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Original Issue

Pictures Of the Year

You can think of a photo as a collection of atoms, countless tiny, varied pixels moving at frenzied speeds before bonding to produce power and energy supercharged beyond the sum of those parts. Take this photo, perhaps the most ambitious in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's 60 years, shot on April 12, 2014, at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, where a year earlier two bombs had exploded, murdering three and injuring 264 more. In the crowd, more than 3,000 Boston Strong, there is a complex, furious swirl of emotion—heartbreak, joy, remembrance and triumph all colliding at once and bonded by the lens of photographer Gregory Heisler into a single, indelible image. It is a metaphor, writ large, for the entire Year in Sports.

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Gregory Heisler

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Photograph by GREG NELSON FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

1

June 12, Miami

The Spurs—with big help from Kawhi Leonard (2)—rise again. The Heat begin their descent into an uncertain future.

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Photograph by JOHN S. PETERSON ICON SMI

2

June 25, Omaha

Vanderbilt piles it on after winning its first College World Series title.

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Photograph by DAMIAN STROHMEYER FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

3

April 21, Boston

Meb Keflezighi is the first American male to win the Boston Marathon in 31 years.

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Photograph by BRUCE BENNETT GETTY IMAGES

April 1, Uniondale, N.Y.

Ice shave and a beauty by the Panthers' Nick Bjugstad on the Islanders' Travis Hamonic.

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Photograph by 1. JASON PARKHURST FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

Selfie Nation, Every Day 1.

From left: Garrald McDowell, Victor Evans and DeVante Kincade,

Oxford, Miss., Oct. 4

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Photograph by 2. CARLOS OSORIO/AP

2.

Justin Verlander,

Detroit, June 8

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Photograph by 3. DAVID J. PHILLIP/AP

3

. J.J. Watt,

Houston, July 26

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Photograph by 4. PATRICK SEMANSKY/AP

4.

Adam Jones,

Baltimore, Sept. 16

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Photograph by 5. ROBERT BECK/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

5.

Lee Westwood,

Ryder Cup, Sept. 28

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Photograph by 6. ROB CARR/GETTY IMAGES

6.

Adam Silver,

Washington, D.C., Nov. 21

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Photograph by 7. BRUNO MAGALHAES/AP

7.

Ronaldinho,

Belo Horizonte, Brazil, July 24

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Photograph by 8. TOBY MELVILLE/REUTERS

8.

From left: Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic, Kei Nishikori, Andy Murray, Milos Raonic, Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych,

London, Nov. 7

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Photograph by 9. KEVIN JAIRAJ/USA TODAY SPORTS

9.

Didier Drogba and Ivory Coast teammates,

Dallas, May 31

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Photograph by 10. AL TIELEMANS/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

10.

Damion Square and Vinny Curry,

Philadelphia, Aug. 21

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Photograph by 11. JOHN W. MCDONOUGH/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

11.

From left: Bu Willingham, Ray Allen, Kevin Ollie and Richard Hamilton,

Arlington, Texas, April 7

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Photograph by 12. ZOU ZHENG/XINHUA/ZUMAPRESS.COM

12.

Mike Conway (in white), Will Power (black) and Tony Kanaan (red),

Toronto, July 21

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Photograph by 13. IMAGO/ZUMAPRESS.COM

13.

Mario Balotelli, with AC Milan fans,

Pittsburgh, July 27

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Photograph by 14. MARK J. REBILAS/USA TODAY SPORTS

14.

Jon Dorenbos,

Glendale, Ariz., Oct. 26

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Photograph by 15. DAVID E. KLUTHO/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

15.

From left: Paul Rudd, Jayson Nix and Scott Downs,

Kansas City, Oct. 15

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Photograph by 16. ANDRE RINGUETTE/NHLI/GETTY IMAGES

16.

Phil Kessel and a resourceful fan,

Ottawa, Nov. 9

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Photograph by 17. VLADIMIR SMIRNOV/ITAR-TASS/LANDOV

17.

Chloé Dufour-Lapointe and sister Justine,

Sochi, Feb. 9

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Photograph by 18. ETHAN HYMAN/RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER/MCT/LANDOV

18.

Jay Bilas,

Durham, N.C., Feb. 22

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Photograph by 19. JULIAN FINNEY/GETTY IMAGES

19.

Billie Jean King and Serena Williams,

Singapore, Oct. 26

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Photograph by 20. AP

20.

RGIII,

Richmond, July 25

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Photograph by 21. DAVID CANNON/R&A/GETTY IMAGES

21.

Rory McIlroy,

British Open, July 20

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Photograph by AL BELLO GETTY IMAGES

Nov. 23, East Rutherford, N.J.

Odell Beckham Jr. suspends belief with The Greatest Catch Ever‚Ñ¢, against the Cowboys.

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Photograph by JARED WICKERHAM GETTY IMAGES

1

March 20, Buffalo

Aaron Craft ponders his last-second miss in Ohio State's round-of-64 upset at the hands of Dayton.

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Photograph by THOMAS LOVELOCK FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

2

Sept. 28, Gleneagles, Scotland

Why are these men not smiling? Team USA reflects on its loss in the Ryder Cup.

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Photograph by JULIAN FINNEY GETTY IMAGES

3

July 13, Rio de Janeiro

The German national team walks the path of champions after defeating Argentina 1--0 in the World Cup final.

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Photograph by DARREN MCCOLLESTER GETTY IMAGES

1

Sept. 21, Foxborough, Mass.

The then winless Raiders turned the Patriots' Julian Edelman, and nearly football, upside down in a 16--9 nailbiter of a loss.

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Photograph by CHARLES KRUPA AP

2

Feb. 12, Krasnaya Polyana

Marie Marchand-Arvier of France goes headlong in the women's downhill at the Winter Games.

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Photograph by DONALD MIRALLE FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

3

July 31, Huntington Beach, Calif.

A camera on the Goodyear blimp catches Josh Kerr letting it rip at the U.S. Open of Surfing.

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Photograph by TONY GENTILE REUTERS/LANDOV

4

June 24, Natal, Brazil

Uruguay's Luis Suarez (in white) doth protest too much after his bite marked 'round the world against Italy and Giorgio Chiellini in the World Cup.