25 Heartbreaking Photographs in Sports History

If you flip through the pages of the history book of sports, you will find much more than just statistics about scores, contract amounts, and victories. No, the world of sports is much more than just win or loss, or the numbers that come along. It is about moments that touch the hearts of the people who have their eyes set upon the field.

25 Heartbreaking Photographs in Sports History
25 Heartbreaking Photographs in Sports History

That is why, some of the moments in sports are etched in the memories of the witnesses. For those who did not get the opportunity to witness such iconic moments, photographs have captured the memories and saved them for the eternity. Let’s take a look at some of the most emotional sports photographs.

Heartbreaking Photographs in Sports History

25. Jim Peters collapses before reaching the finish line

Jim Peters
Jim Peters collapses 220 yards away

Marathon runner Jim Peters established a 17 minute lead in the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver. However, after running 26 miles, he was only 220 yards away from the finishing line when he collapsed, and struggled in the final few yards. The heart-breaking moment was captured in this picture which is inducted in the 25th place among the most heartbreaking photographs in sports.

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24. A moment of silence

Priscah Jeptoo
Deep emotions of Kenya’s Priscah Jeptoo

This photo, one of the most moving and emotional photographs in sports, depicts some deep emotions as Kenya’s Priscah Jeptoo paused to take a moment of silence and contemplation after finishing second at the 2012 London Olympics, 5 seconds behind Ethiopia’s Tiki Gelana. This image is inducted in the 24th place on our list of the most heartbreaking photographs in sports.

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23. Abebe Bikila ran barefooted at night

Abebe Bikila
Abebe Bikila ran barefooted

Due to the sweltering heat at the 1960 Rome Olympics, the marathon race was held at night. During that race, Ethiopian runner Abebe Bikila approached the Arch of Constantine on bare feet, as he went on to win the Olympic marathon. This photograph captures him on his journey, exuding pride and struggle, and is inducted in the 23rd place on our list of the most heartbreaking photographs in sports.

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22. Kerri Strug beats pain and strikes a graceful pose

Kerri Strug
Kerri Strug beats pain and the graceful pose

In 1996, during the Atlanta Olympics, Kerri Strug was seen holding a graceful pose as she stuck the landing on her vault, even though she had an injured ankle. With the hopes of a gold medal for the US resting upon her, she fought her pain and secured the title for her country. This picture is inducted in the 22nd place among the most heartbreaking photographs in sports.

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21. Federer’s loss at the Australian Open

Roger Federer
Roger Federer after losing the five-set final

This picture of Roger Federer shows him looking at the trophy at the Australian Open, and realizing that he would have to wait a little longer to equal Pete Sampras’ record of 14 majors. He lost in a five-set final, and the moment established the 21st place on our list of the most heartbreaking photographs in sports of all time.

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Ethical Word Hackers is a team of three young writers, Sourav Das, Oendrila De and Anirban Chowdhury. While Sourav is a pursuant of Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering and has a flair for writing, Oendrila happens to be pursuing MA in Mass Communication and a freelance writer. Anirban, on the other hand, is a part-time marketing executive at a news agency. But, they all have a common interest in varied subjects, like Sports, Literature, Arts, Computer Games, Scientific Discoveries, Social Issues: almost anything and everything on the planet. The journey through their expressions are likely to be enjoyable. JSON