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|Years in sports|
2001 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.
- Alpine Skiing World Cup
- Super Bowl XXXV – In their first Super Bowl appearance, the Baltimore Ravens won 34–7 over the New York Giants.
- XFL is founded by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, but the league folded that same year, after the Los Angeles Xtreme won the league's only championship.
- Orange Bowl (2000 season):
- Memorial Stadium, former home of the Baltimore Colts and Baltimore Ravens is demolished
- INVESCO Field at Mile High opens up on September 10, 2001 as the Denver Broncos defeated the New York Giants 31–20.
- On December 16, 2001 bottlegate occurs
- Confederations Cup – Held one year before the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, this tournament served as a prelude, for both South Korea & Japan and the participating nations. France defeated Japan to win the tournament.
- Champions' League – Bayern Munich won 5–4 on penalties, in the final against Valencia, after a 1–1 draw at the end of the match. This was Bayern Munich's 4th European Cup title.
- UEFA Cup – Liverpool won 5-4 after extra-time, in the final against Alavés, with an unfortunate own goal/golden goal by Delfi Gelí. This was Liverpool's third UEFA Cup title.
- European Super Cup – Liverpool beat Bayern Munich 3–2, winning the cup for the second time.
- Intercontinental Cup – Bayern Munich beat Boca Juniors 1–0, winning the cup for the second time.
- Asian Champions Cup – Korean side Suwon Samsung Bluewings won their first Asian Champions Cup crown, defeating Júbilo Iwata 1–0. They also lifted the 2001 Asian Super Cup.
- May – Roman Šebrle breaks a 9.000 points barrier in decathlon event.
- August – 2001 World Championships in Athletics held at Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
- Australian Football League
- Fremantle equals St. Kilda's 1910 record for the worst start by a team that did not suffer a winless season, beginning with seventeen losses before a huge comeback upset over third-placed Hawthorn. It was equalled by Greater Western Sydney in 2013.
- The Brisbane Lions win the 105th AFL premiership beating Essendon 15.18 (108) to 12.10 (82).
- Brownlow Medal awarded to Jason Akermanis (Brisbane Lions)
- World Series – only 4 seasons old, the Arizona Diamondbacks became the youngest franchise to win a World Series by defeating the New York Yankees 4 games to 3. Series co-MVPs were Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, both of Arizona.
- The Seattle Mariners tied the 1906 Chicago Cubs’ record with 116 regular season wins.
- Barry Bonds set the record for most home runs in a season with 73.
- Season MVPs – National League: Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants. American League: Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners.
- Rookies of the Year – National League: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals. American League: Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle.
- Cy Young Award – National League: Randy Johnson, Arizona. American League: Roger Clemens, New York.
- Japan Series – The Yakult Swallows defeat the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes 4 games to 1. The Swallows' Atsuya Furuta is named Series MVP.
- NBA –
- The Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Philadelphia 76ers, 4 games to 1 in the NBA Finals. The Lakers only loss in the postseason comes in Game 1 of the Finals, which the 76ers win in overtime.
- October 30 – Michael Jordan returns to the National Basketball Association with the Washington Wizards after 3½ years (the Wizards lose 93–91 to the New York Knicks).
- NCAA Men's Basketball Championship –
- Duke wins 82–72 over Arizona
- WNBA Finals –
- Euroleague Final:
- Suproleague Final:
- Chinese Basketball Association finals:
- National Basketball League (Australia) Finals:
- After a season of conflict between ULEB and FIBA, the two bodies settle their feud, with the Suproleague merging into the Euroleague.
- March 3 – John Ruiz defeats Evander Holyfield in their second fight by a decision in 12 rounds, winning the WBA's World Heavyweight Championship, becoming the first Hispanic to win the world Heavyweight title.
- June 3 to June 10 – World Amateur Boxing Championships held in Belfast, Northern Ireland
- September 29 – in a gala event dedicated to the victims and rescuers of 9/11, Bernard Hopkins defeats Félix Trinidad by a knockout in round 12 to unify the World Middleweight Championship
- November 25 – the Calgary Stampeders win the 89th Grey Cup game, defeating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 27–19 at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
- November 29 – the UBC Thunderbirds win the Vanier Cup, defeating the Ottawa Gee-Gees 39–23.
