In the world of sport, 2016 will forever be remembered as the year where success wasn’t bound by history.
Because behind every sporting triumph, there are countless hours of hard work and dedication.
Combine the grit and a determination to succeed, along with a sense of destiny and a desire to make history happen, and you’re left with the perfect mix to see a ‘dream’ become a reality.
And so it did on Sunday, as the Sharks claimed their maiden NRL Premiership.
Though ‘Up, Up Cronulla’ will ring loud and true for the months ahead right around the Shire, the Sharks win over the Storm caps a remarkable twelve-month period where many an unfancied team rose above the odds to etch their name into the record books.
Across the world – and beyond the game of Rugby League – the stories remain as grand as you could have ever had dared to have imagined.
Step back to the North Queensland Cowboys’ triumph over the Brisbane Broncos in last season’s NRL decider.
Johnathan Thurston’s men were the outsiders against a Broncos outfit which had never tasted defeat in a Grand Final.
That was only until JT stepped up and slotted an ice-cool field goal in extra time. A 20-season long wait for a Cowboys Premiership was over.
Fast forward a few months to the balmy Australian summer, where cricket – for plenty of folk – is the order of the day.
The once-battling Sydney Thunder turned the tables on a wretched run of results in years prior, to claim their first Big Bash League title.
The team renowned as ‘easy beats’ from all-but the competition's inception in 2012 proved anything but walk-overs last Summer.
Still on Australian shores, Adelaide United claimed their maiden A-League title in May with a 3-1 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers. A 13-year wait to bring the ‘toilet seat’ to South Australia had ended.
Two days later, smack bang in the heart of England, the Foxes of Leicester went on to seal arguably the biggest sporting upset of all-time.
Rank outsiders to start the English Premier League season, bookmakers had Leicester at odds nearer 5000:1 to lift the trophy at the season’s end.
Defying all odds, the club founded in 1884 claimed English footballs biggest prize for the first time in their history.
Across the Atlantic Ocean in June, a LeBron James-inspired Cleveland Cavaliers downed the highly touted Golden State Warriors in the NBA Championship to break a 46-season title drought.
Fast forward to the first weekend of October, where the Western Bulldogs claimed their first AFL Flag in 52 years.
The Footscray 'battlers' broke their Premiership drought with a stirring win over the favoured Sydney Swans.
And so, heading into Sunday’s NRL decider in Sydney, it was up to the Sharks to fill the missing piece in the puzzle of the grandest sporting triumphs ever witnessed.
With a 14-12 win over the Storm – arguably the NRL’s most consistent, successful side since the turn of the millennium – the Sharks broke a 49-year drought to lift the Provan Summons trophy for the first time.
It’s been a remarkable twelve-months, and a period which will long live in the memories of all who witnessed history in the making.
In the world of sport, 2016 will forever be remembered as the year where dreams came true.