This week in sports history – February 24,2020

Feb. 25

Muhammad Ali beats Sonny Liston

Feb. 25 1964 was a world-renowned day in boxing history for the iconic match between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston. Ali had been fighting in matches since he was 12 years old, making it to the 1960 Olympics for lightweight boxing. The year 1964 also marked his rookie season as a heavyweight boxer. After 17 wins, 15 of which were knockouts, Ali faced Liston for the world heavyweight championship. Ali taunted Liston with his now famous saying, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Muhammad Ali beat Liston after six rounds, to which he loudly cheered “I am the greatest!”

Feb. 26

Mario Andretti wins Daytona 500

On Feb. 26, 1967, Mario Andretti competed and won the Daytona 500. This was a shocking turn of events for the racers and crowd alike as the Italian born racer was formerly trained as a USAC Indy car driver, which requires a different driving skill set. Fighting against more experienced drivers and an unsupportive team, Andretti won “The crown jewel of NASCAR” for his very first Formula One win, cementing him as one of the most versatile racers in history.

Feb. 27

Bonnie Blair sets world record for speed skating

In 1988, during her second Winter Olympics, American speed skater Bonnie Blair came in after one of her best skating seasons yet. The stakes were high as East German skater, Christa Rothenburger, had just set a new world record for the 500 meters in that same round. Blair overcame the pressure with her best start in her Olympic career. She not only earned gold, but set a world speed skating record of 39.1 seconds.

Feb. 28

Most penalties in NHL occur

The Guiness Book of World Records declared that the most penalties to ever happen in one National Hockey League match was on Feb. 28, 1990. The match was between the Edmonton Oilers and the Los Angeles Kings in Los Angeles. There was a total of 85 infractions between both teams for a total of 356 penalty minutes given out to players.

Feb. 29

Hank Aaron signs contract with Braves

 On Feb. 29, 1972, baseball legend Hank Aaron signed a contract with the Atlanta Braves, earning him the highest salary of the entirety of Major League Baseball with an average of $200,000 a year. This has a modern equivalent of approximately $1,229,540 per year.

Mar. 1

Roof blown off of Philadelphia Spectrum stadium

On the day of Feb. 1, 1968, the icy winds of a brutal winter blew the roof off the Philadelphia Spectrum. This home of the National Hockey League team the Philadelphia Flyers, was condemned for repairs. As it was unplayable, the team finished the rest of the season’s home games in Toronto, New York City and Quebec City.

Mar. 2

Anita Hall breaks 

In 1992 the U.S. Swimming Championships in Indianapolis, IN, american swimmer Anita Hall broke the world record for the 200-meter breaststroke twice. Her record-breaking time was 2 minutes, 25.35 seconds. (2:25.35)


Photo: T. Gouw

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