- February 25 – death of Sir Donald Bradman, Australian Test cricketer who retains the highest Test match batting average of 99.94
- The Ashes – Australia defeats England 4-1
- V.V.S. Laxman becomes the first Indian to score 250 in a Test match as India fight back from following on to win the Second Test against Australia, ending the Australians' record 16 match winning streak. India goes on to win the series 2–1.
- County Championship (England and Wales) – Yorkshire
- ICC Trophy – Netherlands
- Giro d'Italia won by Gilberto Simoni of Italy
- Tour de France won by Lance Armstrong of USA (Rescinded)
- UCI Road World Championships – Men's road race – Óscar Freire of Spain
- UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Tábor, Czech Republic (February 3–February 4)
- Men's Champions Trophy: Germany
- Women's Champions Trophy: Argentina
- World Figure Skating Championships –
- Gaelic football
- Ladies' Gaelic football
- Masters Tournament – Tiger Woods becomes the first golfer in history to hold all four major championship titles at the same time.
- U.S. Open – Retief Goosen
- British Open – David Duval
- PGA Championship – David Toms
- PGA Tour money leader – Tiger Woods – $5,687,777
- PGA Tour Player of the Year – Tiger Woods
- PGA Tour Rookie of the Year – Charles Howell III
- Senior PGA Tour money leader – Allen Doyle – $2,553,582
- Ryder Cup postponed until 2002.
- Nabisco Championship – Annika Sörenstam
- LPGA Championship – Karrie Webb
- U.S. Women's Open – Karrie Webb
- Women's British Open – Se Ri Pak
- LPGA Tour money leader – Annika Sörenstam – $2,105,868
- 2001 World Men's Handball Championship – won by France
- 2001 World Women's Handball Championship – won by Russia
- North America Cup – Bettor's Delight
- United States Pacing Triple Crown races –
- United States Trotting Triple Crown races –
- Australian Inter Dominion Harness Racing Championship –
- Cheltenham Gold Cup – not held due to the 2001 United Kingdom foot-and-mouth crisis
- Grand National – Red Marauder
- September 1, 2001: Jockey Tim Moccasin won his 14th consecutive race, a North American record, at Marquis Downs in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
- Australia – Melbourne Cup won by Ethereal
- Canada – Queen's Plate won by Dancethruthedawn
- Dubai – Dubai World Cup won by Captain Steve
- France – Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe won by Sakhee
- Ireland – Irish Derby Stakes won by Galileo
- Japan – Japan Cup won by Jungle Pocket
- English Triple Crown races:
- United States Triple Crown races:
- Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships:
- Breeders' Cup Classic – Tiznow
- Breeders' Cup Distaff – Unbridled Elaine
- Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf – Banks Hill
- Breeders' Cup Juvenile – Johannesburg
- Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies – Tempera
- Breeders' Cup Mile – Val Royal
- Breeders' Cup Sprint – Squirtle Squirt
- Breeders' Cup Turf – Fantastic Light
- Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer during the regular season: Jaromir Jagr, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Hart Memorial Trophy – for the NHL's Most Valuable Player:
- Stanley Cup – Ray Bourque of the Colorado Avalanche won his only Stanley Cup when the Colorado Avalanche defeated the New Jersey Devils 4 games to 3.
- World Hockey Championship
- Major League Lacrosse begins play as a single-entity-ownership league.
- Long Island Lizards win the first Steinfeld Cup over Baltimore Bayhawks, 15–11.
- The Philadelphia Wings defeat the Toronto Rock 9–8, to win the Champion's Cup.
- The 100th anniversaries of the donations of both the Mann Cup and the Minto Cup.
- The Coquitlam Adanacs win the 100th Mann Cup.
- The St. Catharines Athletics win the 100th Minto Cup.
- The Wallaceburg Red Devils win the Founders Cup.
