Fiona Kolbinger, a 24-year-old with little experience in competitive cycling, took the world by surprise when she became the first female to win the ultra-endurance Transcontinental Race on August 6, 2019. The cancer researcher from Germany outrode 225 men and 39 women to complete the approximately 2,485 miles (4,000 km) race from Bulgaria to France in 10 days, two hours, and 48 minutes. Even more impressive, Kolbinger crossed the finish line almost 11 hours ahead of the second-place winner, Ben Davies of the United Kingdom.
The US women's national soccer team's quest for the 2019 FIFA World Cup began on June 11, 2019, with a resounding 13-0 win over Thailand. In addition to being the largest margin of victory ever in a women’s World Cup match, the score also set a new record for the most goals in a single World Cup game — for both men and women. The team's incredible journey ended almost a month later on July 7, 2019, with a thrilling 2-0 victory against the Netherlands.
Looking for a fun Earth Day activity? You may want to try plogging, or picking up litter while jogging. Odd as it may sound, the new "sport" is becoming extremely popular with runners worldwide, many of whom are posting images of themselves and friends holding bags of trash on social media.
Swimming in water temperatures of 41 degrees F and below, with air temperatures between 6.8 degrees F to -4 degrees F, wearing just a swimsuit, cap, and goggles, may sound foolhardy to some. But that is precisely what 400 athletes from 33 countries had to endure in the 3rd biennial International Ice Swimming Championships, held in Murmansk, Russia from March 14, 2019 to March 17, 2019.
American sports fans are mourning the loss of one of baseball's all-time greats: Frank Robinson, Major League Baseball's first African-American manager and the only player to win MVP in both leagues, passed away at his Bel Air, California home on February 7, 2019. The 83-year-old had been battling bone cancer for many years.
Ice-skating phenom Alysa Liu is no stranger to shattering records. In 2016, the then 10-year-old became the youngest intermediate figure skating champion in U.S. history. In 2018, at the tender age of 12, Liu became the youngest to compete in, and win, the U.S. junior championships. That same year, she was also the youngest woman ever to land a triple axel in an international competition.
US gymnast Simone Biles, who has dominated the sport since the 2013 World Championships, is often described as “the greatest gymnast of all time” and “superhuman.” The 21-year-old phenom proved herself worthy of both labels at the recently held World Championships in Doha, Qatar when she won a medal in every discipline, including four golds, while battling a painful kidney stone.
Naomi Osaka was just two years old when Serena Williams beat the world’s highest-ranked women’s tennis player, Martina Hingis, to win her first US Open title in 1999. Since then, Naomi has watched her idol conquer the tennis world with 22 more Grand Slams, the four most important annual tennis events – the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and the US Open. On Saturday, September 8, the now 20-year-old Naomi stunned the world by winning the 2018 Women’s US Open Singles Championship, stopping Serena’s quest to achieve her 24th Grand Slam title and tying with Australia's Margaret Court for the all-time record. Naomi’s first Grand Slam victory was particularly sweet given that she is the first Japanese tennis player to achieve this honor.