No matter who we are and what we do in life, a new year always brings new hope. We look to shake off our worries, our old mistakes, from the departing year, or even of life and aim for a fresh start with the hope of a new beginning. And you know what they say about hope?
Exactly 365 days back, 2020 was just another year for all humans on planet earth. Toasts were made to the impending year, new resolutions were made, and 2020 was welcomed with glitz and glory just like for any other year. Little did one know what 2020 had in store for mankind.
More than a month into 2020, a novel virus had waged its war against humans. Countries went into lengthy lockdowns, travel was prohibited, social distancing was enforced in a bid to weaken the unseen enemy, but by the time the rules fell in place across the globe, the virus had affected more than three-fourth of the world's population and reducing it by half. It was catastrophic by epic proportion, bringing in chaos around the world as people lost their loved ones, businesses were ruined, and the unemployment rate had reached its peak.
Eventually, people learned to live with the virus with appropriate protection, businesses were up and running and people began to deal with the "new normal" with greater mental strength. One of such things is a famous line from this year - "Just 2020 things" - the humourous reference to happenings from the year that has been beside the usual trend in previous years.
Sports, which resumed in the latter half of this year, witnessed quite a few of its usage across various activities and we have enlisted a few
Chennai Super Kings, the three-time winners, for the first time in 11 years of their IPL participation, failed to make it to the playoffs. They finished bottom of the points table with six wins and eight defeats in 14 games.
Virat Kohli, for the first time since his debut year of 2008, failed to score an international century. Five times he did come close to the triple-figure mark, all against Australia across home and away contests. He finished the year with 842 runs in 24 innings with seven half-centuries.
A forgettable ODI calendar year for Team India as they capped off 2020 with just three wins from nine matches. The win-loss record of 0.50 is the worst in this century and the lowest since 1997 (0.434).
Barcelona ended a turbulent 2019/20 season trophyless for the first time since 2007/08 season, conceding the La Liga title to Real Madrid before incurring a humiliating 2-8 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, their worst defeat in 80 overs.
Barcelona's trouble increased when Lionel Messi, who made his debut for the club in 2004 and since played 499 matches across competitions, for the first time raised the prospect of leaving the club earlier in the summer. The two-week saga eventually ended with Messi taking a U-turn on his decision which seemed like a temporary truce.
The Wimbledon Championships was cancelled for the first time since World War II owing to COVID-19 issues making it the only grand slam that was not held in 2020, the year that also saw, for the first time ever, French Open being played after the US Open, in September.
The sport also witnessed a first Grand Slam winner besides the famed Big Three, since 2010 when Dominic Thiem defeated Alexander Zverev in a five-set thriller to lift the US Open trophy. 2014 was the last time when a player apart from Big Three lifted then title with Marn Cilic defeating Kei Nishikori at the Flushing Meadows.
The Olympics, that was slated to held in Tokyo from 24 July to 9 August 2020, was cancelled owing to COVID-19 concerns. It marks the first Olympic Games to be postponed since World War II. The Games was later rescheduled to 23 July and it retained the "Tokyo 2020" name.
The year has now come to an end.
Toasts will once again be made for impending 2021, new resolutions will be made, and the new year will be welcomed with new hope of a fresh beginning. And you know what they say about hope? "Hope is a good thing," as said by Andy Dufresne in 1994 classic 'The Shawshank Redemption', "Maybe even the best of things and good things never die."