Sunday, May 30th, 2021 was the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500.  Not only is it amazing that the race has been going on for that long, but this running was very special for another reason.  For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, no sporting event has been as big as this one.  Why?  Well, 135,000 people gathered at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to witness, in person, “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”.  Making it the largest sporting event in the last 15 months.  Let me tell you, it was amazing to see it firsthand.

Until Sunday, I had not been to an Indy 500 race for, I think, 15 years.  For some reason, I just got bored with it and didn’t want to go.  I know, it’s crazy.  That said, after being there this weekend, I can’t wait for next year’s race.  I think I appreciate it way more now as an adult than as a kid.

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Anyway, being able to see that many people in one place after the last 15 months was simply incredible.  Everyone was just so happy to be there that it added to the excitement of the day.  I can’t even tell you how many times I heard the phrase “it’s just so great to be back”.  It went perfectly with the theme of this year’s race, “Back Home Again”.

So, how did it feel to see all those people walking around or sitting by you in the stands?  To put it simply, perfect.  One, you could not have asked for a better day weather-wise.  The sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  Two, there was an energy that is really hard to describe unless you were there.  Honestly, I think it was pure joy.  We saw that we can have events like this in this capacity and everything will be just fine.  It felt normal for the first time in a long time.  People got to do something that they enjoy with no strings attached.  We need more of that and I think we are on our way to getting it.

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LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.