2008 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.
- Super Bowl XLII – the New York Giants (NFC) won 17–14 over the heavily favored New England Patriots (AFC)
- BCS National Championship Game at Sugar Bowl (2007 season):
- September 7 - In the New England Patriots' season opener, quarterback Tom Brady suffers a torn ACL that ruled him out for the season, a year after he led the Patriots to a 16-0 record (the first undefeated team since the NFL's 16-game expansion in 1978) and a Super Bowl XLII appearance.
- September 21 – The New England Patriots lost to the Miami Dolphins to end their NFL-record 21-game regular-season winning streak dating back to December 2006, which coincidentally, was also against the Dolphins.
- December 28 - The Miami Dolphins finish 11-5 and become the first team in NFL history to win their division after winning only one game the year before, and it also marked the last non-Patriot division title in the AFC East until the 2020 NFL season.
- The Detroit Lions became the first team since the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers to lose all their regular season games. They lost an NFL record 16 games during the season. The Lions would be joined by the Cleveland Browns 9 years later as the second team to go winless since the NFL expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978.
- 2008 Meteksan Archery World Cup takes place at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Leading medal winners are USA, Italy and Russia.
- Egypt win the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations 1–0 over Cameroon. It is the sixth title in the competition for the Pharaohs.
- Manchester United wins the UEFA Champions League, defeating another English side Chelsea by penalty shootout 6–5, after a draw of 1–1 at the final.
- Spain defeated Germany 1–0 in the final of the 2008 UEFA European Football Championships
- LDU Quito wins the 2008 Copa Libertadores, defeating Fluminense in the final.
- Papua New Guinea win the 2008 Australian Football International Cup defeating New Zealand 7.12.54 to 7.4.46 in the Grand Final. A special 'Peace Team' composed of local Israeli and Palestinian players competed in the tournament.
- Hawthorn defeat Geelong 18.7.115 to 11.23.89 in the 2008 AFL Grand Final to win their tenth premiership. The crowd of 100,012 at the MCG is the largest at a VFL/AFL Grand Final since the 1986 VFL Grand Final.
- North Ballarat defeat Port Melbourne 18.12.120 to 11.9.75 in the 2008 VFL Grand Final at the Telstra Dome. This is the club's first VFL premiership in its 13th season in the league.
- Fresno State University Bulldogs made history by becoming the biggest underdogs to win an NCAA championship by beating their University of Georgia namesakes in the 2008 College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska
- For the first time in both World Series and post-season history, a contest is suspended during an official game as Game Five is halted in the sixth inning with a tie score of 2–2 between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The game resumes two days later and the Phillies clinch their second World Championship with a 4–3 victory, winning the 2008 World Series in five games. Cole Hamels was named the World Series Most Valuable Player.
- Japan Series winners Saitama Seibu Lions won the 2008 Asia Series by beating Taiwan Series winners Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions by 1–0 at the final at Tokyo Dome
- University of Kansas Jayhawks defeat the Memphis Tigers in the championship game of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, 75–68 in overtime in San Antonio, Texas. The Jayhawks' Mario Chalmers was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
- University of Tennessee Knoxville Lady Vols, led by Most Outstanding Player Candace Parker's hustle, defeated the Leland Stanford Jr. University Cardinal, 64–48 to win their second consecutive NCAA women's basketball tournament in Tampa, Florida, and their eighth overall.
- Boston Celtics win their seventeenth NBA Championship by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in six games in the 2008 NBA Finals. Paul Pierce was named Finals MVP.
- Euroleague won by CSKA Moscow of Russia by defeating Maccabi Tel Aviv 91–77 in the final
- The Detroit Shock would win their 3rd championship in franchise history after sweeping the league-best San Antonio Silver Stars in the 2008 WNBA Finals. It was the first sweep in the finals in a best-of-5 series.
- The Melbourne Tigers defeat the Sydney Kings in five games in the NBL Grand Final series to win their fourth championship.
- April – World Indoor Singles and Mixed Pairs Championship held at Bowls Stadium, Swansea
- February 23 – Wladimir Klitschko defeats WBO heavyweight champion Sultan Ibragimov at Madison Square Garden in New York City, to unify the IBF and WBO Heavyweight titles. The Klitschko-Ibragimov fight was the first heavyweight unification bout since Holyfield-Lewis in 1999.
