As an aging soccer player and runner, I love seeing spectacular displays of athleticism in unexpected places. On days when my knees creak and back aches, they remind me of the physical feats possible with a little talent and a lot of practice. Sure, you can see amazing catches, goals and plays from the pros, but some of my best-loved moments occur when there’s no roaring crowd.
Three of my favorite sports videos I watched in 2012:
• Soccer player as street performer: I’ve watched many videos of talented soccer players doing ball tricks, but with a mix of amazing skill, creativity and use of props (wait ’til you see him on the lamp post), this French guy gets my vote.
• Norwegian field-goal kicker: They may not play much American football in Norway, but Harvard Rugland has a leg that puts most NFL kickers to shame. This video earned Rugland a try-out with the New York Jets.
• Diving Paralympian: If you know anything about Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee sprinter, you know that athletes who compete in the paralympics don’t lack the drive, talent or intensity of olympic athletes. This diving shot from table tennis player David Wetherill proves it.