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The Year in Sports: Part I

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It’s been an incredible year for sports in Indian Country, with American Indian and indigenous athletes wowing spectators all across the globe, from the basketball courts of Kentucky to the rugby fields of New Zealand. We've been honored to have been here to report on it for you, and we tip our caps to all the amazing competitors who made 2011 so unforgettable.

We thought we’d put together a list for you so you could join us in remembering all the incredible things that transpired over the past twelve months in the world of sports. There have been so many incredible moments provided by so many outstanding American Indian and indigenous athletes we couldn't fit it all into one story, so we'll be bringing you this sports-minded retrospective in three parts.

Without further ado...

  1. The most incredible sports story involving history being made thanks to incredible human, and inhuman, endurance.
  2. The most stunning rise from fourth-string bench player to one of the stars of his sport and a US National Team roster spot.
  3. The second most rewarding medal for a team that has been through everything a team can in the course of two years.
  4. The best comeback by an athlete that required a sand wedge.
  5. The best comeback by an athlete that required skates.
  6. The best comeback by an athlete that required a mountain.
  7. The best comeback from personal hardship that resulted in a human being actually jumping over other human beings.
  8. The best comeback that turned out to be one of the best seasons, period, for a professional athlete in his sport. An athlete who we covered from the beginning and just couldn't believe how instead of slowing down, his kept getting better and better until his sport began recognizing him with award after award.
  9. Most humble athlete who kicks serious butt.
  10. Most impressive one-handed victory.
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Check back in for Part II of our look back on this phenomenal year in sports.