- March 8 – David Haye achieves a TKO of Enzo Maccarinelli in the second round in a unification fight for the WBC, WBA and WBO cruiserweight titles.
- April 19 – Joe Calzaghe, fighting for the first time in the USA, wins a 12-round split decision over Bernard Hopkins for the latter's world light heavyweight title
- June 28 – Manny Pacquiao defeats David Díaz via 9th-round knockout to take the WBC lightweight crown, his 4th world title in 4 divisions.
- October 18 – Bernard Hopkins beats then-undefeated Kelly Pavlik via unanimous decision. Throughout the fight, Hopkins, although 17 years older than Pavlik, managed to outwork and outhustle Pavlik throughout the fight.
- November 8 – Joe Calzaghe remains unbeaten after 46 fights with a 12-round unanimous decision over Roy Jones Jr. at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
- December 6 – Manny Pacquiao defeats Oscar De La Hoya after eight rounds in a fight billed as "The Dream Match" in Las Vegas, when De La Hoya couldn't answer the bell for the ninth round. It was officially a technical knockout.
- Carlos Sastre wins the 2008 Tour de France.
- Alberto Contador wins the 2008 Giro d'Italia.
- Alberto Contador wins the 2008 Vuelta a España.
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- FINA Diving World Cup concludes with China taking 7 gold and 4 silver medals
- March – 2008 World Figure Skating Championships held at Göteborg
- The winners of the 30th FAI World Gliding Championships in Lüsse are Michael Sommer (Open Class), György Gulyas (15m Class) and Olivier Darroze (18m Class).
- Laurent Couture (World Class), Michael Buchthal (Standard Class) and Matthias Sturm (Club Class) won the gold medals in the 30th FAI World Gliding Championships in Rieti, Italy.
- The Masters – Trevor Immelman wins his first major.
- Tiger Woods wins the 2008 U.S. Open Golf Championship over Rocco Mediate following an eighteen-hole playoff which they tie at even par. This forces a sudden death playoff on the seventh hole and Woods makes a par to Mediate's bogey.
- United States defeats Europe to win the 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky
- Australia – Melbourne Cup won by Viewed
- Canadian Triple Crown:
- Dubai – Dubai World Cup won by Curlin
- France – Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe won by Zarkava
- Ireland – Irish Derby Stakes won by Frozen Fire
- Japan – Japan Cup won by Screen Hero
- English Triple Crown Races:
- United States Triple Crown Races:
- Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships:
- Day 1:
- Day 2:
- Breeders' Cup Marathon – Muhannak
- Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint – Desert Code
- Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile – Albertus Maximus
- Breeders' Cup Mile – Goldikova
- Breeders' Cup Juvenile – Midshipman
- Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf – Donativum
- Breeders' Cup Sprint – Midnight Lute
- Breeders' Cup Turf – Conduit
- Breeders' Cup Classic – Raven's Pass
- Detroit Red Wings win the Stanley Cup defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4 games to 2.
- The Red Wings' Henrik Zetterberg wins the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
- Zetterberg and his Wings and Sweden teammates Niklas Kronwall and Mikael Samuelsson join the Triple Gold Club, made up of individuals who have won the Stanley Cup and gold medals at the Olympics and World Championships.
- IIHF World Championships: Russia wins the gold medal by defeating Canada in overtime in the final
- A first season of Kontinental Hockey League was held, replaced from Russian Superleague on September 2.
- March 16 – Budapest Blax Lacrosse team is founded.
- May 26 – Syracuse University wins the 2008 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship
- August 7 – Federation of International Lacrosse, the new unified governing body for the sport, holds its first meeting. The body was formed with the merger of the former governing bodies for the men's and women's versions, respectively the International Lacrosse Federation and International Federation of Women's Lacrosse Associations.
The following is a list of major noteworthy MMA events by month.
