Sports try to return to normal in 2021-The New York Times

2021-12-12 13:28:12 By : Ms. chris zhou

The coronavirus pandemic still has an impact, but the players and the league also have their moments.

Give any friend a story

As a subscriber, you have 10 gifts to send every month. Anyone can read what you share.

Leave it to a few old guys to remind us that sports is not only a beautiful thing, but it can also be enjoyed without feelings of guilt and without an audience. This year we need to get some relief from the pandemic, which is exactly what Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson provide when the calendar rolls over to 2021.

In February, the 43-year-old Brady appeared in the Super Bowl again-but with a new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he threatened the Kansas City Chiefs with precise passing and big moves. After 60 minutes of football: Pirates 31, Chiefs 9 and Brady won his seventh championship ring.

This is a home game. Kind of.

But not a stadium full of faithful pirates, but a competition in front of about 25,000 downsized crowds-one-third of them are health care workers. This is both a tribute to their bravery and sports Reminder of having fun in the shadow of the coronavirus.

Three months later, on an afternoon in late May in South Carolina, the 50-year-old Mickelson ignored his father's time while hundreds of fans paraded happily with him on the final fairway of the PGA Championship. So much social distancing.

After two putts, the left-hander, as Mickelson knows, became the oldest golfer to win one of the four major golf tournaments.

"I've never encountered anything like this," Mickelson said of the rolling mud pit that escorted him into the last hole. "It's a bit disturbing, but it's also great."

After the 2020 game is played in the "bubble" or completely cancelled, we can all restore sports to 2021. In February, the Australian Open was held under extreme blockade. By the end of August, the U.S. Open began before the seats were full.

The Covid-19 vaccination war has been raging throughout the year. From your point of view, superstars like Kyrie Irving (NBA), Aaron Rodgers (NFL) and Novak Djokovic (ATP) are either anti-traditionalists who refuse to get vaccinated or they are against public health. Serious threat.

However, let a pair of young women take the importance of athletes’ mental health from the sidelines to the center court and then to the Olympic mats.

The 24-year-old Osaka Naomi was fined $15,000 for failing to participate in the press conference after winning the first round and therefore withdrew from the French Open. She was subsequently threatened that if she continues to avoid the media, she may be disqualified or suspended for all four Grand Slam tournaments.

"I often feel that people don't care about the mental health of athletes. Whenever I see a press conference or attend a press conference, it sounds very real," she wrote in an Instagram post.

She won the support of Serena Williams.

"Girl, what about you. Your life is yours!" Williams wrote, who won 23 Grand Slam singles titles.

Therefore, Osaka, who won four Grand Slam titles, completely skipped Wimbledon. Her loss in the third round of the U.S. Open ended her chance of defending the 2020 title.

"Basically, I think I'm now trying to figure out what I want to do. To be honest, I don't know when the next tennis match will start," Osaka said in tears. After the game.

At the Tokyo Olympics, 24-year-old Simone Biles withdrew from team finals and all-around competitions after admitting to having a mental disorder that gymnasts called "distortion." Byers is considered one of the greatest gymnasts of all time, and he completed a downed vault in a team competition.

"It's literally indistinguishable from top to bottom," she wrote in an Instagram story. "This is the craziest feeling ever. I can't control my body."

Prior to the Olympics, Byers, who won seven Olympic medals, including four gold medals, admitted that she felt the pressure to succeed. She later explained that she drew strength from Osaka choosing to take care of herself instead of chasing medals.

Byers did stay with her teammates and provided full support, because the Americans won the silver medal behind the Russian Olympic Committee team. When Sunisa Lee won the gold medal in the women's all-around competition, she was also there.

18-year-old Li came to Tokyo to win a gold medal for her biggest fan father and all the Hmong Americans she thought could not be seen in the United States. However, she publicly stated that it is more realistic for Byers to win the silver medal.

But with her teammate out, Li showed that she was ready for the challenge.

Byers also left Tokyo with accomplishments. She returned to the balance beam competition in time and won the bronze medal through a reduction program to tie most of the Olympic medals of American gymnasts with Shannon Miller.

