With adrenaline pumping through the veins and tireless, long hours of repetitive practice finally paying off, the scoring of a much-needed match point or victorious completion of any sport often overflows into an entertaining celebration. From dances and wild outbursts to iconic poses, here are some of the best sporting celebrations.
Taking a wicket in cricket is certainly worthy of jubilant celebration and nobody can blame South Africa’s leg-spinner, Imran Tahir, for his celebratory antics on the pitch. Tahir tends to go off on a mad dash around the field, releasing some of that pent-up excitement along the way. One such example was his excited wicket-taking celebrations during the World Cup quarter-final defeat of Sri Lanka where the Pakistan-born bowler threw his head back, screamed with joy while pumping his arms and then setting off on a sprint across the outfield.
Manchester United captain, Wayne Rooney, had a bit of a laugh at tabloid newspaper, The Sun’s, front page article that reported he was knocked out by former teammate Phil Bardsley. To celebrate a goal against Tottenham in 2015 at Old Trafford, Rooney pretended to throw a couple of punches followed by a fall to the ground after being ‘knocked out’.
Stunning crowds at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt, ran off with some three gold medals while breaking the record for men’s 100m. But this isn’t all he’s remembered for. His iconic ‘lightning bolt’ stance – copied the world over – was a particularly endearing celebration following a win.
Always leaning towards the dramatic, footballers are known for some impressive victory celebrations on the field, some more impressive than others. Stjarnana Football Club, based in Iceland, rose to fame with possibly the best football celebration ever. The elaborate goal celebration sees one player ‘catch’ another with his ‘fishing rod’ and reeling in the ‘jerking fish’. The teammates gather round, lifting the ‘catch of the day’ while one photographs this great moment. Highly amusing.
The traditional Maori war dance which has been incorporated into the Kiwi rugby culture is renowned for giving audiences some serious shivers. One particularly poignant haka followed New Zealand’s second Rugby World Cup victory at Twickenham with skipper, Richie McCaw, leading his team in ‘Ka Mate’ in front of the Web Ellis Cup.
Recently the American National Football League made a move to crack down on over-the-top touchdown celebrations, which, to be fair, have become quite elaborate over the decades. Players breaking the rules are being slapped with fines, but fans seem to love the showmanship. From ‘resuscitating’ the match ball to stealing cheerleaders’ pompoms, the antics are varied. They all seem to stem from around the 1970s when the ever smooth, Billy ‘White Shoes’ Johnson would perform a simple but era-appropriate End Zone dance involving a simple hand raise followed by a rhythmic knee-knocking dance. Very cool.
Big men like to celebrate in a big way and for the American National Basketball Association, this means some impressive ‘signature’ celebrations and dance moves. One that has been imitated across sporting fields is LeBron James’ ‘The Silencer’ move to shut up the away crowds when he scores. This involves pushing down with his hands while lifting knees and slapping his chest with a warlike scream. Even cuter than this is a clip of his eight-year-old son, Bryce, walking in dad’s big footsteps with a perfect imitation of ‘The Silencer’.
The vibe was fantastic, Shakira had set the tone and South Africa was caught up in the 2010 Football World Cup being hosted on the African continent for the first time. And then it happened, Bafana Bafana midfielder, Siphiwe Tshabalala, scored the opening goal against Mexico. The nation went wild. And to celebrate this momentous occasion, Tshabalala and some of his teammates went to the outer edge and performed and Africanised version of the Macarena.