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The Top Sports Story of 2016

[lead align=”default”]2016 ends tomorrow, and some are no doubt pleased with that fact. As big a year as this was in news, the top sports story of 2016 held major significance.[/lead]

I’m a big believer in sports being a unifying force. We all acknowledge big moments, whether or not they impact us directly or make us feel good or bad. Such was the case with the biggest story of this calendar year.

Before we get into that, there are two honorable mentions.

Top Sports Story of 2016: Honorable Mention #2

The third-biggest sports story this year was the thumping victory of the United States in the Rio 2016 Olympics. Specifically, we note the achievements of Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps, and Simone Biles.

Team USA racked up 121 medials, 51 more than the next-closest team (China). Their 46 golds were 19 more than second-place Great Britain. America got more golds, more silvers, and more bronzes than anybody else.

Ledecky showed up for London in 2012, but Rio de Janeiro in 2016 was her big coming-out party. Four gold medals and a silver were here takings, and she was the first person to win the 200m, 400m, and 800m freestyle events in the same games in 48 years.

Simone Biles made her first Olympiad a big one. She took home four gold medals and a bronze, helping the US to a team victory in gymnastics. In addition to the team medal, she took gold in the all-around, the vault, and the floor exercise; her bronze was on the balance beam. Her teammate, Laurie Hernandez, grabbed silver in the latter.

Finally, Michael Phelps: what more can we say? With five more golds and a silver, his medal total hit 28 (23 G, 3 S, 2 B). Phelps is the most decorated Olympic medalist of all-time with a bigger margin.

Top Sports Story of 2016: Honorable Mention #1

The first honorable mention, and second-biggest sports story of 2016, was the death of Muhammad Ali.

Aside from being a great boxer, he was a social icon for much of his adult life. Whether you liked what he had to say or not, you listened. He was out there and in your face.

The story of his death in June dominated sports media for weeks, and for good reason.

Top Sports Story of 2016: The Cubs End The Curse

As if you didn’t know this is what it would be. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. That’s news.

All the misery, all the suffering, all the watching other teams win championships. Since the 1908 season, 22 franchises took a title home, but now, the Cubbies are back.

If you’re a Cubs fan, relive the moment with the view outside Wrigley.

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