Another year, another list of compelling sports stories. Here is a quick review of some of the events from 2006 that make us love sports...
The Winter Olympics in Turin featured highs and lows for the U.S., which placed second to Germany in the medal count. Among the highlights was Shaun White, deemed the Flying Tomato by dominating the X Games over the years, delivering the same results on an international stage during the Winter Olympics. He twisted, turned, and flipped his way to a gold medal in the Men's Halfpipe competition, an event in which the U.S. had three of the top four highest scores.
The Final Four has been dominated by college basketball's big boys for more than a quarter of a century, with powerful teams and tournament-tested conferences gathering at the end of the season to sort out the champion. This year was a little different thanks to George Mason, a commuter school in suburban Virginia that never had won a single game in the NCAA tournament until two weeks prior to March Madness. What an inspirational run they had!
The world watched as the beautiful game took center stage this summer for the World Cup. We have video clips of the most beautiful goals in effort to forget the ugly image of Zidane's head butt heard 'round the world.
An autistic hoopster made headlines. During his first and only appearance for his high-school basketball team in Greece, N.Y., Jason McElwain, who is autistic, drains six three-pointers, adds another field goal and is carried off the court by his jubilant teammates.
It was a very exciting and entertaining year for Little League Baseball as well. What a series! The Southeast team became the new world champs winning the 60th Little League World Series in a 2-1 upset over Japan. Also, the USA softball team took gold in the World Softball Championships in Beijing with a little help from Jessica Mendoza.
And in Ottaw[took gold|http://active.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/footballblind.jpg]a, Kansas there is a running back who rushed for 1,000 yards on the football field this season despite being legally blind and having a debilitating disease known as sickle cell anemia.
Thanks for an exciting and memorable 2006 - we're looking forward to 2007!
(Photo provided by Getty Images, taken by Jim McIsaac)