Sometimes we need inspiration that anything is possible. It can be all too easy to get stuck in our ways and find ourselves limiting our true potential. Not only is such a habit boring, but it can have a bad impact on our mental health. This is why it’s always good to look outside of ourselves to see how other people have managed to defy the odds to surprise themselves and the world around them.
Nowhere is this more true than in the world of sport where there always seem to be a few major surprises happening every now and then. It’s these tales of the outsiders gaining a surprise victory that always seem to stick in our minds the longest. This is because those big sporting upsets produce the ‘David versus Goliath’ moments that tell us that we can achieve anything if we truly put our hearts and minds to it. So here’s a quick look at some big sporting upsets to give us all a little inspiration to reach further to become better versions of ourselves.
Call it soccer or call it football, there is little doubting that this is the largest sport in the world and it’s also shown itself to produce no shortage of massive sporting upsets. Obviously it’s the World Cup that produces the biggest surprises as this is the largest football tournament. We saw some truly remarkable moments in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The sight of South Korea scoring two goals in injury time to beat Germany 2-0 and send their opponents out of the competition will live long in the memory of all football fans.
However, sometimes it’s just the manner of the defeat that causes the upset. Take the moment when Germany beat Brazil 7-1 in the 2014 World Cup. You could feel like history was being made at this moment. While both teams are some of the best in the world, the sheer scale of the victory meant that big lessons were learned that fateful night in Brazil.
Sometimes it’s not the one-off victories that tell us that anything is possible. The fact that Leicester City won the Premier League in 2015/16 at odds of 5000/1 shows us that the biggest surprises aren’t overnight successes as Leicester had to produce consistently good results over the course of an entire football season. As a result, it’s a timely reminder that only a lot of effort and a little luck can produce truly exceptional results.
Of course, there are plenty more massive sporting upsets beyond the world of football. Horse racing in particular has produced no shortage of shock results. Take the 2015 Melbourne Cup race. This saw Prince of Penzance winning the legendary Australian horse race at odds of 150-1. The fact that Michelle Payne was riding the horse to become the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup made the victory all the sweeter. Be sure to find the best Australian bookmakers here to see which rank outsiders are looking most likely to recreate the stunning triumph of Payne and Prince of Penzance.
In fact, if you look at the history of any sport, you’ll see that there’s a big upset somewhere. Few boxing upsets were bigger than the moment that Buster Douglas shocked Mike Tyson in 1990. This was at a time when Tyson looked unbeatable, but that night in Japan saw Douglas defying the odds to produce an epic result. What’s best was the fact that Douglas went down in the eighth round, but he showed the determination to land some killer blows in the tenth round that sent Tyson down onto the canvas for the first time in his career.
There are lots of ups and downs in the standard NFL season, but most Super Bowls tend to be fairly predictable. But this certainly wasn’t the case in Super Bowl XLII. This was a game that should have been a clear victory for the New England Patriots as the team managed to get a stunning 16-0 record in the regular season. The fact that they were up against the relatively inconsistent New York Giants in the Super Bowl meant that this should have been a straightforward win for the Patriots. But things didn’t go to plan with the legendary catch from David Tyree sealing the 17-14 victory for the Giants to go down in history to be one of the biggest Super Bowl upsets.
Rugby fans will definitely remember the Rugby World Cup of 2015. This saw Japan doing the unthinkable to beat the former world champions South Africa 34-32. It was a truly historic win that few people would have anticipated and the result even seemed to be a massive surprise to the Japanese team themselves. However, it’s worth noting that things settled back down to normal swiftly after when the New Zealand All Blacks romped home to claim the Rugby World Cup title.
From a very young and relatively unknown Boris Becker winning the Wimbledon title in 1985, to Chicago Cubs finally ending their 108-year World Series drought in 2016, it seems that there’s always a sporting upset waiting to happen sooner or later. All of which is just yet another great reminder that anything is possible if you put your heart and mind to it. Plus a little bit of luck doesn’t hurt either.