The Best Sports Moments of 2023
As we bid farewell to 2023, it’s time to revisit the standout moments that shaped the sports landscape over the past 12 months.
From remarkable comebacks to record-breaking performances, this article from Bovada Sportsbook delves into the major moments that made 2023 such an incredible year for sports fans around the world. In case you missed any of these memorable highlights, now’s the perfect time to get all caught up ahead of the new year. Prepare to relive the highs and lows, the triumphs and tribulations, as we unveil the top 10 sporting moments of 2023.
#10. South Africa Wins Rugby World Cup
Taking place just once every four years, the Rugby World Cup is a major event on the international sports calendar. This year’s tournament took place in France and was dominated once again by South Africa. Led by captain Siya Kolisi, the South African team defeated New Zealand’s All-Blacks in the championship match to claim their second-straight World Cup title. This marked South Africa’s fourth World Cup victory overall, the most of any nation.
#9. Angel Reese Leads LSU to NCAA Glory
It’s not often that women’s collegiate athletics dominate the world of sports, but that was the case back in March when LSU’s women’s basketball team stormed their way to a national championship. All eyes were on LSU’s star forward Angel Reese, AKA the Bayou Barbie, as she went head to head with Iowa’s sharpshooting Caitlin Clark on a national stage. With stellar team play and some timely trash talking from Reese, LSU managed to win the tournament and put their stamp on women’s sports in 2023.
#8. PGA Tour/LIV Merger
It was a wild year in the world of golf, with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf making headlines throughout 2023 as they signed a number of top golfers to massive contracts. After the PGA Tour and LIV spent much of the year caught up in lawsuits, it all came to a head on June 6 as the two sides announced a merger that would change the landscape of competitive golf for years to come.
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#7. Fairleigh Dickinson’s Cinderella Story
The single-elimination format of college basketball’s March Madness tournament unleashes unparalleled excitement as every game becomes a win-or-go-home showdown. The 2023 tournament was certainly one to remember as No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson upset No. 1 seed Purdue in the first round, marking just the second time in NCAA history that a top seed has fallen in the opening round. While Fairleigh Dickinson went on to lose their next game, their massive upset will continue to live on in the annals of college basketball history.
#6. Lionel Messi Joins Inter Miami
The MLS has recruited a number of talented soccer players over the years, but the league shook the sports world to its core with the announcement that Inter Miami has signed international superstar Lionel Messi. Ticket prices soared instantly and celebrities began showing up to MLS games in droves. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner made an immediate impact in the United States, scoring 11 goals in just 13 games and leading Inter Miami to the club’s first-ever trophy, the 2023 Leagues Cup.
#5. Georgia Wins Back-to-Back National Championships
The calendar year began with the Georgia Bulldogs proving once again that they were the best college football team in the nation. With head coach Kirby Smart on the sidelines and quarterback Stetson Bennet under center, the Bulldogs ran the table by going a perfect 15-0 on the season. Having beating LSU in the SEC title game and edging out Ohio State in the Peach Bowl, Georgia made a huge statement with a 65-7 blowout win over TCU to secure their second-straight the National Championship.
#4. Verstappen Dominates Formula One
It was a record-breaking year for Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing, as the Formula One driver accomplished a number of firsts this season. In addition to winning his 3rd consecutive Drivers’ World Championship, Verstappen set the record for most wins in a season with 19. The young driver also set the record for most consecutive wins (10), most points in a season (575) and most podiums in a season (21).
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#3. Djokovic breaks Tennis Grand Slam Record
Novak Djokovic may be one of the older players on tour these days, but the Serbian tennis star proved he still has plenty left in the tank. He became the sport’s leader in Grand Slam championships, winning this year’s Australian Open, French Open and US Open. Djokovic’s triumphant run in 2023 marked a major milestone, securing his 24th Grand Slam and making him the all-time leader, surpassing Rafael Nadal, in a stellar display of skill, perseverance, and timeless excellence.
#2. Manchester City Wins The Treble
This past year was arguably the best season in Manchester City’s 129-year history, with the team winning their first-ever UEFA Champions League title. It got even better for Man City fans, as the club managed to win the Treble; winning the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup in 2023. This marks only the second time that an English club has won the Treble, equaling Manchester United’s accomplishment back in 1999.
#1. LeBron Becomes NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer
Of all the incredible sports moments of 2023, perhaps none were bigger than LeBron James becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer back in February. With a 21-foot turnaround jumper late in the third quarter versus the Thunder, James surpassed the previous mark (38,387) set by Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Once a record many fans thought would stand the test of time, it took LeBron the better part of 20 seasons to equal and surpass this massive point total. It will be many years before anyone comes close to matching this impressive feat, making this our most memorable sports moment of 2023.