Time for the latest installment of the GWR Sports Blog, and the word on everybody’s mouth this month was “soccer.” Or, “football” if you don’t live here in the U.S. with me. So, two words on everybody's mouth.
Regardless, teams on pitches around the world dominated the headlines in May, as Europe’s domestic leagues came to a close and Champions League play came to a thrilling conclusion too.
This month, we’ll go through some headlines from the pitch and then not forget about some of the other great sports achievements by the professionals this month. Then, we’ll take a look at what you, our everyday record breakers, have achieved this month. To the blog!
ON THE PITCH
The biggest news of May in the soccer world was, undoubtedly, the retirement of legendary coach Sir Alex Ferguson. For a full rundown of his career achievements and his record-breaking legacy, make sure to check out my colleague Kevin's take here. And what better way to send Fergie off then what Manchester United did days after his announcement? Winning England's top division for a record-extending 20th time.
In continental play, we witnessed the first-ever all-German Champions League final. Bayern Munich’s dramatic 2-1 victory unseated Chelsea as holders and also thus ended a quirky record first: Chelsea – by virtue of winning the Europa League a week earlier – became the first-ever team to simultaneously hold the Champions League and Europa League titles, doing so for 10 days.
The Europa League win for Chelsea also put Fernando Torres (above) into the history books. Oft-maligned, the Spanish striker is also now the only player ever who can claim he’s both played in and won the finals of the World Cup, European Championships, Champions League, and Europa League. Not bad for someone who turns up nearly 1 million results when you Google “Fernando Torres disappointment.” Interestingly, fellow Spaniard Juan Mata has also won all the same trophies as Torres, but hasn't actually appeared in each of the decisive matches as El Niño has.
AROUND THE WORLD OF SPORTS
Ye Wocheng (China, video above) became the youngest golfer to make the cut on the PGA European Tour, aged 12 years and 242 days when he did so at this month’s Volvo China Open. …In a great month for 12-year-olds, meanwhile, Alana Smith became the youngest X Games medalist, when she won silver in Women’s Skateboard Park at X Games Barcelona aged 12 years 210 days. …A little older, but no less impressive, Rosie Napravnik placed fifth at the Kentucky Derby aboard Mylute, the highest Derby finish for a female jockey. …Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. keeps cashing in – his $32 million purse earned against Robert Guerrero matches the mark for highest boxing purse ever, owned by…Floyd Mayweather Jr. …Ending the month on a fast note, the Indianapolis 500 delivered one of its most entertaining races ever. It set records for the most different leaders (14) and lead changes (68) for an Indy running, with Tony Kanaan winning his first-ever Indy 500.
WHAT YOU DID THIS MONTH
And now to highlight a few great athletic achievements by readers like you in May.
Team LifeStriders (USA, above) joined 103 members together to run a half-marathon this month, the most linked runners to complete such a race. The final runner crossed in a time of 3 hr 00 min 53 sec.
Windsurfer Dennis Klaaijsen of the Netherlands surfed 509.82 km (275.28 nautical miles; 316.79 miles) in 24 hours, a new flat-water record.
And the UK’s Glen Burmeister took to his bike recently and didn’t stop for a week, visiting 11 countries on his journey – the most nations visited in a 7-day span. He cycled to the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania, completing his journey in 6 days 11 hours 53 minutes.
And that wraps up the month in sports. But, wait! There's more!
Make sure to check out a new addition to our sports coverage this month, as yours truly appears in the video below to touch on some other records we didn't have a chance to cover in this space. Where else will you find LeBron James and Wigan Athletic mentioned in the same place?!
See you in June!