From the Olympics in February, to a football World Cup in December, 2022 promised to be busy from start to finish.
The major sporting events of the year did not disappoint and other unforgettable and unexpected moments slipped into the menu of a copious buffet.
A look back at the events that marked the year.
Australian Open (January 16): Australia says no to Djokovic
On the eve of the start of the first Grand Slam of the season, Novak Djokovic is on the plane.
No Australian Open for the Serb, deprived of a visa because of his rejection of vaccination.
A month earlier, a positive Covid test had allowed him to obtain a medical exemption and a
for the Australian Major.
However, when he arrived in Oceania, this exemption did not satisfy the Australian government.
“Nole” is transferred to a detention center for migrants.
The Australian justice then lifted the cancellation of his visa before the Minister of Immigration withdrew it definitively.
Djokovic, suspected of having falsified his test, is ordered to leave the territory.
Australian Open (January 30): the rebirth of Rafa
Roger Federer in early retirement, Novak Djokovic defeated in the US Open final by Daniil Medvedev, Rafael Nadal away from the field for five months, a wind of change is blowing on tennis in this month of January 2022.
An epic 40-strike rally between Daniil Medvedev and Rafa Nadal in the Australian Open 2022
final. 🎥@AustralianOpen pic.twitter.com/MS5nswvYf7
— Tennis Legend (@TennisLegende) December 29, 2022
In Melbourne, the way seems clear for the "Next Gen" but Nadal advances, dismisses Denis Shapovalov and Matteo Berrettini to challenge Medvedev in the final.
Almost knocked out after two lost sets, the Taurus of Manacor rebels and knocks out the Russian after 5h24 of effort.
Then 35 years old, the Spaniard lifts his 21st Grand Slam, a record he will raise to 22 at Roland-Garros in June.
Beijing Olympics (February 4 to 20): the Blues in the wake of Fillon Maillet
Quentin Fillon Maillet has emerged from the shadow of Martin Fourcade.
The 30-year-old biathlete achieved what no other French athlete had achieved since 1924: winning five medals at the Games.
The Jurassic man sounded the Marseillaise twice, thus inspiring the surprising Justine Braisaz-Bouchet, in gold during the mass-start.
Biathlete Quentin Fillon Maillet achieved the feat of winning five medals in one Olympics.
DeFodi Images / Icon Sport
Guillaume Cizeron and Gabriella Papadakis didn't need any help as the couple dominated the mixed ice dance competition.
Olympic champions, four years after a difficult second place, the skaters won the only title they lacked.
The skier Clément Noël won the slalom of the Olympic Games, in which the young Chinese Eileen Gu was the star.
Six Nations Tournament (March 19): a Grand Slam and promises
A blue-white-red triplet.
On March 19, the XV of France offers itself the Crunch, the Tournament and the first tricolor Grand Slam since 2010. Led by Antoine Dupont, remotely guided by Fabien Galthié, the Blues successively defeated Italy (37-10), the Ireland (30-24), Scotland (36-17), Wales (13-9) and England (25-13).
🇫🇷🏴 To see or see again!
The complete summary of the victory of the Blues yesterday against England 👇 #FRAANG #XVdeFrance #LeTournoiEstBleu pic.twitter.com/ZwN88V3Id9
– France Rugby (@FranceRugby) March 20, 2022
The Tricolores took everything in their path, including the support of the French public.
After years of scarcity, this generation and this tenth Grand Slam have awakened enthusiasm, as the 2023 World Cup, organized at home, looms.
European Cup (May 28): La Rochelle's revenge
A year after their failure against Toulouse, La Rochelle trailed by four points one minute from the end of the European Cup final against Leinster.
The rugby players from La Rochelle push to the end, until this try by Arthur Retière (24-21), which ignites the Orange-Vélodrome in Marseille.
The Maritimes inaugurate the European shelf of their trophy cabinet, eight years after their return to the Top 14, and thus extend the French hold on European rugby.
Tour de France (July 13): Vingegaard and Pogacar set the Granon on fire
Siesta time never came on July 13th.
Between Albertville and the Col du Granon, cycling unpacked all it had to offer.
