20 for 2020: Sports figures who defined courageous and kind, selfish and stubborn

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USA TODAY

In a typical year, history is made by the winners.

Yet in this gutting, emotionally draining and hopefully anomalous last 12 months, the sports figures who will stick with us forever are not merely those who managed to hoist a trophy.

Instead, as the globe wrestled with a pandemic that has killed more than 1.7 million people, and as the U.S. counted more than 330,000 of those deaths while grappling with the racism baked into its institutions, the athletes and coaches who intersected with these parallel scourges may leave the most lasting impression.

So, 2020 was a drag, right?

Certainly. It also surfaced the courageous and kind, the selfish and stubborn among us. Sports were no different.

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With that, a glimpse at 20 sports men and women for 2020 – from the gallant to the galling, and the many who, like all of us, learned an awful lot along the way:

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