Serena! Napercise! Surfing dogs! Looking back at 10 of our favorite stories from 2017

Well, 2017 is finally almost over. And whether you're thrilled about the coming of a new year or disappointed to say goodbye to this one, I think we can all agree that this past one was certainly memorable.

So before we say, "Deuces, 2017!" let's take a moment to remember some of the good times from the past year. Here are 10 of our favorite Buzz stories of the past 12 months, in no particular order.

Serena Williams' powerful message

It was genuinely hard picking just one story involving Serena Williams. The 23-time Grand Slam champion had a banner year -- winning the Australian Open (while pregnant), giving birth to her first child and getting married. However, while her unintentional pregnancy announcement and first pictures of daughter Alexis Ohanian were tough to top, we were floored by her moving and ridiculously inspirational commercial with Gatorade.

Narrating the spot as a message to her baby daughter, she encourages Alexis to play sports because of the lessons they can teach and the impact they can have.

"Sports will teach you the strength of your allies," she says in the ad. "Whether your bond is by blood or by ball, whether she shares the color of your skin or the color of your jersey, you'll find your sisters in sweat."

We were obsessed when it was released in November, and we still are today.

Please take note: all ad agencies, everywhere.

Best World Series celebration EVER

The Houston Astros won their first World Series title this fall in a seven-game thriller. And while George Springer, who was named series MVP, and his teammates likely had a pretty epic celebration, his sister Lena might have given their festivities a run for their money.

The former Ohio State softball pitcher was unable to attend the game in person, and instead watched from her home 2,000 miles away in (Hard Hittin') New Britain, Connecticut. She was tweeting throughout the night, and then when it was finally over, she had her very own solo champagne celebration on the sidewalk outside of her house -- complete with Astros pajama pants and basically every other piece of team gear available.

Flipping out

Lining up for a short-distance race is pretty standard stuff; you go to your assigned lane and get into your block. Nothing overly exciting, right?

Um, wrong.

Well, if you're high school (then) sophomore Kelly Nicole Lopez, that is. Her incredible prerace routine went viral in the spring because it involves a back walkover into the blocks. Yes, that's right. And if you somehow missed that the first time around, please watch the video below.

And if that wasn't impressive enough, she went on to win the race. NBD.

Garth Brooks gets the gold

Sure, country music superstar Garth Brooks has received more gifts, awards and accolades than most of us could ever dream of, but he still was touched when Jessica Hasler, a Special Olympics gold medalist with Down syndrome, made a sign for his show in Billings, Montana, asking him to wear her medal. Brooks saw the sign and motioned for her to come forward. She did, and tossed her medal onstage -- and it resulted in one of the sweetest moments of the year.

He immediately put the medal around his neck, to the delight of the crowd, and asked Hasler if she wanted it back.

"This is yours? And you want me to have it? Are you sure? OK, that is very sweet," he said to the crowd. "If you ever decide you want it back, I will have it in good keeping and I will bring it back to you."

Napercise is a real thing, y'all!

Are you someone who likes the idea of working out but not actually working out? Or do you just need more sleep? Well, a gym franchise in the United Kingdom understands your struggle and started a new class called Napercise -- and it's exactly what you're thinking.

The class is an hour long, and that includes a 45-minute nap. No word on the remaining 15 minutes, but we probably wouldn't have heard anything other than "nap" anyway.

While we admittedly didn't hear much about this after writing about it in May, we're still holding out hope this trend makes its way across the pond in 2018.


Madison Keys fell to Sloane Stephens in the US Open final in September after an incredible run to the title match. However, despite how disappointed she likely felt inside, the tennis star was all smiles and supportive of her longtime pal. She even told reporters she was going out to celebrate with Stephens that night.

And if that wasn't enough, she then posted a sweet ode on Instagram to Stephens that was seriously ALL THE FRIENDSHIP GOALS.

So happy for my friend @sloanestephens today. Hope we have many more of these days in the future ����

A post shared by Madison Keys (@madisonkeys) on

We all should be so lucky to have a Madison Keys in our life. Best. Friend. EVER.

Surfing dogs alert!

The second annual World Dog Surfing Championships took place in August, and somehow we missed the first one but were SO HAPPY to not miss out this time around. Dogs of all shapes and sizes hit the waves with their surfboards in Pacifica, California, and it's as incredible as you're imagining. And yes, they're likely better surfers than pretty much all of us.

Just to reiterate, this is a video of dogs on surfboards. What are you waiting for here? Stop reading and press play.

For your consideration: Play of the year

It's hard to even describe Autumn Finney's athletic, jaw-dropping shot from a match in October, so we're not even going to try. The Decatur (Texas) High School star defied physics with a rally-saving dive that needs to be seen to be believed. So here it is in slow motion for maximum awesomeness.

And you might want to clear the next 10 minutes or so of your schedule because you're likely going to want to watch this one several times, even if you've already seen it.

Sue Bird is not good at everything (contrary to popular belief)

We all know that Sue Bird is one of the best basketball players on the planet. However, it turns out those skills don't exactly translate to other sports. Earlier this month, the Seattle Storm star tried to return some punts at a Seahawks practice.

It didn't exactly go well.

You can't win 'em all. Although with Olympic gold medals, NCAA titles and WNBA championships, Bird really has come close so this probably was pretty disappointing.

Ball is life for this badass grandma

There are cool grandmas, and then there's Pauline Kana. The 90-year-old has been a frequent star of her grandson Ross Smith's hilarious videos, and in April, she wowed the internet with her beer-pong trick shots. Ball is life, y'all!

Here's to more adorable animals, hilarious athletes and mind-blowing moments in 2018. Happy New Year, everyone!

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