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17 of the coolest sports photos of 2021

Remember when Phil Mickelson became the oldest major championship winner in history at the age of 50?

Michael Paye, at left, and Matt Scott, of Team USA, celebrate after defeating Team Japan during the men's Wheelchair Basketball gold medal game on Day 12 of the Tokyo Paralympic Games on Sept. 5. (Lintao Zhang, Getty Images)

It was quite a year in the sports world, was it not?

Fans were able to return to most stadiums after a strange 2020 due to the pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics finally took place after being postponed by a year, and Tom Brady won yet another Super Bowl -- this time, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers instead of the New England Patriots.

It’s hard to show you EVERYTHING that happened (because there was just so much!), but we enjoyed combing through Getty Images to see some of the more unique photos their photographers snapped this year.

In no particular order, here are 17 photos that we think help tell the story of 2021.

Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, celebrates with his son, Owen, in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 7 in Avondale, Arizona. (Getty Images)
A general view of Michigan Stadium before the game between the Washington Huskies and the Michigan Wolverines on Sept. 11 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Local first responders held up a flag during a tribute to the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11. (Getty Images)
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks celebrates after defeating the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 to win the 2021 NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum on July 20 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Getty Images)
Phil Mickelson of the United States and fans cheer as he walks up the 18th fairway during the final round of the 2021 PGA Championship. (Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Cup Series 63rd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 14 in Florida. (Getty Images)
Simone Biles of Team USA warms up prior to the Women's Balance Beam Final on Day 11 of the Tokyo Olympic Games on Aug. 3 in Japan. (Getty Images)
Carlos Gimeno of Spain dives from the cliffs edge at Downpatrick Head on Sept. 11 in Mayo, Ireland. The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series travels to outdoor locations across the world, challenging divers to jump from heights ranging from 26 to 28 meters. This is the first time the series has stopped at Downpatrick Head, an area of rugged coastline on the Atlantic sea. (Getty Images)
Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona faces the media during a news conference on Aug. 8 in Barcelona, Spain. An emotional Messi went on to confirm that he would leave the team, the only pro soccer club he has played for. (Getty Images)
The Atlanta Braves celebrate the team's 7-0 win against the Houston Astros in Game 6 to win the World Series at Minute Maid Park on Nov. 2. (Getty Images)
Tom Brady, quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, celebrates as he is reflected in the Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium on Feb. 7 in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers beat the Chiefs, 31-9. (Getty Images)
Phil Mickelson of the U.S. celebrates with the Wanamaker Trophy after winning during the final round of the 2021 PGA Championship held at the Ocean Course of Kiawah Island Golf Resort on May 23 in South Carolina. (Getty Images)
Elaine Thompson-Herah of Team Jamaica crosses the finish line to win the gold medal in the Women's 100-Meter Final on Day 8 of the Tokyo Olympic Games on July 31 in Japan. (Getty Images)
Members of the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees take the field prior to a game at the Field of Dreams on Aug. 12 in Dyersville, Iowa. (Getty Images)
Antti Aalto of Finland flies over the town of Oberstdorf during his first competition jump at the Four Hills Tournament on Dec. 29, 2020 in Oberstdorf, Germany. This image was created using a variable plane lens, and it was taken two days before 2021 started, but we're still going to include it. (Getty Images)
Lydia Jacoby of Team USA competes in the Olympic mixed 4x100-meter medley relay final on July 31 in Tokyo, Japan. (Getty Images)
Hideki Matsuyama of Japan celebrates on the 18th green after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11 in Georgia. (Getty Images)
Ross Colton, No. 79 of the Tampa Bay Lightning, celebrates after scoring against Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens during the second period in Game 5 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena on July 7 in Tampa, Florida. (Getty Images)

OK then -- who’s ready for 2022?


About the Author:

Michelle is the Managing Editor of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which writes for all of the company's news websites.