Five of the Longest Standing Ovations of All-Time

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After seeing the incredible standing ovation that Phillies fans gave Tony Gwynn Jr. last night at Citizens Bank Park to honor him, his father, and the entire Gwynn family, it got us wondering here at Uncoached what some of the longest standing ovations of all-time are. After doing some digging (and some YouTube watching), we’ve finally got the list together of five of the longest standing ovations of all-time. (For the record, these are simply five of the longest standing ovations ever, not necessarily the top five.)

Charlie Chaplin

It’s hard to say exactly how long this standing ovation for Charlie Chaplin at the 44th Annual Academy Awards lasts, because the video cuts right in the middle of his introduction. However, no matter how you slice it, the applause lasts for easily over two minutes, and the emotion that fills Chaplin’s face, just how touched and overwhelmed he is by the love, respect, and affection of all his peers, truly makes it something special. Plus, as a film fanatic, there was no way I wasn’t going to put this standing ovation on the list, especially since Chaplin is given his trademark hat and cane at the end. It’s perfect on every level.

Saku Koivu

Montreal Canadiens fans gave Saku Koivu an eight minute standing ovation when he returned to the Molson Center ice back on April 9, 2002 after battling cancer. Koivu helped the Canadiens win his return game 4-3, earning the team a playoff spot. The Habs ended up beating the Bruins in the Quarterfinals that year but lost in the Conference Semifinals to the Hurricanes. No matter the outcome, though, it’s still so amazing that Koivu was able to come back and help his team get back to the playoffs, which had been their first appearance in four years.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan’s legacy has been somewhat clouded in negativity due to his gambling issues and other off-the-court problems in recent years. However, there was and, in my opinion, will never be a basketball player as good Michael Jordan ever again. That’s why when he got one of the longest standing ovations in history for his final NBA game, it was incredibly deserving and very touching to watch, even if, like me, you aren’t a Chicago Bulls fan.

Cal Ripken Jr.

The Iron Man, one of the best baseball players to ever play the game, Cal Ripken Jr. still holds, what I consider to be, the most impressive record in baseball – the most consecutive games played, with 2,632. In baseball, or any sport really, it’s nearly impossible not to miss a game because of injury or bad play or some other reason. But somehow, some way, Ripken was able to play in all those games for over 16 straight seasons. It’s truly a remarkable feat, a record that no other baseball player will ever come close to breaking, and it earned Cal Ripken Jr. the amazing standing ovation he received at Camden Yards and the title of one of the greatest athletes in all of sports.

Placido Domingo

I’ll be honest, until today, I had never heard about Placido Domingo. However, when I was due research for this article, I kept reading about how the longest standing ovation of all-time was for an opera singer and that it was 80 minutes long. I couldn’t believe it, but it really does appear to be true. At an opera house in Vienna on June 30th, 1991, people reportedly stood and applauded Domingo for an hour and twenty minutes. I unfortunately could not find the video of it, but here’s Domingo (and others) getting an almost thirteen minute standing ovation in Madrid that same year.

Photo by Jeff Gentner/Getty Images


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