2018 is certainly set to be a big year for sports fans. As well as the countless annual sporting leagues, tournaments and competitions, 2018 also marks the return of some sporting events that are held less regularly. Here’s our rundown on these less regular sporting events coming up 2018 that we’re looking forward to the most. There are some obvious choices, and perhaps some you’re less aware of, but hopefully there’ll be something for everyone.
1. FIFA 2018 World Cup, Russia
Let’s get the biggest one out of the way first. The FIFA World Cup is returning in 2018, and somewhat controversially is being staged in Russia. Political and ethical concerns aside, however, as a sporting spectacle, this is not one you’ll want to miss. Most of the big hitters have qualified, with the remarkable exceptions of Italy and Holland. Some plucky underdogs are also involved for us all to get behind once England have inevitable and humiliatingly crashed out, including Iceland, who with a population of less than 350,000 are the smallest (in terms of population) nation ever to qualify for a World Cup. With Brazil and Germany favourites to lift the trophy, this summer looks set to be a fabulous festival of football.
2. 2018 Winter Olympics, PyeongChang – South Korea
Another major global sporting event, on this occasion being hosted in PyeongChang, South Korea. With around 90 countries set to take part across 102 events, there’s plenty for punters to get their teeth into. Amongst the competing nations, Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia and Singapore are all set to make their Winter Olympics debuts. The opening ceremony will take place on 9th February, and up until the closing ceremony of 25th Feb we predict that the PyeongChang Winter Games will have you frozen to your seats.
3. Commonwealth Games, Queensland – Australia
Commonly referred to as the ‘friendly games’, every four years the Commonwealth games are held, and host sporting events competed in by nations that belong, unsurprisingly, to the Commonwealth. The format, and games competed upon, make the Commonwealth Games strongly reminiscent of their Olympic counterpart. In fact, many in the athletics world consider the Commonwealth Games as second only to the Olympic Games itself. In 2018, these prestigious games are being staged on the Gold Coast, in Queensland, Australia. So, if you’re missing the Olympic fever and want to try and recapture that spirit then the Commonwealth Games are on their way to entertain you.
4. Gay Games, Paris – France
The Gay Games are another international athletics event, in this instance formed with the primary directive of promoting and supporting sexual diversity within sports. Originally called the Gay Olympics, this event began life in San Francisco, USA, 1982. Beyond exemplifying sporting excellence, the Gay Games are about inclusion and personal pride and improvement. To that end, there are no qualifying standards, and anyone, regardless of sexuality, is invited to compete. All in the name of unity and solidarity. Often competitors even come from nations where homosexuality remains illegal. In past tournaments, the Gay Games have even hosted more athletes than the Olympic Games.
There of course myriad other sporting events that are held annually, that naturally shall be recurring in 2018. Returning favourites such as Wimbledon, the Tour de France, and The Grand National, amongst many others, shall be returning to thrill us as they always do. Hopefully, in 2018, you’ll also discover a new sporting event that encapsulates you that you weren’t previously familiar with. Great sporting events, no matter their apparent scale, have the potential to take us on an emotional rollercoaster, and steal our hearts, leaving us longing for their return over and over again.