I have always been fascinated with sports and how intense a few moments can get when it comes down to who wins or loses.
This is a tribute to a few of my favourite sports characters and some of the most iconic sports photographs ever captured. All lines and shapes are drawn on a Wacom Intuos tablet in Adobe Illustrator. No tracing or scripts are used, just love and patience.
Phantom Punch
Muhammad Ali vs Sonnyy Liston
The ending of the second Ali-Liston fight remains one of the most controversial in boxing history. Midway through the first round, Liston threw a left jab and Ali went over it with a fast right, knocking the former champion down. Liston went down on his back. He rolled over, got to his right knee and then fell on his back again. Many in attendance did not see Ali deliver the punch. The fight quickly descended into chaos. Ali initially stood over his fallen opponent, gesturing and yelling at him, "Get up and fight, sucker!" The moment was captured by ringside photographer Neil Leifer in what became one of the most iconic images in sport, chosen as the cover of the Sports Illustrated special issue, "The Century's Greatest Sports Photos." 
Il Divin Codino
Roberto Baggio – 1994 United States – Italy v Brazil
In 1994 the World Cup Final would be decided by penalties for the first time, after a goaless game between Italy and Brazil. Roberto Baggio was having a fantastic World Cup until the last game, but scoring five goals in the tournament didn’t help him at all in the penalty shootout. Baggio's shot would have tied the penalty score, but the ball went well above the crossbar. One of the most memorable penalty misses and one of the most iconic  moments in football. Brazil won the shootout 3-2 and the World Cup.
Magic vs Jordan
Erwin 'Magic' Johnson vs Michael "Air' Jordan - NBA Finals 1991 - Los Angeles Lakers vs Chicago Bulls 1-4
This series would mark the end of the Lakers Showtime era and the beginning of the Bulls' dynasty. The Bulls won the series 1-4 and their first NBA championship title. After winning five championships in eight finals appearances in the 1980s, the Lakers were led by Johnson, already into his thirties as was fellow All-Star James Worthy. As for the Bulls, led by MVP Michael Jordan and superstar Scottie Pippen, they would win five more championships in a seven-year span cementing their status as a dynasty. The only finals where Magic and Jordan (maybe the two top basketball players ever) played against each other. 
8 Gold
Michael Phelps
On August 17, Phelps, who swam 17 times over nine days and set world records in seven finals, had already won the 400m medley, 200m freestyle, 200m butterfly, 4x100m free relay, 4x200m free relay, 200m medley and the 100m butterfly. Victory in the 4x100m relay rounded off a remarkable Olympics with the eighth gold medal in the 4×100-meter medley relay, breaking Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals won in a single Olympic Games, which had stood since 1972. 
The Doctor
Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi is one of the most successful motorcycle racers of all time, with nine Grand Prix World Championships to his name – seven of which are in the premier class. He started racing in Grand Prix in 1996 for Aprilia in the 125cc category and won his first World Championship the following year. From there, he moved up to the 250cc category with Aprilia and won the 250cc World Championship in 1999. After graduating to the premier class in 2000, he won the 500cc World Championship with Honda in 2001, the MotoGP World Championships (also with Honda) in 2002 and 2003, and continued his streak of back-to-back championships by winning the 2004 and 2005 titles after leaving Honda to join Yamaha, before regaining the title in 2008 and retaining it in 2009. Rossi is first in all time 500 cc/MotoGP race wins standings, with 86 victories, and second in all time overall wins standings with 112 race wins, behind Giacomo Agostini with 122.
Ben Johnson - 1988 Seoul Olympic Games
Frequently dubbed "the dirtiest race in history, the 100m. Men's final of te 1988 Olympics ended in controversy after Canada's Ben Johnson defeated defending champion Carl Lewis from the United States with a world record time of 9.79s, topping his own record of 9.83s that he set at the 1987 World Championships in Athletics in Rome. Two days later, Johnson was stripped of his gold medal by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) when his post-race drug test indicated steroid use. His record time of 9.79 seconds was also erased.

Image sources:
I created a complete alphabet and numbers set matching the style of the illustrations for the typographic needs of the project.
Original font 'First Day' can be found here: http://www.revolge.com/product/first-day-font/
Thanks for watching and stay tuned!
More sports moments coming soon!
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Sports moments