The final of the Champions League of PSG, the retirement of Martin Fourcade, the coronation of Julian Alaphilippe at Imola ... The year 2020 was rich in significant moments for sport, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused many postponements and cancellations of events.

Retrospective in pictures.

• The death of Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash

The sporting year started off badly.

Basketball genius, hard worker and extraordinary competitor, Kobe Bryant was killed on January 26 in a helicopter crash, along with his daughter Gianna.

Seven other passengers were killed.

As elegant as he is combative, the Los Angeles Lakers star was elusive on the floors, to the point of inspiring many current NBA stars and top athletes from all walks of life.

A fan lights a candle in front of a mural depicting Kobe Bryant on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles.

Apu GOMES AFP / Archives

• The retirement of Martin Fourcade

One of the most successful French athletes retired in 2020: Martin Fourcade, the legend of biathlon.

At 31, the five-time Olympic medalist, eleven-time world champion, hung up the skis and the rifle on March 15.

He started with one last victory, the 83rd of his career, in the pursuit at Kontiolahti.

Biathlon legend Martin Fourcade won the last race of his career on Saturday March 14.

© Jussi Nukari, AFP

• The viral parenthesis

The year 2020 was to be a celebration for all sports lovers.

Between the Euro football, the Tokyo Olympics or the Copa America, a beautiful summer was ahead.

Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit the planet, forcing viewers to fall back on reruns of old events or the Belarusian football championship.  

The postponement of the Olympic Games is a great first in peacetime: so far only the two world wars have been successful.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hopes that the organization of the Games in 2021 will be "a testimony to the defeat of the virus" to humanity.

Other events were less fortunate and could not be postponed, such as the legendary Paris-Roubaix cycling race, which will not have had a 2020 edition. Here again, a first since World War II .

The public can no longer attend sporting events due to Covid-19.

© Loic Venance, AFP

• PSG fail in the Champions League final

Covid-19 requires, the queen competition of European football saw its conclusion be postponed to August and to a new format: a tournament in the form of "Final 8" in Lisbon.

PSG took the opportunity to exorcise their old demons from recent seasons and climb to the final for the first time in their history.

However, Bayern Munich's march was too high and Thomas Tuchel's men had to lose 1-0 to the Bavarians.

PSG striker Neymar during the Champions League final against Bayern, August 23, 2020 David Ramos POOL / AFP / Archives

• OL's fifth consecutive Champions League

For the Olympique Lyonnais footballers, the years go by and look the same.

On August 30, The Wendy Renard gang won the seventh Champions League in its history and the fifth in a row since 2016. The only possible point of comparison in football: Alfredo Di Stefano's Real Madrid in men, winner of the five first C1 between 1956 and 1960.

Olympique Lyonnaise players after scoring a goal in the Champions League semi-final against PSG on August 26, 2020, in Bilbao, Spain.

© Alvaro Barrientos, AFP

• Slovenian duel on the Tour and the coronation of Tadej Pogacar

France was waiting for Thibaut Pinot and Julian Alaphilippe, it had to be content with a Slovenian duel.

The Jumbo-Visma armada was determined to lock the Grande Boucle and offer the yellow jersey to its leader Primoz Roglic.

Nothing and no one seemed able to stop them.

Except Tadej Pogacar, 21 years old ... By dint of incessant attacks, the young prodigy has managed to grab little by little the delay on his elder and compatriot.

The time trial of the Planche des Belles Filles during the penultimate stage entered directly into the legend of the Tour.

Primoz explodes, Tadej flies away, boosted, and takes almost two minutes from the leader, while he only needed 57 seconds to put on the yellow jersey.

Tadej Pogacar became the youngest post-war winner.

>> To read also: Tour de France: Tadej Pogacar, a winner with the ardor of youth

Slovenians Primoz Roglic (g) and Tadej Pogacar, yellow jersey, at the start of the last stage of the Tour de France, September 20, 2020 between Mantes-la-Jolie and the Champs Elysées KENZO TRIBOUILLARD AFP

• Julian Alaphilippe, a French rainbow

It had been twenty-three years since a Frenchman had worn the rainbow tunic of the world champion in cycling.

Julian Alaphilippe ended this food shortage on September 27 by winning the road race in Imola, Italy.

The Auvergnat attacked at the top of the last climb, less than 12 kilometers from the finish to win solo, on the Enzo and Dino Ferrari autodrome, with 24 seconds ahead of his first pursuers.

