As 2022 comes to a close, this is an ideal time for reflection. Each year brings a host of historic moments that will be remembered forever, and this year is one of the most memorable.
Here are the top 10 sports moments of 2022.
Serena Williams steps away from tennis
Widely regarded as the greatest tennis player of all-time, the 41-year-old athlete appeared to hand over the reins to younger Black rising stars in the sport like Naomi Osaka, Frances Tiafoe, Coco Gauff and Sloane Stephens in August of 2022.
In October, however, Williams announced that she was not entirely retired, as she doesn’t like the word retirement.
Antonio Brown jogs off the field mid-game
One of the greatest wide receivers of his generation, Brown’s complicated relationship with the NFL seemingly came to a close in January when he took off his jersey, pads and jogged into the New York Jets’ tunnel shirtless during a game. He also did jumping jacks to pump up the crowd as he exited.
Brown maintains he told Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians during game week he was injured, but Arians still urged him to play. When Brown told Arians he couldn’t go back into the game, Arians told him he was no longer on the team.
Brown went on to meet with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, and release the single “Put That S— On” complete with a massively popular dance.
— AB (@AB84) December 17, 2022
Erin Jackson becomes first Black woman to win an individual winter Olympic gold
The 30-year-old put on speed skates for the first time in her life in 2016. In 2022, she became the first Black woman to win an individual winter Olympic gold medal in the sport.
A heartfelt quote from Olympic gold medalist Erin Jackson. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ju5FM3Vbmf
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 21, 2022
Elana Meyers Taylor wins fifth medal
The Douglasville, Georgia native won her fifth winter Olympic medal with her bobsled performance in February 2022, which made her the most decorated Black winter Olympian ever.
Elana Meyers Taylor is now the most decorated woman to ever compete in Olympic bobsled.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 19, 2022
LeBron James and Tiger Woods become billionaires
James and Woods became the only two active sports billionaires on the planet this past summer. James’ Spring Hill production company and Woods’ long-running Nike endorsement deal took both over the billionaire mark.
Dawn Staley, South Carolina win national championship
In the year C. Vivian Stringer retired, Dawn Staley stepped into women’s college basketball coaching royalty with her second national championship this year, defeating UCONN. The team was led by National Player of the Year Aliyah Boston.
Simone Biles receives Presidential Medal of Freedom
Biles, known as the greatest gymnast ever and a high-profile mental health advocate, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in July 2022. The 25-year-old became the youngest to receive the highest civilian honor.
A’ja Wilson wins her first WNBA championship
The two-time WNBA MVP won her first WNBA championship in 20022, the same year she also won the FIBA World Cup for USA.
"If you ain't four shots in don't come."
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 19, 2022
Aaron Judge breaks AL home run record
In the post-steroid era, a home run record has been broken. New York Yankees star Aaron Judge broke the American League single season home run record with 62 homeruns in October.
HE DID IT! AARON JUDGE HITS NUMBER 62! pic.twitter.com/T8UGFUzOGo
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) October 5, 2022
Dusty Baker wins World Series