The 10 Best Aussie Sporting Moments of 2022 - Men's Health Magazine Australia

The 10 Best Aussie Sporting Moments of 2022

We’ve chosen ten of this year's greatest Australian sporting moments that will go down in history.

2022 was a historic year in Australian sport. A year filled to the brim with exciting moments that had fans on the edge of their seats. Every year there are a collection of moments that stand above the best. Whether it’s individual brilliance or a team effort, every year features a handful of events that we’ll someday be telling our grandkids about.

After two years of cancellations, shortened seasons and empty stadiums due to the Covid pandemic, 2022 was almost completely unaffected by covid drama as we welcomed the return of normalcy in the sporting world. And sports came back with a bang. From dominant world titles to surprising gold medals, underdog stories to unbelievable comebacks, crazy celebrations and ground breaking achievements, 2022 really did have it all.

With a packed year on the sporting calendar, Aussie athletes did us proud. Here’s our pick of the ten stand-out moments in a year of packed with glory.

Aussie’s Demolish England in the Ashes

2022 got off to a great start for Australian sports fans. The Test Cricket team dismantled their English opponents with a 4-0 series victory in the Ashes. England’s only reprieve was a draw in the series’ fourth test, which provided little relief from an Australian steamrolling. Australia retained the Ashes for the third consecutive occasion and England left our shores empty handed.

Scott Boland’s performance was the highlight of the series. Boland became only the second Indigenous player to represent Australia in Test Cricket and left his mark on the Ashes. In a stunning series, Boland took 18 total wickets, including six on his test debut at the MCG.

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis Win Australian Open Doubles Crown

We’ve all imagined what it would be like to be a sporting superstar winning titles alongside our best friend. For most, that scenario is nothing but a pipe dream. But for Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, it became a reality. The pair pulled off upset after upset on their way to winning the Australian Open doubles crown in January.

The Aussie duo had minimal doubles success together prior to the tournament and only participated after they were handed a wildcard entry, but it didn’t matter. The special K’s, as they are affectionately known, went on a dream run. Taking down the number one seeds in the second round before knocking out another three seeded opponents on their way to the final, where they defeated fellow Australian’s Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell, who have their own extraordinary moment later in this list.

The Special K’s became the first all-Australian pair to win the Australian Open Double’s title since 1997 and were the first ever wildcard champions in the open era. Truly a dream come true for the best of mates.

Dylan Alcott Bids Farewell to Tennis and is Named Australian of the Year

Dylan Alcott is a pioneer in the world of wheelchair sports. At only 31 years of age, he’s a 23-time grand slam champion in wheelchair tennis, with 15 singles and 8 doubles titles, as well as a multi-sport Paralympic gold medallist, amassing six medals across wheelchair tennis and wheelchair basketball.

Alcott was widely recognised as the greatest quad wheelchair tennis player of all time heading into the 2022 Australian Open. With legend status already in his grasp, Alcott announced before the tournament began that it would be his last. In a classic tale of oh-so-close, Alcott’s storybook ending came agonisingly short as he was defeated in the tournament final by Dutchman Sam Schroder.

Alcott was named Australian of the Year in January for his numerous achievements and distinguished service to Paralympic sport. Alcott is a role model for anyone with a disability and for the wider sports community. His achievements this year made him a household name and cemented his place in history.

Scotty James’ Awe-Inspiring Performance at the Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics rolled around in February and the Olympic team exceeded even the loftiest of expectations. Four total medals made the campaign Australia’s best ever performance at the Winter Olympics. 32-year-old snowboarder and former flagbearer Scotty James’ silver medal in the halfpipe cemented his place as one of Australia’s best winter athletes of all time.

Scotty one-upped his bronze medal in the same event from the 2018 Olympics. He came into the Games as a contender in a field packed with legendary snowboarders, including the fabled Shaun White. James was briefly in gold-medal position in the final after an incredible run earned him a score of 92.5. But it wasn’t to be, Japan’s Ayumu Hirano claimed the gold, but Scotty wasn’t far behind with a performance that left fans with their jaws-dropped.

Commonwealth Games Gold Rush

On the heels of an all-time great Olympic performance at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games, which featured an equal best ever 17 gold medals, Australia’s athletes kept the gold rush going at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Calling Australia’s medal haul dominant would be an understatement. Our athletes brought home 178 total medals, including 67 gold, that’s ten more gold medals than the next best nation, England.

