Fans wait outside the funeral chapel of football legend Diego Maradona at the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, Nov. 26, 2020. Maradona died at the age of 60 on Wednesday of a heart attack. (Photo by Martin Zabala/Xinhua)
The year 2020 is special in sports history.
BEIJING, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- 2020 was a special year for everyone, and for sport as well. Sorrow, happiness, excitement, and expectation, sport brings mixed feelings to all and can be the light at the end of the tunnel. We highlighted several sport-related keywords in 2020, memorizing the unusual year and looking forward to a brand new start.
We bid farewell to several sporting icons in 2020.
Artists paint a giant mural on the floor of a basketball court in honor of retired NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna in Taguig City, the Philippines, Jan. 28, 2020. Bryant and his daughter Gianna were two of the nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas of southern California on Sunday. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)
Basketball legend Kobe Bryant, 41, was killed in a helicopter crash in February. Argentine football legend Diego Maradona died at the age of 60 of a heart attack at his home in November.
Paolo Rossi, former Italian star striker who spearheaded the national side to the 1982 FIFA World Cup triumph, died at the age of 64.
We also said farewell to former NBA commissioner David Stern, the FIBA and the family of FIBA Secretary General Emeritus Borislav Stankovic, and Gao Fengwen, who led China's national football team at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.
They all passed away in 2020, but their legends will live on through fans, and they will continue to inspire future generations.
The new winner of the FIFA Best Men's Player award was Robert Lewandowski, instead of Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, who had combined to win the award 11 times over the past 12 years.
Robert Lewandowski celebrates following his team's victory in the UEFA Champions League Final match between Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica in Lisbon, Portugal, Aug. 23, 2020. (Photo by Julian Finney/UEFA via Xinhua)
Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem, a pair of 20-somethings, brought some fresh air in the tennis arena, although it's still too early to write off the Big Three.
Russia's Medvedev, 24, claimed his first ATP Finals victory after defeating the year-ending tournament's top three seeds. Austria's Thiem, 27, won his first Grand Slam trophy at the U.S. Open in September.
Photo taken on Nov. 10, 2020 shows the illuminated Olympic rings and the new National Stadium, the main venue for Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, in Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo is the capital and most populous prefecture of Japan. As you might expect from one of the world's most bustling cities, Tokyo is phenomenally vibrant at night. (Xinhua/Du Xiaoyi)
The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games were postponed by one year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 2020 Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021 and the Paralympic Games will open on Aug. 24 of the same year.
The Euro 2020 Championships and the Copa America were both postponed to June/July, 2021.
The 14th China National Winter Games was also postponed. International test events for the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing are set to be replaced by an adapted testing program.
The 2019-2020 season of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league resumed on June 20 after a nearly five-month break, the first professional league in China to resume operation.
Joseph Young (1st L) of Beijing Royal Fighters goes for a lay-up during the 20th round match between Beijing Royal Fighters and Nanjing Monkey Kings at the 2020-2021 season of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league in Zhuji, east China's Zhejiang Province, Dec. 19, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhu Zheng)
The 2020 Chinese Super League (CSL), which was scheduled to kick off on February 22 and postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, started on July 25th.
Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after winning the men's singles semifinal match against Diego Schwartzman of Argentina at the French Open tennis tournament 2020 at Roland Garros in Paris, France, Oct. 9, 2020. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)
The top five European leagues resumed in May. The French Open tennis tournament, which was scheduled from May 24 to June 7, was postponed until September. But one thing remained constant at Roland Garros, where Rafael Nadal is always the winner.
An amateur table tennis tournament kicked off in June in the city of Wuhan - once the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak.
It was the city's first sporting event since the COVID-19 outbreak in January. The tournament was held in Wuhan Gymnasium, which was once converted into a mobile hospital in February and admitted more than 300 COVID-19 patients.
Life is on the way back to normal, and now too so is sport. ■