There may have been a lot of sport cancelled in the ACT in 2021, but it continued to play a big part in our lives.
Sporting memories, the loss of legends and the efforts of those extraordinary athletes that live in the region have all been captured by our reporters.
Take a look back at an instant replay of your top sports stories of the year.
For 50 years, the Maher Cup was the rugby league clash that entranced southern NSW.
There were extraordinary stories of trains loaded with 1000 supporters, fisticuffs, protests, flooded ovals, near riots and staggering betting.
A new book detailed all of the Maher Cup’s tall-tales and true.
Sadly, in 2021, legendary footballer Tommy Raudonikis died aged 70.
In many respects, it’s hard to encapsulate a life filled with so many stories that have been enshrined in folklore.
Tim Gavel remembers one of the game’s most beloved characters, who cemented his reputation in Sydney, but whose career began in rural NSW.
The Ainslie Football Club honoured Chris Rourke after six premierships as coach, and the life-changing culture he embodied for countless footballers.
Every player who came under Chris’ charge seemed to be regarded as family.
The Belconnen Magpies Football Club celebrated 50 years in 2021.
In the late 1990s, Belconnen affiliated with the West Canberra Football Club to become the Belconnen Magpies.
The long-running themes of mateship and teamwork were reflected in the book, Blue, Black, White and Teal: Celebrating 50 Years of Football in Belconnen.
There have been accusations of nepotism at the Canberra Raiders over the years, given the close relationships of the key personnel.
Those close relationships, though, provided the club with stability and laid the foundations for the success the Raiders enjoy today.
Tim Gavel explored the enduring relationships that sustained the Canberra Raiders for decades.
Lauren Jackson is regarded as one of the greatest female basketballers of all time.
She’s earned hall of fame honours in the US, but her feats are not similarly recognised in Canberra.
We have recognition for plenty of male athletes in Canberra, is it time we honoured one of the greatest athletes Australia has ever seen?
Ben Williams rose to the top of his field as a world-leading football referee – and even officiated at one of the craziest games ever played.
He retired in 2016. He made the decision one day as he was saying goodbye to his family to travel to an A-League game in Sydney.
After 25 years it was becoming harder and harder to say those goodbyes and the constant travel was taking its toll.
There was a time in the 1980s and ’90s when Russell Stewart was better known on London’s streets than in his home city of Canberra.
When he walked into a pub in England, there was instant recognition.
The unlikely darts champion (and former public servant) remained virtually unknown despite decades of success.
Canberran long jump star Vanessa Low broke her own record three times enroute to winning a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics this year.
Low started the T63 competition as the only leg amputee to have cleared five metres in long jump, with a best of 5.07 metres.
But in the Tokyo rain she managed to jump distances of 5.16 metres, 5.20 metres and 5.28 metres.
Her story now includes gold medals at two consecutive Paralympic Games for two different nations.
Phil Lynch has spent a lifetime dedicated to basketball, and the veteran of four Olympic Games as a commentator set the benchmark for Australian sports broadcasting.
Phil was effectively a pioneer in Australian basketball commentary on television as he brought the NBL to life from the outset in 1979.
He had the ability to not only provide insight into the sport through his commentary, but to provide a verbal picture with his smooth delivery and confidence.
This made him one of the best in his craft.
After a successful playing and coaching career spanning decades in Canberra rugby union, Wayne Southwell retired at the end of the 2021 season.
Southwell has been teaching in one form or another for the majority of his adult life.
He had a significant influence on a generation of rugby union players as a coach in the ACT region for the past 27 years.
Sixty-one-year-old Paul Narracott concedes some of his patients are surprised when they discover their mild-mannered dentist “waddling” along the corridor is widely considered one of Australia’s greatest 100-metre sprinters.
His record on the track was impressive, with many highlights.
Paul had high expectations heading into the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
He thought he had a slim chance of winning a medal in the blue ribbon 100-metres event on the track.
Dimity Douglas was just 12 years of age when she competed in the 100 metres breaststroke at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.
She was in Year Six at Canberra Girls Grammar Junior School when she was selected in the Australian team. The selection was just three years after she started training in a squad at the Deakin Health Spa.
She has some hard-learned lessons for sporting children.
From a football prodigy to David Beckham’s agent and bodyguard, Canberra’s Andy Bernal has done it all.
At 55 years of age, he is still living life at a million miles an hour, and that is no exaggeration!
Tim Gavel unravels his extraordinary journey back to where it all began.
Whether through birth or travel, Canberra is home to some pretty impressive sporting families.
From rugby’s Lachlan and Ryan Lonergan, to golf stars Nikki and Chris Campbell
As a home for so many sports families, Canberra should be proud of this depth and breadth of experience and talent.