The Greatest Sports Photos Ever Taken
Photos enable us to remember the most amazing sporting moments. Here's eight of the best.
1. Muhammad Ali's Phantom Punch
Arguably the most iconic photo ever taken, it captures Muhammad Ali moments after he knocks down Sonny Liston in one of the most controversial endings to a boxing fight in sporting history. It became known as the ‘phantom punch’ because most attendees ringside didn’t even see it! Even Ali was unsure if the punch connected, as footage from the event shows Ali asking his entourage “did I hit him?” after the fight.
2. Say Cheese!
A perfectly timed photograph taken during the Men’s 100m semi-finals at the 2016 Rio Olympics shows Usain Bolt giving a cheeky grin to the crowd. It also captures everything that Bolt is about – having the lead, his stride, the perfect form and massive charisma.
3. Diego Maradona Against the World
Diego Maradona is among the greatest footballers to have ever played the game. This image from the 1982 World Cup captures him going up against six Belgian defenders – which sums up how many saw Argentina’s team: Maradona vs the world.
4. Maradona's Hand of God
During Argentina’s quarterfinal victory over England, Diego Maradona scored two goals – his first remains the most scrutinised goal in World Cup history to date. In his own words, he says the goal was scored: “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.” and that’s how it got its name. Argentina then went on to win the 1986 World Cup against West Germany.
5. Jesse Owen Wins Gold
Going all the way back to the 1936 Berlin Olympics, in what was thought to be Hitler’s showcase of his allegedly superior athletes. He was expecting them to win a majority of the gold medals, however, American Jesse Owens had other plans. He won four gold medals and broke multiple records – which Hitler then told one of his officers how irritated he was that a coloured American athlete was beating his German athletes.
The photo captures Owens saluting on the highest podium with USA on his chest, above the Nazi saluting German athlete (right) and an athlete from Japan (left) - the United States would go to war with both countries soon after.
6. Derek Redmond And His Father
British sprinter Derek Raymond had a career plagued with injuries that even forced him to drop out of the 1988 Olympics just before his 400m race started. Over the following four years, Redmond had eight surgeries preparing for the Barcelona games. However, his injuries would come back to haunt him in the semi-finals when he snapped his hamstring 150m in. A stretcher was brought out but Raymond refused and began limping to the finish. His father ran through security to help his son cross the finish line, in what would become one of the most inspirational moments in sporting history.
7. Air Jordan
They don’t call him Air Jordan for nothing. This image captures the power of Michael Jordan as he defeated Dominique Wilkins in the 1988 finals of the Slam Dunk Contest with a perfect score of 50.
8. Olympic Diving
Maybe not as iconic or inspirational as the rest on the list - but diving is the gift that keeps on giving with hilarious photos - enjoy a few below!
PickStar shares the most wonderful, weird, inspiring and insightful sports content from around the world, along with exclusive interviews and podcasts with sports stars and leaders in the sports industry. Don't miss a thing! Sign up to our mailing list and follow PickStar on Facebook.
Do you want to book an inspirational sports star for your next event, campaign or experience? With PickStar, you can choose from 700+ elite athletes past and present, with ANY budget. Find out more HERE.