The hosting of the Tokyo Olympics is a milestone. It was postponed for a year, and international audiences could not participate. Stadiums and arenas are mainly television studios.

When the Japanese team defeated the U.S. team 2-0 in a women's softball game, the home team received a generous return. This is the first time since 2008 to return to the Olympics. The 39-year-old Yukiko Ueno's dominance on the pitcher's mound was the same as hers. In that gold medal game, Japan defeated the United States.

The world's number one American women's football team is expected to win the Olympic gold medal in the 2019 World Cup. Instead, they were defeated by Canada 1-0 in the semifinals and later won the bronze medal. Even one of the team's most famous stars admits that this is the end of an era.

"I'm almost breaking down," said 39-year-old Carli Lloyd (Carli Lloyd), a two-time gold medalist and the oldest player on the team. "We got up early. We trained late. We sacrificed. We gave up so much and you want to win. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don't. It's really heartbreaking, really."

There were other notable losses during the sports year. Daniel Medvedev defeated Djokovic in the U.S. Open final, ending the Serb's pursuit of sweeping the tennis grand slam-a feat that only Rod Laver could accomplish.

Hank Aaron faced racism when he surpassed Babe Ruth to become the king of baseball's home runs, hitting 755 home runs and remaining the most famous in sports for more than 30 years record of. He is 86 years old.

Then, it may become a defeated victory.

When Medina Spirit crossed the finish line first, coach Bob Baffert appeared to have won a record seventh Kentucky Derby. A week later, it was discovered that the pony had tested positive for banned corticosteroids. Medina Spirit died of an apparent heart attack on December 5th after exercising at the Santa Anita Park Racetrack in California.

For the next two years, Buffett was banned from participating in Churchill Downs and Derby games. This result has been challenged in state and federal courts and may continue for several years. If the test fails, Medina Spirit will be disqualified, and Mandaloun, who is in second place, will be declared the winner.

The European Football Championship was held across the continent for the first time in its 61-year history. It was also delayed for a year. Big players compete in front of small crowds in 11 cities-some of which are far apart, close to Seville, Spain, on the southwestern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, and Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, on the Caspian Sea.

Italy defeated England in a penalty shootout to win the championship, breaking England's hope of winning a Grand Slam for the first time since the 1966 World Cup. The shootout was the dramatic end of a stressful day at Wembley Stadium in London. This is a salvation for the Italian team that was humiliated for failing to qualify for the World Cup four years ago.

International athletes have won some important American championships. Hideki Matsuyama won the Masters and became the first Asian-born person to do so. When asked if he is now the greatest player in Japanese history, Matsuyama objected.

"I can't say that I am the greatest," he replied through an interpreter. "However, I was the first to win a Grand Slam, and if this is the threshold, then I'll make it."

Spain’s Jon Ram won the U.S. Open and his first major event at the San Diego Torrey Pines Golf Course, and caught two birdies in the last two holes. He dedicated his victory to his compatriot Seve Ballesteros, who died in 2011. Two weeks ago, he was forced to withdraw from the commemorative tournament because he tested positive for Covid-19, and he won only two weeks later. At the time, he was in the clubhouse with a six-shot lead after the third round.

Ram is philosophical about finding some benefits in the fragile position that the pandemic places many of us in.

"I have never been dissatisfied with anything, and I will not blame anyone," he said. "Unfortunately, Covid has become a reality. We have lost a lot of people. People say it is not fair, but it must be done. All of this has led to this moment."

And Giannis Antetokounmpo, nicknamed the Greek freak, his gentle approach made him a folk hero in Milwaukee, leading the Milwaukee Bucks to the NBA championship. The 26-year-old Antetokounmpo is an overjoyed winner who has integrated the team's victory into a promising prospect to adapt to a world devastated by the pandemic.

"This should make everyone, every child, and anyone in the world believe in their dreams," Antetokounmpo, who is also of Nigerian descent, said cheerfully. "I hope I can bring hope to people from all over the world in Africa and Europe, and hope it will come true. Eight and a half years ago, before I entered the league, I didn't know where my next meal would come from. My mother Sell ​​things on the street."