This week in sports history, Feb. 19, 2019

February 19

Team USA trashes their rooms at 1998 Winter Olympics (1998)

US Olympic hockey team destroyed their rooms at the Winter Games in Nagano, Japan after their upsetting loss to the Czechs in the first round. Since 1998 was the first year for the NHL to allow its players to compete in the Olympics, expectations for gameplay were high. When the US team didn’t deliver, they decided to trash their rooms in the Olympic Village, smashing chairs and activating fire extinguishers.

February 20

Willie Mays signs record 6-figure annual contract with SF Giants (1963)

Willie Mays signed a record $100,000 annual contract with the San Francisco Giants. With this, he became the first baseball player to earn six figures. His contract paved the way for baseball players to start getting six-figure deals more commonly.

February 21

Dick Button performs first triple jump in a figure skating competition (1952)

Dick Button’s performance in the 1952 Winter Olympics included the triple loop, the first ever triple jump performed in a figure skating competition. Previously, triple jumps weren’t heard of in competitions, as the effort required to complete three full rotations of the body while in the air is extreme.

February 22

The Miracle on Ice (1980)

In the Lake Placid Winter Olympics, Team USA’s hockey team made largely of amateurs beat the USSR hockey team of experienced professionals in an upset that no one expected. With the Soviet team as the favorite to take home the gold and the U.S. team not even in the projected top three, this win for the USA came to be known as the “Miracle on Ice.”

February 23

NBA player to reach 25,000 overall points (1968)

Wilt Chamberlain, at the time playing for the Philadelphia 76ers, became the first NBA player to score 25,000 points overall. This can largely be attributed to the fact that he is the only NBA player to average more than 40-50 points each season as well as being the only player to score 100 points in a single NBA game.

February 24

British Olympic swimmer John Jarvis is born (1872)

On this day in 1872, English swimmer John Jarvis was born. He went on to become Britain’s first Olympic gold medalist, winning the 1000-meter-freestyle, and he continued his career winning 108 titles.

February 25

Norway wins Olympics with record 39 medals (2018)

The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics came to a close, declaring Norway as the winner with a record of 39 medals. The previous record of 37 was held by the United States and won in 2010, and the country’s own record was 26.

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