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  • Jordan Luker

This Week in Sports History

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

Monday (February 20th)

February 20th, 1977, Cale Yarborough wins his 2nd Daytona 500. Favorites Richard Petty and David Pearson would both face car troubles during the race. Janet Guthrie makes NASCAR history by being the first woman to compete in the cup series. Guthrie would end up finishing 12th.

Tuesday (February 21st)

February 21st, 1980, Lichtenstein is the smallest nation to ever produce an olympic champion. In the 1980 Olympics held in Lake Placid Hanni Wenzel went from nobody to national hero. Lichtenstein is a country with less than 40,000 people but not the smallest nation by area. The smallest nation by area to win an Olympic medal was San Marino in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Wednesday (February 22nd)

February 22, 1980, the famous “Miracle on Ice”. Keeping with the Olympics from Lake Placid for this next one. The United States Olympic Hockey Team beat the Soviet Union in a stunner 4-3. It is considered one of the greatest upsets in the history of the Olympics.

Thursday (February 23rd)

February 23rd, 1985, the infamous Bobby Knight chair game. Bobby Knight was the coach for the Hoosiers from 1971 - 2000. Knight was known for his fits of rage throughout his career. One of the most famous was against rival Purdue at home in Assembly Hall at Bloomington. After receiving a technical foul from the referee, Knight threw a chair across the court to the cheers of the crowd. He proceeded to be kicked out of the game and IU would lose 72-63.

Friday (February 24th)

February 24th, 1982, Wayne Gretzky scores a record setting 77 goals in a season. He ended up scoring three goals that game against the Buffalo Sabres to bring the number to 79. Gretzky would then go on to score 92 goals that season, creating a record that has yet to be broken in the NHL at the time of this article being written.

Saturday (February 25th)

February 25th, 1981, MLB Players vote to strike starting May 29th before the MLB season starts. This strike would last 50 days with teams finally coming to an agreement on July 31, 1981. Due to the strike, owners decided to split the season into two halves, and was the first time the MLB used a split season format since 1892.

Sunday (February 26th)

February 26th, 1935, Baseball Hall of Famer Babe Ruth is released from the New York Yankees and signs a deal with the Boston Braves. However, his tenure with the Braves was short as age catches up to the best of athletes. Ruth would play his final game in 1935, and eight months later would be elected into the Hall of Fame.

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