTQ+ and worker rights to captivating scenes of a global star reaching his holy grail, this event clearly impacted the cultural makeup of 2022 more than any other.