After an abundance of success for British sport this summer, and over the last twelve months, I look at what is the biggest achievement for sportsmen and women across all sports.
Obviously some sports have greater coverage than others, prize money varies and victory can be achieved as part of a team or solely as an individual. This makes achievements across sports difficult to compare and is naturally down to personal opinion.
No doubt this will divide people in their opinions depending on which sport people have allegiances to but below I have selected five major achievements that I believe are some of the greatest.
Football - World Cup Champions
In football a World Cup winners medal is the biggest achievement in the game and with football being the largest global sport you would think this is the ultimate in all sports. However, you do need teammates in order to win this trophy so does this fact make the achievement seem any less?
Also the money available in football – the huge wages – perhaps lessens the achievements in the modern era simply because football is no longer a working class game.
However, as an Englishman I can only dream of my nation even coming close to a World Cup victory.
Golf - Ryder Cup
Again, another team sport but in terms of European/USA rivalry this is the ultimate golfing battle. Despite chances to win majors as an individual, to win the Ryder Cup during gruelling days of golf under extreme pressure as a team, is the ultimate.
To witness that final putt on the final hole to win the Ryder Cup is one of the greatest moments in sport and something that Europe are now very used to doing in recent years.
Cycling – Tour De France
This is the most gruelling cycling race in the world and during July every year the greatest cyclists take part in this race. We have witnessed victory for British cyclists in the last two years – Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome – and as a nation have witnessed just what it takes for these riders to achieve overall victory.
There is a lot of teamwork involved in winning the Tour de France but on the other hand individuals put themselves through a lot of pain to achieve victory and sacrifice a lot in order to fulfil their dreams.
Cycling has had problems with doping and perhaps there are still a lot of cynics out there but there is no doubting that to achieve success cyclists need to be at their best.
Cricket - The Ashes
With the battle between England and Australia currently taking place there is no doubt that in the cricketing fraternity this is the ultimate battle. There is no love lost between the two sides and victory in an Ashes series is hard earned.
However, some victories are harder to earn than others depending on the relative competitiveness of the opposition.
England’s capturing of The Ashes in 2005 was the greatest achievement for many years but if England are to retain The Ashes this year against a poor Australian side it will be more expected.
Is that a lesser achievement?
Athletics – Olympic Gold
What can be better than achieving, as an individual, Olympic gold in your home Olympic Games? Just ask the likes of Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah.
Just like the football World Cup , the Olympics is only held every four years and athletes devote years of their lives and sacrifice a lot in order to compete at the games.
To win a gold medal is the culmination of all this effort. Yes there are team gold medals which are earned just as much but an individual gold must be the greatest achievement and, in my view, the biggest achievement in world sport.
Every sport has its own ultimate achievement that all competing sportsmen and women strive for but can any rival those above? Please add your comments and opinions below.
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