The following is a list of major noteworthy MMA events during 2001 in chronological order.
|Date||Event||Alternate Name/s||Location||Attendance||PPV Buyrate||Notes|
|February 23||UFC 30: Battle on the Boardwalk||N/A||Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA||N/A||N/A||First UFC event under ownership of Zuffa.|
|March 25||Pride 13 – Collision Course||N/A||Saitama, Japan||N/A||N/A||This was the first Pride event allowing knee strikes to the head of someone in the "four-points" position.|
|May 4||UFC 31: Locked and Loaded||N/A||Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA||N/A||N/A||UFC rule change, weight classes redefined to present standard. Introduces middleweight division.|
|May 27||Pride 14 – Clash of the Titans||N/A||Yokohama, Japan||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|June 29||UFC 32: Showdown in the Meadowlands||N/A||East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA||12,500||N/A||This event marked the last appearance of longtime commentator Jeff Blatnick.|
|July 29||Pride 15: Raging Rumble||N/A||Saitama, Japan||27,323||N/A||N/A|
|September 24||Pride 16: Beasts From the East||N/A||Osaka, Japan||N/A||N/A||This event featured the return of Don Frye in his first fight since June 1997.|
|September 28||UFC 33: Victory in Vegas||N/A||Las Vegas, Nevada, USA||9,500||75,000||This was the first event to be sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.|
|November 2||UFC 34: High Voltage||N/A||Las Vegas, Nevada, USA||9,000||65,000||N/A|
|November 3||Pride 17: Championship Chaos||N/A||Tokyo, Japan||N/A||N/A||This event featured the first two Pride title fights, for heavyweight and middleweight champions.|
|December 23||Pride 18: Cold Fury 2||N/A||Fukuoka, Japan||N/A||N/A||N/A|
- Orienteering included as an event for the first time in the World Games held 18–19 August in Akita, Japan.
- January 26 at Bolton, England – 2001 World Club Challenge match is won by St. Helens 20–18 over the Brisbane Broncos at Reebok Stadium before 16,041.
- July 1 at Brisbane, Queensland – 2001 State of Origin is won by Queensland in the third and deciding match of the series against New South Wales at ANZ Stadium before 49,441.
- September 30 at Sydney, Australia – 2001 NRL season culminates in the Newcastle Knights' 30–24 win over the Parramatta Eels in the Grand Final at Stadium Australia before 90,414.
- October 13 at Manchester, England – Super League VI culminates in the Bradford Bulls' 37–6 win against the Wigan Warriors in the Grand Final at Old Trafford before 60,164.
- November 24 at Wigan, England – in the 2001 Kangaroo tour's last match, Australia defeat Great Britain 28–12 in the third and deciding test match in The Ashes series at JJB Stadium before 25,011.
- 107th Six Nations Championship series is won by England
- Tri Nations – Australia
- Heineken Cup – Leicester Tigers 34–30 Stade Français
- World Snooker Championship – Ronnie O'Sullivan beats John Higgins 18-14
- World rankings – Mark Williams remains world number one for 2001/02
- Ninth World LC Championships, held in Fukuoka, Japan (July 22 – July 29)
- United States wins the most medals (26), Australia the most gold medals (13)
- Fifth European SC Championships, held in Antwerp, Belgium (December 13 – 16)
- Germany wins the most medals (17), and the most gold medals (6)
- January 28 – Mark Foster regains the world record in the men's 50m freestyle (short course) at a swimming meet in Paris, France, clocking 21.13
- Grand Slam in tennis men's results:
- Grand Slam in tennis women's results:
- Davis Cup – France won 3–2 over Australia in world tennis.
- Men's World League: Brazil
- Men's European Championship: Yugoslavia
- Women's World Grand Prix: USA
- Women's European Championship: Russia
- Men's World Championship: Spain
- Men's European Championship: Yugoslavia
- Women's World Championship: Italy
- Women's European Championship: Hungary
- Third East Asian Games held in Osaka, Japan
- Summer Goodwill Games held in Brisbane, Australia
- Sixth World Games held in Akita, Japan
- 14th Mediterranean Games held in Tunis, Tunisia
- 21st Summer Universiade held in Beijing, China
- 20th Winter Universiade held in Zakopane, Poland
- Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year – Barry Bonds, Major League Baseball
- Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year – Jennifer Capriati, Tennis