The world champion of road cycling, Julian Alaphilippe, in Imola, September 27, 2020 Marco BERTORELLO AFP / Archives

• Tennis: at 19, Iga Swiatek becomes the first Polish woman to win a Grand Slam tournament

Iga Swiatek, 19, flew over Roland Garros from start to finish.

In seven rounds, she has only dropped an average of four games per game, beating Simona Halep, number one seed and tournament favorite, in the round of 16.

In the final, she beats the American Sofia Kenin, to become the first Polish titled in a Grand Slam tournament.

On the men's side, Rafael Nadal continues his impressive domination with a 13th coronation in his favorite tournament.

The Polish Iga Swiatek kisses the Suzanne Lenglen trophy after her victory in the Roland-Garros final against the American Sofia Kenin, October 10, 2020 Thomas SAMSON AFP

• #BlackLivesMatter on NBA fields

Knee on the ground during the national anthem, "Black Lives Matter" painted black on the floors, slogans on the back of the players' shirts, regular speeches… The NBA players have been active on the anti-racism front in 2020, in the wake of the death of George Floyd, killed by a police officer last May.

The players used the post-Covid resumption of the season to get their message across, going so far as to boycott matches.

An NBA basketball court with "Black Lives Matter" inscribed on it.

© © Kevin C. Cox, AFP

• Death of Christophe Dominici 

Face known to the general public, Christophe Dominici brought the oval and a certain idea of ​​French flair into French homes one afternoon in 1999, by flattening in the end of the New Zealanders an anthology essay, after favorable rebound, to overthrow the All Blacks, the match and lead the Blues to the World Cup final (43-31).

The former rugby player was found dead on November 24 in the park of Saint-Cloud, near Paris at the age of 48.

The investigation is still in question to elucidate the causes of his death.

• Death of Diego Maradona, football legend and hand of God

God has found "his hand".

Diego Maradona died on November 25 of cardiac arrest.

He was for many the greatest Argentinian player of all time.

He was an artist in the field as well as a character of excess outside.

The Mondial-86 in Mexico had been his masterpiece.

That year, he took the Albiceleste to the world title.

>> To read also: From Castro to Chavez via Morales, the heart to the left of Maradona

Maradona with the World Cup trophy in 1986. AFP

• Stéphanie Frappart, on the whistle of the Men's Champions League

The French referee Stéphanie Frappart never stops writing history.

After being the first woman to blow the whistle in the French second division (2014) then in the men's Ligue 1 (2019), then the first to lead an official international men's meeting and a European Supercup match, she was the first woman to refereeing men in the Champions League at Juventus Turin-Dynamo Kyiv on December 2.

French referee Stéphanie Frappart during the Champions League match between Juventus Turin and Dynamo Kiev, December 2, 2020 © Vincenzo Pinto, AFP

• Romain Grosjean withdraws from Formula 1 after an impressive accident

These are the last images we will keep of Romain Grosjean on a racing circuit: a single-seater cut in two after a shock at 220 km / h, impressive flames, endless 28 seconds where everyone thinks of the worst ... Then the Swiss-French driver extracts himself from the car.

Miraculously, the pilot got off with burns to his hands, a sprained left ankle and bruises after "seeing death too closely".

For Romain Grosjean, who had already announced to leave the Haas team at the end of the season, the choice is made, he prefers to retire.

A decision he describes as "difficult, I didn't think I would end my F1 career like this, but I think it's for the best."

• PSG - Basehkthir interrupted due to racist comments

The Champions League match between PSG and Basaksehir Istanbul will have marked the spirits thanks to the 22 actors who have chosen to leave the field to say no to racism, inspired by Demba Ba's anger at the words of the fourth referee.

The next day, when the match resumed in the grounds of the Parc des Princes, the players posed, before kick-off, a knee to the ground, a symbolic gesture associated with the fight against racism.

Players and referees have dropped to one knee against racism.


• Death of Gérard Houllier, legendary French trainer

He was one of the legends of French football without ever having been a professional player.

Gérard Houllier died on the night of Sunday 13 to Monday 14 December.

Coach on the benches of OL, PSG and Liverpool, he has multiplied the successes and marked the history of these clubs.

Under his leadership, PSG won the first championship in its history in 1986. In 2001, with Liverpool, he even signed a historic quintuplet: Cup, League Cup, Comunity Shield, UEFA Cup and Supercup.

Gérard Houllier also led the France team: he was coach during the France-Bulgaria disaster of 1994 but also National Technical Director during the victory at the 1998 World Cup.

In 2001, Gérard Houllier won five trophies in the same year with Liverpool, including the UEFA Cup.

© Odd Andersen, AFP

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