January 9 , 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 55  

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2003's top performers

The headlines grabbing the front page of most sports sections alluded to sexual assaults, drug use and idiotic debauchery (oh, the great world of professional sports), but there were definitely some athletic feats of note.

The Baltimore Ravens running back chased the elusive NFL record for rushing yards in a season held by Eric Dickerson (2,105 in 1984). Lewis' notoriety began on Sept. 14 when he broke the single game rushing mark with 295 yards against the Cleveland Browns. Unfortunately, Lewis' numbers tailed off in the latter part of the season, but the all-star did finish the season second all-time with 2,066 yards.

No one epitomizes the heart of a true champion better than American cyclist Armstrong. He was victorious for the fifth consecutive time in the Tour de France, which places him in a tie with Miguel Indurain of Spain for the record. In addition, Armstrong won the Associated Press' 2003 Male Athlete of the Year. Did I mention Armstrong also battled a grueling fight with testicular cancer?

The Canadian-born Gagne pitched his way to the NL Cy Young Award for 2003 and set the record for consecutive saves in a season without a loss (55). Gagne was defeated by Mike Weir for the Canadian Press?2003 Athlete of the Year Award.

The greatest female golfer ever to swing a club was electrifying in 2003. She was the first female to ever play a PGA Tour event (the Colonial) and came second at the Skins Games. Not to mention kicking ass on the LPGA Tour once again.

Some would argue driving a big hunk of metal isn't a sport, but Schumacher has dominated his sports for years. This year, the legendary racer won his sixth F1 Championship, breaking the record of Juan Manuel Fangio.

-Jordan Bell




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