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This is what happened in sport during 2023

By Sam Joseph, CNN

(CNN) — 2023 has been a year unlike any other in sport.

Records were broken, torches were passed, movements were started and tears were shed as fans experienced every emotion possible.

Here’s a look back at the biggest stories this year from all over the sporting world.


2nd: Damar Hamlin suffers a cardiac arrest on the field while playing for the Buffalo Bills against the Cincinnati Bengals.

11th: Hamlin is discharged from hospital.

28th: Aryna Sabalenka wins the women’s singles at the Australian Open.

29th: Novak Djokovic wins the men’s singles at Australian Open.


1st: Tom Brady announces his retirement from football for the second time.

6th: The Brooklyn Nets trade Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks.

7th: LeBron James passes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record of 38,387 points to become the NBA’s all-time scoring leader.

9th: The Brooklyn Nets trade Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns.

11th: Real Madrid wins the Club World Cup.

12th: The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 in Super Bowl LVII.


4th: The NBA begins an investigation into Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant after a video emerges of him displaying a gun at a Colorado nightclub.

17th: Three people finish the Barkley Marathons for only the second time in the 37-year history of the ultra-race.

17th: No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson University beats No. 1 Purdue in the first round of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament in a historic upset.

21st: Japan wins the 2023 World Baseball Classic with Shohei Ohtani winning tournament MVP.


2nd: Angel Reese and LSU beat Caitlin Clark and Iowa to claim the women’s college basketball National Championship.

3rd: World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and Endeavor (the majority owner of the UFC) announce that the two companies will merge.

6th: European champion England beats South American champion Brazil on penalties, 1-1 (4-2) to win the first ever Women’s Finalissima.

9th: Spaniard Jon Rahm wins the Masters.

22nd: Wrexham A.F.C., co-owned by actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, is promoted to the Football League after a 15-year absence.

26th: The Green Bay Packers trade Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets.

27th: Brittney Griner speaks at a press conference for the first time since her release from Russia in December 2022 after being detained there earlier that year.


14th: Ja Morant is suspended by the Grizzlies after being seen with a gun for a second time, this time on Instagram Live. He would later be suspended without pay by the NBA for 25 games.

20th: Manchester City wins the Premier League.

21st: Real Madrid and Brazil winger Vinícius Jr. is persistently racially abused by members of the crowd during Madrid’s 1-0 defeat against Valencia.


3rd: Manchester City wins the FA Cup, defeating bitter rival Manchester United 2-1 in the final.

6th: PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Golf announce that they will merge.

10th: Iga Świątek wins the women’s singles at the French Open.

10th: Manchester City wins the Champions League, beating Inter Milan 1-0 to complete a historic treble.

11th: Novak Djokovic wins the French Open and becomes the all-time leader in men’s grand slam titles.

12th: The Denver Nuggets win their first NBA Championship in franchise history, defeating the Miami Heat in five games.

13th: The Vegas Golden Knights win their first Stanley Cup in only their sixth NHL season, beating the Florida Panthers in five games.

22nd: French teenage sensation Victor Wembanyama is selected first overall by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2023 NBA Draft.


15th: Major League Soccer club Inter Miami officially announce the signing of Lionel Messi.

15th: Markéta Vondroušová wins the women’s singles at Wimbledon, the first to do so as an unseeded player.

16th: Carlos Alcaraz won a five-set thriller against Novak Djokovic, 1-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 3-6 6-4, to win the men’s singles at Wimbledon.

24th: Bronny James, son of NBA legend LeBron James, suffers a cardiac arrest while at USC basketball practice.


6th: The USWNT is knocked out of the Women’s World Cup on penalties by Sweden in Megan Rapinoe’s final international match.

15th: Soccer superstar Neymar Jr. signs for Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal, the highest profile name amongst a slew of international players to move to the burgeoning Saudi Pro League.

20th: Spain win the Women’s World Cup for the first time, defeating England 1-0 in the final.

20th: Royal Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales is accused of multiple instances of inappropriate behavior after Spain’s victory, most notably forcibly kissing midfielder Jennifer Hermoso during the trophy ceremony.

21st: Sha’Carri Richardson wins the women’s 100m final at the World Athletics Championships.

24th: Magnus Carlsen defeats 18-year-old Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa to become Chess World Cup champion.

25th: Rubiales defiantly refuses to resign at a press conference and condemns the rise of “fake feminism.”

25th: Spain midfielder Alexia Putellas posts on X (formerly Twitter) in support of Hermoso and kickstarts the #SeAcabó (#It’sOver in English) social movement.

27th: Simone Biles makes history at the US Gymnastics Championships with her 8th all-around title.


9th: American teenager Coco Gauff wins the women’s singles at the US Open.

10th: Novak Djokovic wins the men’s singles at the US Open.

10th: Luis Rubiales resigns as RFEF president but does not offer an apology in his statement.

11th: Aaron Rodgers ruptures his Achilles just four snaps into his New York Jets career.

24th: Taylor Swift attends an NFL game for the first time to watch Travis Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs play the Chicago Bears at Arrowhead Stadium.

27th: The Portland Trail Blazers trade Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks.


1st: Damar Hamlin returns to the Bills active roster.

6th: Simone Biles wins her sixth all-around world gymnastics title in Antwerp, Belgium, to solidify her status as the greatest gymnast ever. She would end up winning four golds at the event, taking her to 23 world titles – the most in men’s or women’s gymnastics history.

7th: Max Verstappen is crowned Formula One world champion for the third time, securing the title in the sprint race at the Qatar Grand Prix.

16th: The IOC announces that flag football, baseball/softball, cricket, lacrosse and squash will be included at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

18th: The Las Vegas Aces win the WNBA Finals 3-1 against the New York Liberty, becoming the first repeat WNBA champions in 21 years.

28th: South Africa wins the Rugby World Cup with a 12-11 victory over New Zealand.

28th: American ice hockey player Adam Johnson dies while playing for the Nottingham Panthers in England.

30th: Luis Rubiales is banned from all soccer-related activities for three years by FIFA.

30th: Lionel Messi wins a record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or award.

30th: Police confirm that they are investigating Adam Johnson’s death.


1st: The Texas Rangers win their first World Series in franchise history as they defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks in five games.

1st: The Philadelphia 76ers trade James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers.

6th: Iga Świątek wins WTA Finals and regains the world No. 1 ranking after thrashing Jessica Pegula, 6-1 6-0.

19th: Max Verstappen wins the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix.

19th: Australia wins the 2023 Cricket World Cup, beating India in the final.

19th: Novak Djokovic wins the ATP Finals, defeating Jannik Sinner with ease, 6-3 6-3.

30th: Tiger Woods makes his return to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge after undergoing surgery in April.


3rd: Florida State, undefeated in the regular season, is controversially left out of the College Football Playoff.

7th: Jon Rahm announces that he is leaving the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf.

9th: Shohei Ohtani announces that he is signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, reportedly on a 10-year, $700 million contract, the largest deal in professional sports history.

13th: Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors is suspended by the NBA after striking Jusuf Nurkić during a game against the Phoenix Suns.

21st: The EU’s top court decides that FIFA and UEFA’s rules which blocked the creation of the controversial European Super League were unlawful, potentially removing obstacle for the controversial soccer competition to be established.

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