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1986 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.
- Super Bowl XX – the Chicago Bears (NFC) won 46–10 over the New England Patriots (AFC)
- Linebacker Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants is named NFL Most Valuable Player Award
- January 1 – Orange Bowl (1985 season):
- Quarterback Vinny Testaverde of the Miami Hurricanes is awarded the Heisman Trophy
- 1986 FIFA World Cup – In the final, Argentina defeated West Germany 3–2 and won their second World Cup title. It was played for the second time in Mexico City, Azteca Stadium.
- UEFA Champions League – Steaua București 0-0 F.C. Barcelona; Steaua București won 2-0 on penalties
- UEFA Cup –Two legs; 1st leg Real Madrid C.F. 5-1 1. FC Köln; 2nd leg 1.FC Köln 2-0 Real Madrid CF. Real Madrid CF won 5-3 on aggregate
- Cup Winners' Cup – Dinamo Kiev 3-0 Atlético Madrid
- Super Cup – Steaua București 1-0 Dinamo Kiev
- Copa Libertadores de América – Two legs; 1st leg América de Cali 1-2 River Plate; 2nd leg River Plate 1-0 América. River Plate won 3-1 on aggregate
- November 6 – Alex Ferguson is appointed manager of Manchester United F.C.
- Milk Cup Final held at Wembley Stadium – Oxford United 3-0 QPR
- Intercontinental Cup – River Plate 1-0 Steaua București
- Major League Baseball
- American League defeats the National League 3-2 in the 1986 Major League Baseball All-Star Game played in Houston, Texas. Roger Clemens of the Boston Red Sox is named the game's Most Valuable Player.
- All-Star Game: American League Manager Dick Howser is diagnosed with brain cancer after mixing up signals during the game.
- Dave Righetti saves 46 games for the New York Yankees, breaking a record shared by Dan Quisenberry and Bruce Sutter.
- October 27 – World Series – The New York Mets win 4 games to 3 over the Boston Red Sox. The series is best remembered for Game 6, when the Red Sox were one out away from the Series victory but blew a 2-run lead with the bases empty and 2 outs in the bottom of the 10th inning; the game's final play was a groundball that rolled through the legs of first baseman Bill Buckner.
- Jeff King of the University of Arkansas is the #1 overall pick in the 1986 MLB draft selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates
- Arizona Wildcats defeat Florida State Seminoles 10-2 in College World Series
- NCAA Men's Basketball Championship –
- NBA Finals
- Boston Celtics Forward Larry Bird is awarded NBA Most Valuable Player Award
- National Basketball League (Australia) Finals:
- FIBA World Championship
- United States World Champion
- March 10 in Las Vegas, Nevada – Marvin Hagler retains the World Middleweight Championship with an 11th-round knockout of John Mugabi.
- May 8 to 18 – Fourth World Amateur Boxing Championships are held in Reno, United States
- November 22 – Mike Tyson knocks out Trevor Berbick in round 2 to become the youngest world heavyweight-boxing champion at 20 years and 4 months old
- Gaelic football
- Ladies' Gaelic football
- Masters Tournament – Jack Nicklaus becomes the oldest Masters winner (age 46), and wins his last major golf championship (excluding the Senior PGA Tour).
- U.S. Open – Raymond Floyd
- British Open – Greg Norman
- PGA Championship – Bob Tway
- PGA Tour money leader – Greg Norman – $653,296
- Senior PGA Tour money leader – Bruce Crampton – $454,299
- North America Cup – Quite A Sensation
- United States Pacing Triple Crown races –
- United States Trotting Triple Crown races –
- Australian Inter Dominion Harness Racing Championship –
- Pacers: Village Kid
- Australia – Melbourne Cup won by At Talaq
- Canada – Queen's Plate won by Golden Choice
- France – Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe won by Dancing Brave
- Ireland – Irish Derby Stakes won by Shahrastani
- Japan – Japan Cup won by Jupiter Island
- English Triple Crown Races:
- United States Triple Crown Races:
- Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships:
- Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer during the regular season: Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers
- Hart Memorial Trophy for the NHL's Most Valuable Player: Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers
- Stanley Cup – Montreal Canadiens won 4 games to 1 over the Calgary Flames
- World Hockey Championship –
- Men's champion: Soviet Union defeated Sweden
- Junior Men's champion: Soviet Union defeated Canada
- The 5th World Lacrosse Championship is held in Toronto. The United States win, and Canada is the runner-up.
- The first Japanese lacrosse team is formed at Keio University.
- The Major Indoor Lacrosse League (MILL) is formed as the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League.
- The New Westminster Salmonbellies win the Mann Cup.
- Mississauga wins the Founders Cup.
- The Peterborough Maulers win the Minto Cup.
- Grand Slam in tennis men's results:
- Grand Slam in tennis women's results:
- Davis Cup – Australia won 3-2 over Sweden in world tennis.
- Judith Miller (18 October 1992). "Barcelona Gets 1992 Summer Olympics". New York Times. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- "Epsom Derby | History, Winners, & Facts | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 4 January 2022.
- "Our Games | Commonwealth Games Federation". thecgf.com. Retrieved 4 January 2022.