The Commonwealth Games always deliver special moments that stand to become part of sporting folklore for generations to come. But it’s hard to select the highlights of this year’s Games in particular. It seemed that just as one medal ceremony would end, we’d have yet another champion and a new ceremony would begin. Such was the volume of Australia’s success at the Games.

Amongst the Games’ best moments, there were some achievements that stood out even greater than others. To name a few: Kyle Chalmers claiming gold in the 100m freestyle after narrowly missing out in 2018 got the crowds roaring. Fan favourite Matt Denny winning his first Commonwealth Games gold medal in the discus will certainly be one to remember. Ollie Hoare broke a 64-year Australian gold medal drought in the 1500m run. Aaron ‘Disco’ Wilson’s shirtless celebration after winning gold in lawn bowls was one to remember. And the Hockeyroos trumping of all comers on their way to a triumphant 7-0 gold medal match victory will decorate history books for years to come.

The Dancing Goalkeeper Secures World Cup Qualification

Before the Socceroos incredible run in Qatar, they had to barely scrape their way into qualification in a do or die match against Peru which ended with a dramatic penalty shootout. Hopes weren’t particularly high for the Socceroos after an unimpressive qualification period and a string of poor matches. But none of that mattered on the day.

After keeping Peru scoreless for a nail biting 120 minutes, the game went to penalties. With the entire nation watching, an unexpected hero stepped into the spotlight to quite literally save the day. 33-year-old Andrew Redmayne had only made three appearances prior to the showdown with Peru. The goalkeeper was subbed on after the final whistle for his reputation as a penalty saving specialist.

Redmayne’s goal line dancing antics successfully put off the Peruvian penalty takers. The ‘grey wiggle’ made two saves, including the decisive stop, to book Australia’s spot in Qatar. And Australian fans rejoiced.

Ebden and Purcell Wimbledon Glory

The names of Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell might sound familiar. That’s because they have already been mentioned in this list. They were subjected to a heartbreaking defeat in the final of the Australian Open at the hands of fellow countrymen Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis. But in July, they became the second Aussie pair to win a grand slam doubles title this year when they were crowned Wimbledon champions.

Ebden and Purcell defied the odds on their underdog run. They conquered the first, second and third seeds on their way to the title. After a crushing defeat at the Australian Open, the pair managed to bounce back and win the most prestigious tournament in tennis.

Kangaroos Dominate the Rugby League World Cup

This year’s Rugby League World Cup was the biggest ever. With 16 teams battling it out for the honours in England. The tournament saw last minute winners, crushing defeats and upset wins, but the Kangaroos were a dominant force throughout.

Australia went undefeated throughout the tournament before claiming the trophy with a 30-10 victory over upstarts Samoa. The Kangaroos defeated their opponents by an average margin of over 40 points. Besides a hotly contested two-point victory in the semi-final against New Zealand, it never looked like there was any doubt that Australia would retain the World Cup trophy and further strengthen the nation’s status as a rugby league powerhouse.

T20 Cricket World Cup Comes Down Under

The 2022 T20 World Cup brought cricket’s best teams to Australia for a fast paced, action-packed tournament. More than 750,000 fans flocked to stadiums across Australia as the world’s greatest team’s vied for the World Cup Trophy.

In the end, Australia couldn’t reclaim the trophy as defending champions, crashing out in the super 12 phase. But the tournament brought cricket fever to Australian shores for a month of madness.

Socceroos Historic World Cup Run

Heading into the World Cup there were hopes that Australia might be able to win their first game on the world’s biggest stage in 12 years. Not only did the Socceroos do one better, defeating Tunisia and then Denmark in the group stage, they also progressed to the knockout stages for only the second time in the country’s history and the first time since 2006.

Taking on tournament favourites Argentina in the round of 16, led by the legendary Lionel Messi, the Socceroos had a heavy task ahead of them. Despite losing 2-1, the ‘roos performed valiantly and made the country proud. If a few chances had gone the Socceroos way, we might have seen them make an even deeper run.

By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything sports and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or staying up late watching sports in incompatible time zones.

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