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|Years in sports|
2002 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.
- January 6 – On the regular season finale, the New England Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers to hand them their 15th straight loss, making them the 7th of 10 teams in the NFL to finish with only one win. On what turned out to be a preview of Super Bowl XXXVIII, only about 16,000 fans showed up at Ericsson Stadium for the Panthers' season finale.
- Super Bowl XXXVI – The New England Patriots win 20-17 over the heavily favoured St. Louis Rams to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history, beginning the Patriots dynasty that would appear in 9 more Super Bowls and win 5 more of them in the next 17 years. The two teams would meet again in Super Bowl LIII 17 years later in which the Patriots won again, their 6th title at 13-3.
- Rose Bowl (2001 season):
- ArenaBowl XVI – San Jose SaberCats win 52-14 over the Arizona Rattlers
- The Houston Texans become the NFL's 32nd active franchise.
- 2002 FIFA World Cup is held from May 31 to June 30 in South Korea and Japan, the first time a World Cup is held in Asia and by two countries simultaneously. Brazil wins its fifth title, defeating Germany 2-0 in the final. Surprisingly, Turkey and host nation South Korea take 3rd and 4th.
- Champions' League – Real Madrid beats Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 in the final. This was Real Madrid's 9th European Cup.
- UEFA Cup – Feyenoord wins 3-2 in the final against Borussia Dortmund, winning the cup for the second time.
- European Super Cup – Real Madrid wins 3-1 over Feyenoord, winning the cup for the first time.
- Intercontinental Cup – Real Madrid beats Olimpia Asunción 2-0, winning the cup for the third time.
- July – 2002 Commonwealth Games held in Manchester
- August – 2002 European Championships in Athletics held in Munich
- October – 2002 Asian Games held in South Korea
- Australian Football League
- Inaugural Australian Football International Cup, the 2002 International Cup won by Ireland
- NBA Finals –
- NCAA Men's Basketball Championship –
- WNBA finals
- FIBA World Championship won by Yugoslavia
- FIBA World Championship for Women won by USA
- Chinese Basketball Association finals:
- National Basketball League (Australia) Finals:
- October 5 – University Athletic Association of the Philippines men's division finals: The Ateneo Blue Eagles defeat the De La Salle Green Archers to end their 4-year title streak and win the school their first title in 14 years.
- June 21 – Lennox Lewis retains boxing's WBC world Heavyweight crown with an eight-round knockout over Mike Tyson
- April – The Ring Magazine released its new championship policy, "The Ring's Championship Policy"
- July 12 to July 21 – 34th European Amateur Boxing Championships held in Perm, Russia
- November 24 – the Montreal Alouettes win the 90th Grey Cup game, defeating the Edmonton Eskimos 25-16 at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.
- November 23 – Saint Mary's Huskies win the Vanier Cup game, defeating the Saskatchewan Huskies 39-23.
- March 23 – death of Ben Hollioake, Surrey and England player, in a car crash
- June 1 – death of Hansie Cronje, South African player still involved in match-fixing controversy, in an air crash
- New Zealand are forced to abandon their tour of Pakistan after a bomb explodes outside their hotel in Karachi
- County Championship (England and Wales) – Surrey CCC
- Giro d'Italia won by Paolo Savoldelli of Italy
- Tour de France – Lance Armstrong of the United States (Rescinded)
- UCI Road World Championships – Men's road race – Mario Cipollini, of Italy
- 2–3 February – UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships held in Zolder, Belgium
- 2002 Men's Hockey World Cup: Germany
- 2002 Women's Hockey World Cup: Argentina
- Men's Hockey at the 2002 Commonwealth Games: Australia
- Hockey at the 2002 Commonwealth Games – Women's tournament: India
- Men's Champions Trophy: Netherlands
- Women's Champions Trophy: China
- World Figure Skating Championships –
- 2002 Winter Olympics –
- Gaelic football
- Ladies' Gaelic football
- – Masters Tournament – Tiger Woods becomes the third golfer to win The Masters in two consecutive years
- – U.S. Open – Tiger Woods is the only golfer under par for the tournament.
- – British Open – Ernie Els wins his third major and first British Open.
