Must Watch Events of 2017

Published on January 3rd, 2017

Well, 2016 was a drama-filled year, and sports were no exception to the excitement. Among the highlights were the Olympics and two seven-game championship series filled with drama and adrenaline rushes — the Major League Baseball World Series and National Basketball Association Finals.

Highlights included:
• Swimmers Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky joined gymnast Simone Biles in captivating the attention of millions watching the Summer Games, while bringing home an impressive gold medal haul.
• The Chicago Cubs won the World Series after a 108-year championship drought.
• The Golden State Warriors blew a 3–1 lead (heard that one before?) to help LeBron James deliver the first major championship to the city of Cleveland in 52 years.

Will 2017 be able to top that? Sports Illustrated, that iconic American sports media magazine, offers their list of must-watch sporting events…with one glaring omission.

Despite the 34th America’s Cup in 2013 considered by the Bleacher Report as one of the biggest comebacks in all of sports, the 35th edition this year has been left off the Sports Illustrated 2017 list.

Flashback:
On September 18 2013, Emirates Team New Zealand moved into a seemingly unassailable 8-1 lead against ORACLE TEAM USA in the America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton in San Francisco, USA, a series of match races that would be won by the first team to nine points.

Just one more win for the Kiwis and the America’s Cup would be heading back down to New Zealand, but Jimmy Spithill and his crew never thought for a single second that the fight was done. They lined up again the next day, the September 19, and suddenly the fightback started. 8-2.

8-3 on the 20th, 8-4 and 8-5 on the 22nd, and then 8-6 on the 23rd. By this point people around the world who had never watched sailing were gripped by the story unfolding on the west coast of the USA as the battle on the waters of San Francisco Bay started to transcend the sport of sailing. Then suddenly, with two races on the September 24, it was 8-8.

ORACLE TEAM USA had won seven consecutive races and it would all came down to the final head to head on September 25th.

A thrilling battle ensued, Emirates Team New Zealand seizing the early advantage, but Jimmy Spithill and the ORACLE TEAM USA boys fought back, and finally, after 19 races, they crossed the line first, retaining the America’s Cup 9-8.

The news of this incredible fightback rang around the world, but now is the buzz gone? Is the speed of foiling catamarans only compelling if there is an engaging story attached? If so, Sports Illustrated doesn’t see it. What will be ‘the story’ of the 35th America’s Cup?

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