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Boston’s professional sports have been incredibly successful in the 21st century. The New England Patriots, the Bruins, the Celtics, and the Red Sox have all performed well and brought this city to many championships and wins. Bostonians take great pride in their athletes and how hard their sports teams work. Here are some of the sporting moments, significant events, and successful athletes that define Boston.
On May 10, 1970, Bobby Orr made an incredible goal that won the Boston Bruins their first Stanley Cup in 29 years. Orr kept the puck in along the boards and then somehow executed a play of give-and-go, managing to shoot the puck through the smallest spot between Glenn Hall’s legs. Photographer Ray Lussier captured this moment; the renowned photo is arguably the best action image in the hockey world. A statue of Bobby Orr was modeled after the photo, and it is located just outside the TD Garden in Boston.
The Boston Marathon is absolutely crucial to Boston’s core identity. This world-renowned marathon starts in Hopkinton and ends in Copley Square. Runners come from all over the world to participate and compete in this Patriot’s Day race. First held in 1897, it is New England’s most widely viewed sporting event, with over 500,000 spectators. The city truly comes alive on Patriot’s Day and is filled with excitement and energy. Runners can also compete for charities, and there are also wheelchair and handcycle divisions. The bombings in 2013 only brought the city closer together and united Bostonians’ sense of community. The city is filled with so much hope, epitomized by the saying “Boston Strong,” and the Boston Marathon has only become more popular in years since.
The 2004 World Series was a monumental event for Boston. It ended the “Curse of the Bambino,” believed to be plaguing the Red Sox since 1919, when they sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. Dan Shaughnessy’s book on the “curse” was published in 1990, and the public’s interest really grew from there. The 2004 World Series ended this 86-year curse, when the Red Sox won against the St. Louis Cardinals four times to none in the seven game series.
On October 13, 2013, David Ortiz played an incredible grand slam that helped the Red Sox win Game 2 of the 2013 American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers. The Sox were in danger of being 0 to 2 in the seven-game series, but Ortiz changed that by tying the game at 5 to 5. This grand slam also gave the baseball world an iconic photo. Before this, the Red Sox only scored one run in an entire 16 innings. After, the Red Sox went on to win the 2013 World Series, their third series championship in ten years.
The Patriots have been an absolute powerhouse since Bill Belichick became the coach and Tom Brady joined the team as the quarterback in 2000. Since then, the team has played in the Super Bowl seven times, a total of nine times in the entire franchise history – more than any other team. At 39, Brady may be getting older, but he still has a lot of strength in him, and he is the GOAT in Boston sports fans’ eyes. The greatest comeback for the team happened on February 5, 2017, at the Super Bowl LI: the team was losing by 25 points in the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons, but it managed to tie for overtime, when they won against the Falcons 34-28 in OT. How did they do it? They made a touchdown and kept driving without hesitation. Then Julian Edelman made an incredible catch, and James White finished the final touchdown.
In 2008, the Boston Celtics won the the NBA finals – their first title since 1986. They defeated the Los Angeles Lakers four games to two in the up to seven games series. The Celtics and Lakers are the most successful NBA teams and had been waiting to meet again. The Celtics had a home court advantage and won the finals with their Big Three: Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce. After the finals, Kevin Garnett screamed one of most memorable things said after an NBA finals game: “Anything is possible!”
Boston doesn’t only care about baseball, football, and hockey – it’s proud of all of its athletes. Aly Raisman is an Olympic gymnast from Needham, Massachusetts. The two-time Olympian has achieved great successes by only 22 years old! At the 2012 Olympics in London, she competed with the Fierce Five gymnastics team, helping the U.S. team win a Gold Medal. She also achieved a Bronze Medal for her individual All-Around competition. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Aly qualified for the All-Arounds and helped bring her “Final Five” team to a Gold Medal. She also received two Silver Medals – for a total of six Olympic medals.