The offensive strategy of Jumbo-Visma and the legs of Jonas Vingegaard destroyed the shell of Tadej Pogacar.
The Dane stripped the double Tour winner of his yellow jersey and drew a more human face to the Slovenian machine.
Ten stages later, Vingegaard triumphed over the Champs.
Tour de France Women (July 31): Van Vleuten, first crowned
Annemiek Van Vleuten appears on the Tour de France podium after recovering the yellow jersey.
Dormant for 33 years, the Women's Great Loop woke up with the first edition of the Tour de France Women.
If the fast Lorena Wiebes and Marianne Vos shared the light during the first six stages, Annemiek Van Vleuten got her hands on the spotlight during the last two outings.
Part solo, the Dutch first won the yellow tunic from Vos at Markstein.
The next day, no finish on the most beautiful avenue in the world but triumph of the Movistar cyclist on the Planche des Belles Filles.
Van Vleuten is sacred, the competition pushed back to almost four minutes.
EuroBasket (September 18): the return of Spain
2022, the year or never to imitate the Parker generation of 2013?
During this Euro, everything seemed to be aligned: Slovenia from Doncic returned home, Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert are over-motivated and Spain is no longer powered by the Gasol brothers.
Masters of money-time, the Blues went through extra time to overthrow Turkey and Italy.
In the final, they will not have the opportunity to shine in the decisive moments.
From the first quarter, France is overwhelmed.
The Hernangomez siblings offer the title to Spain.
Karim Benzema: the "People's Golden Ball" (October 17)
24 years after Zinedine Zidane, KB9 is voted the best player in the world of football.
"I am delighted with this award, it's for you Karim Benzema", launched the 1998 world champion, happy to invite him on stage.
Zizou slipped the Golden Ball into the hands of his successor and a few words in the ear of the Real Madrid striker.
Author of the hat-trick which eliminated PSG and 12 other goals during the Madrid journey, Benzema guided his club to its 14th Champions League, the 5th on his personal record.
Joy, before withdrawing from the World Cup and announcing his international retirement.
Serena's Last Dance, Roger's Tears
Fans were prepared for their farewell, but the two legends did not spare the hearts of their admirers as they left the stage.
Roger Federer had it all tied up.
Absent from the courts since his elimination in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in the summer of 2021, the Swiss played a last double with Rafael Nadal on the black soil of the Laver Cup at the end of September.
This is...quite extraordinary: pic.twitter.com/NikeW1NGJT
— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) September 24, 2022
The image of the tears of the two rivals quickly transformed their ultimate defeat into an anecdotal memory.
That of Serena Williams' surprising course at the US Open was still fresh.
The American with 23 Grand Slam titles, three more than "RF", ended her career in the third round of the tournament, carried by the atmosphere of Flushing Meadows.
Masters (November 8): Storm Caroline
Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia won the biggest title of her career at the Fort Worth Masters in the United States.
SUSA / Icon Sports
74th in the world at the start of the season, Caroline Garcia illustrates the difficulties of French tennis.
The Lyonnaise went through the first part of the season without sparks.
She finished it off as a cannonball.
Crowned with three titles and a last four at the US Open, the 29-year-old arrives at the Masters without her coach Bertrand Perret, who left the ship after telling her the right course.
In Fort Worth, Garcia dominates the best tenniswomen in the world and Aryna Sabalenka in the final, appropriating "the biggest title" of her career and the fourth seat in the WTA rankings.
World Cup (December 18): the unfinished epic of the Blues
Apart from a calf, the France team extended its lease on the roof of the world for four years.
'Dibu' Martinez miraculously stopped Randal Kolo Muani's last-minute attempt before disgusting the Blues in the penalty shootout.
Two years after the death of Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi finally scratches a World Cup.
Despite 80 calamitous minutes in the final and a lack of control over certain matches, the Blues convinced millions of French people.
The closed face of Kylian Mbappé, not softened by the 50,000 people who came to celebrate the fallen champions at Concorde, reflects the determination of this generation, which will go back to hunting for trophies during the German Euro 2024.