March 3rd, 2024

Sports photos captured unforgettable snippets in 2023

By Paul Newberry, The Associated Press on December 25, 2023.

They are snippets in time, unforgettable snapshots that gloriously capture the soaring euphoria and gut-wrenching agony of the games we love, not to mention the randomness of a moment that might’ve gone unnoticed otherwise.

There are the Kansas City Chiefs, dunking head coach Andy Reid with a jug-full of frigid drink after their stirring Super Bowl triumph over the Philadelphia Eagles, fulfilling what has become a rite of passage in all gridiron celebrations.

And the Vegas Golden Knights, gathered in a giant group hug behind the net after capturing the NHL’s Stanley Cup championship, the glittering ice beneath their skates littered with discarded gloves.

Then there’s Femke Bol, a track athlete from the Netherlands, tumbling toward the track with a gasp of disbelief across her face, the baton slipping from her grasp as she falls near the finish line of a relay race at the world championships.

And Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, smashing a golf club across his leg like a child trying to snap a tree limb in half, the frustration evident after an errant shot from the thick rough at the U.S. Open.

But let’s not forget Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, her braided ponytail soaring above her head as she whacks a serve at the Wimbledon tennis championships.

And Cleveland Guardians catcher Bo Naylor, captured in another close-up at the very instant that a foul ball smashed off his mask during an otherwise ho-hum game in the midst of summer at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

Sure, we’re all intrigued by the most notable among us, whether it’s singer Taylor Swift cheering from a football luxury suite or Britain’s King Charles III letting out a gasp from the royal box at the Royal Ascot horse racing meet.

But countless moments give us the full picture.

Thanks to the photographers of The Associated Press, so many of them will remain a timeless part of our memories.

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Paul Newberry is a national sports writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at pnewberry@ap.org

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AP sports: https://apnews.com/sports

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