- – PGA Championship – Rich Beem wins by one shot over Tiger Woods.
- PGA Tour money leader – Tiger Woods – $6,912,625
- PGA Tour Player of the Year – Tiger Woods
- PGA Tour rookie of the year – Jonathan Byrd
- Senior PGA Tour money leader – Hale Irwin – $3,028,304
- Ryder Cup – Europe defeats the United States 15.5-12.5.
- British Amateur – Alejandro Larrazabal
- U.S. Amateur – Ricky Barnes
- European Amateur – Raphaël Pellicioli
- Kraft Nabisco Championship – Annika Sörenstam
- LPGA Championship – Se Ri Pak
- U.S. Women's Open – Juli Inkster
- Women's British Open – Karrie Webb
- LPGA Tour money leader – Annika Sörenstam – $2,863,904
- LPGA Tour Player of the Year – Annika Sörenstam
- The United States team defeats the European team 15 ½ – 12 ½ to regain the Solheim Cup.
- Men's European Championship: Sweden
- Women's European Championship: Denmark
- Asian Games (Men): Korea
- Asian Games (Women): Korea
- North America Cup – Red River Hanover
- United States Pacing Triple Crown races –
- United States Trotting Triple Crown races –
- Australia – Melbourne Cup won by Media Puzzle
- Canada – Queen's Plate won by T J's Lucky Moon
- Dubai – Dubai World Cup won by Street Cry
- France – Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe won by Marienbard
- Ireland – Irish Derby Stakes won by High Chaparral
- Japan – Japan Cup won by Falbrav
- English Triple Crown Races:
- United States Triple Crown Races:
- Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships:
- Canada defeats the United States 5-2 to win the men's Olympic Gold Medal.
- Canada defeats the United States 3-2 to win the women's Olympic Gold Medal.
- World Hockey Championship
- Men's champion: Slovakia defeats Russia.
- Junior Men's champion: Russia defeats Canada.
- Women's champion: no tournament.
- Stanley Cup – Detroit Red Wings win 4 games to 1 over the Carolina Hurricanes.
- Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer during the regular season: Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames.
- Hart Memorial Trophy for the NHL's Most Valuable Player:
- The Baltimore Bayhawks win the Steinfeld Cup over the Long Island Lizards.
- The Toronto Rock beat the Albany Attack, 13-12 to win the Champion's Cup.
- The 9th World Lacrosse Championship is held in Perth, Australia. The United States beat Canada 18-15 in the final.
- The Coquitlam Adanacs win the Mann Cup.
- The St. Catharines Athletics win the Minto Cup.
- The Wallaceburg Red Devils win the Founders Cup.
The following is a list of major noteworthy MMA events during 2002 in chronological order.
|Date||Event||Alternate Name/s||Location||Attendance||PPV Buyrate||Notes|
|January 11||UFC 35: Throwdown||N/A||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States||9,600||35,000||N/A|
|February 22||Pride The Best Vol. 1||N/A||Tokyo, Japan||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|February 24||Pride 19: Bad Blood||N/A||Saitama, Japan||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|March 22||UFC 36: Worlds Collide||N/A||Las Vegas, United States||10,000||55,000||This event featured the last UFC appearance's from Pat Miletich and Pete Williams.|
|April 28||Pride 20: Armed and Ready||N/A||Yokohama, Japan||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|May 10||UFC 37: High Impact||N/A||Bossier City, Louisiana, United States||7,200||50,000||N/A|
|June 22||UFC 37.5: As Real As It Gets||N/A||Las Vegas, United States||3,700||N/A||This event featured the first appearance of longtime UFC announcer Joe Rogan.|
|June 23||Pride 21: Demolition||N/A||Saitama, Japan||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|July 13||UFC 38: Brawl at the Hall||N/A||Saitama, Japan||3,800||45,000||N/A|
|July 20||Pride The Best Vol. 2||N/A||Tokyo, Japan||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|August 28||Pride Shockwave||Dynamite!||Tokyo, Japan||91,108||N/A||Event featured a Royce Gracie vs. Hidehiko Yoshida Jujutsu match and two K-1 kickboxing matches. This event holds the highest attendance for a predominately MMA event.|
|September 27||UFC 39: The Warriors Return||N/A||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States||7,800||45,000||N/A|
|September 29||Pride 22: Beasts From The East 2||N/A||Nagoya, Japan||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|November 22||UFC 40: Vendetta||N/A||Las Vegas, United States||13,265||150,000||This event was the first to gain mainstream converge for a MMA event in the USA. The event also was noted as an important fiscal milestone for Zuffa and the UFC.|
|November 24||Pride 23: Championship Chaos 2||N/A||Tokyo, Japan||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|December 23||Pride 24: Cold Fury 3||N/A||Fukuoka, Japan||N/A||N/A||N/A|
- First Mountain Bike Orienteering World Championships are held July 2–7 in Fontainebleau, France.