1/19 – UFC 80: Rapid Fire
1/25 – ShoXC 4
2/2 – UFC 81: Breaking Point
2/13 – WEC 32: Condit vs. Prater
2/16 – EliteXC: Street Certified
2/23 – Strikeforce: At The Dome
2/29 – IFL: Las Vegas (Start of 2008 IFL season)
3/5 – World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 1 (Sengoku Raiden Championship's first event)
3/15 – DREAM.1 (DREAM's first event)
3/21 – ShoXC 5
3/26 – WEC 33: Marshall vs. Stann
3/29 – Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Le
4/5 – ShoXC 6
4/11 YAMMA Pit Fighting 1 (YAMMA Pit Fighting's first and only event)
4/29 – DREAM.2
5/11 – DREAM.3
5/16 – IFL: Connecticut (Last IFL event; 2008 Season never completely finished)
5/24 – UFC 84: Ill Will
5/31 – EliteXC: Primetime
6/1 – WEC 34: Faber vs. Pulver
6/7 – UFC 85: Bedlam
6/14 – EliteXC: Return of the King
6/15 – DREAM.4
7/19 – UFC: Silva vs. Irvin
7/19 – Affliction: Banned (Affliction's first event)
7/21 – DREAM.5
7/26 – EliteXC: Unfinished Business
8/3 – WEC 35: Condit vs. Miura
8/9 – UFC 87: Seek And Destroy
8/15 – ShoXC 7
9/6 – UFC 88: Breakthrough
9/13 – Strikeforce: Young Guns III
9/23 – DREAM.6
9/26 – ShoXC 8
10/3 – Strikeforce: Payback
10/4 – EliteXC: Heat
10/10 – ShoXC 9 (Last EliteXC event)
10/18 – UFC 89: Bisping vs. Leben
10/25 – UFC 90: Silva vs. Côté
11/5 – WEC 36: Faber vs. Brown
11/15 – UFC 91: Couture vs. Lesnar
11/21 – Strikeforce: Destruction
12/3 – WEC 37: Torres vs. Tapia
12/10 – UFC: Fight for the Troops
12/27 – UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008
- August 8 – Games of the XXIX Olympiad open in Beijing
- Chile defeats Brazil to win the 2008 Polo World Championship in México
- The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race – Oxford University beat Cambridge University to gain their third victory in five years.
- February 29 at Elland Road, Leeds – 2008 World Club Challenge is won by the Leeds Rhinos who defeat the Melbourne Storm 11–4 before 33,204
- April 17 at Sydney – 2008 marks the centenary of rugby league in Australia and an Australian rugby league team of the century is announced
- May 9 at the Sydney Cricket Ground – 2008 ANZAC Day Test match is won by Australia 28–12 over New Zealand before 34,571
- July 2 at ANZ Stadium, Sydney – 2008 State of Origin is won by Queensland in the third and deciding match of the series against New South Wales before 78,751
- August 30 at Wembley Stadium – 2008 Challenge Cup culminates in St. Helens' 28–16 win against Hull F.C. in the final before 82,821.
- October 4 at Old Trafford, Manchester – Super League XIII culminates in the Leeds Rhinos' 24–16 win against St. Helens in the Grand Final before 68,810
- October 5 at ANZ Stadium, Sydney – 2008 NRL season culminates in the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles' record-breaking 40–0 win against the Melbourne Storm in the 2008 NRL Grand Final before 80,388
- November 19 at Sydney – 2008 Golden Boot award for best international player is won by Australia's Billy Slater
- November 22 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane – 2008 World Cup tournament culminates in New Zealand's 34–20 win against Australia in the final before 50,599
- Australian Open
- French Open
- Wimbledon Championships
- US Open
Rafael Nadal claimed the World No. 1 ranking for the first time, on August 18, replacing Roger Federer
- FAI Sporting Calendar: Aerobatic Competitions Archived February 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine – accessed February 17, 2008
- "EAC2008 results". Archived from the original on November 13, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
- FAI: European Glider Aerobatic Championships 2008 – accessed 2008-08-21 Archived January 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- 30th World Gliding Championships 2008 in Lüsse – accessed August 21, 2008
- FAI Sporting Calendar: Gliding Competitions – accessed 2008-02-17 Archived February 1, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- SoaringSpot: results of the 30th FAI World Gliding Championships in Rieti, Italy Archived February 4, 2013, at archive.today – accessed July 21, 2008
- "Epsom Derby | History, Winners, & Facts | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
- Logue, Brian (August 13, 2008). "ILF, IFWLA Merge to Form FIL". Lacrosse Magazine. Archived from the original on August 17, 2008. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
- EUPGSerbia2008: results – accessed 2008-07-21 Archived June 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- Final results of the 13th World Helicopter Championship – accessed 2008-08-22[dead link]