- The fourth World Radiosport Team Championship held in Helsinki, Finland. Gold medals go to Jeff Steinman N5TJ and Dan Street K1TO of the United States, the team's third victory in a row.
- Eleventh Amateur Radio Direction Finding World Championship held in Tatranske Matliare, Slovakia.
- The Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame is established.
- 2002 New Zealand rugby league tour of Great Britain and France
- 2002 NRL season
- 2002 State of Origin series
- Super League VII
- 2002 World Club Challenge
- 108th Six Nations Championship series is won by France who complete the Grand Slam
- Tri Nations – New Zealand
- Heineken Cup – Leicester Tigers 15–9 Munster
- Inaugural World Championship of Skimountaineering sanctioned by the International Council for Ski Mountaineering Competitions (ICSM) was held in Serre Chevalier in France from January 24 to January 27.
- World Snooker Championship – Peter Ebdon beats Stephen Hendry 18-17
- World rankings – Ronnie O'Sullivan becomes world number one for 2002–03
- 26 January – in Berlin, Slovakian swimmer Martina Moravcová betters Jenny Thompson's world record in the women's 100m butterfly (short course) from 56:56 to 56:55
- April – 6th World Short Course Championships held at Moscow
- United States wins the most medals (26) Australia the most gold medals (10)
- July–August – 26th European LC Championships held at Berlin
- Germany wins the most medals (23) and the most gold medals (10)
- August – 9th Pan Pacific Championships held at Yokohama
- United States wins the most medals (52) and the most gold medals (21)
- 22 November – US swimmer Natalie Coughlin betters Martina Moravcová's world record in the women's 100m butterfly (short course) from 56:55 to 56:39
- December – 6th European SC Championships held at Riesa, Germany
- Germany wins the most medals (22) and the most gold medals (7)
- Grand Slam in tennis men's results:
- Grand Slam in tennis women's results:
- Davis Cup – in the final, Russia defeats France 3-2 at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy in Paris
- Fed Cup – Slovakia defeats Spain 3-1 in the final at Palacio de Congresos de Maspalomas in Gran Canaria, Spain
- 2002 FIVB Men's World Championship: Brazil
- 2002 FIVB Women's World Championship: Italy
- 2002 Men's World League: Russia
- 2002 Women's World Grand Prix: Russia
- Men's volleyball at the 2002 Asian Games: South Korea
- Women's volleyball at the 2002 Asian Games: China
- 2002 FINA Men's Water Polo World Cup: Russia
- 2002 FINA Men's Water Polo World League: Russia
- 2002 FINA Women's Water Polo World Cup: Hungary
- 2002 Winter Olympics takes place in Salt Lake City, United States
- Norway wins the most medals (25) and the most gold medals (13)
- Top performers include Janica Kostelić, Ole Einar Bjørndalen and Simon Ammann
- A scandal in figure skating dominates the news.
- Also on the short track, Steven Bradbury of Australia becomes the first Winter Olympic gold medalist from the Southern Hemisphere when a crash on the final corner of the men's 1000 m final leaves him the "last man standing".
- 2002 Commonwealth Games held in Manchester, England
- 2002 Asian Games held in Busan, South Korea
- 2002 Gay Games held in Sydney, Australia
- 2002 South American Games held in Sao Paulo, Brazil
- 2002 Central American and Caribbean Games held in San Salvador, El Salvador
- Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year – Lance Armstrong Aka cheater., Cycling
- Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year – Serena Williams, Tennis