Sports are an enormous part of life and both played and followed by people all around the world. Different countries may have different favourite sports, but there is something about competitive sport which can unite a nation and even the entire planet. For some of us, we will actively follow a number of different sports and even ones not played in our country, whilst some people will avidly follow one particular sport. There are of course plenty of people around the world that have very little interest in sports (crazy, right?), but there are certain events each year that even those with little interest will find themselves caught up in.
There are a number of sporting events which are so grand, entertaining and ingrained in society that they have become global events which everyone takes an interest in. In the run up to these events they begin to dominate media coverage and there is a buzz of anticipation in the air, and then whilst these sporting events are played out it almost seems as if the world stops turning as everyone is tuned in and following the action as it unfolds. Once these events are done and dusted there is inevitable discussions, debates and analysis for weeks after, but also an air of disappointment as regular life starts up again until the next time the event rolls around.
No matter if you are a die hard fan, casual fan or someone with little interest in sports, there are certain sporting events which are a must see. These events are as big as any other global event, and they epitomise everything that is so great about sports as they engage, entertain and unite the entire world.
Here are the top 10 must see sporting events.
10 The Masters
Whether you are a fan of golf or not, The Masters is a tournament which leaves people glued to their television screens around the world. It takes place in April at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, and the distinctive green jacket awarded to the winner adds to the pride and tradition of the invitational tournament. There have been countless epic battles over the years which have served as fantastic adverts for golf, and it has certainly helped to increase its popularity around the world.
Unlike most other sporting events this is a slow paced tournament and one that you will find yourself watching all day, but this slow pace should not be mistaken for a lack of intensity as the tension steadily increases with each stroke.
9 ICC Cricket World Cup
The Cricket World Cup is a gigantic sporting event and is watched by millions of people around the world. It may not be particularly popular in the USA, but it takes over countries including England, Pakistan and of course India, whose gigantic population make this one of the most watched sporting events. Much like the Super Bowl, parties are held in honour of this tournement and due to the length of the matches people spend the entire day enjoying the action and seeing the best countries battle it out. Due to its size, the fact it only takes place every 4 years and the incredible atmosphere it generates around the world, the Cricket World Cup is a must watch for any sports fan.
8 The Kentucky Derby
It may be over in a flash, but the Kentucky Derby is one of the greatest sporting events in the world and is a must watch for any sport or adrenaline junkie. Dubbed “the most exciting two minutes in sports”, the Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday of May in Louisville and is the most prestigious and closely followed horse race there is. The pageantry that you find at the Kentucky Derby makes it a unique and special event, and it is firmly established as a key sporting event in the calendar. Over the years it has been closely followed internationally, and this means that the first Saturday in May you are likely to find people wagering on the race and enjoying a mint julep, a traditional beverage for the race, no matter where you are.
7 Tour de France
In July each year the world comes to a standstill as the Tour de France sees the best professional cyclists in the world race through some of the most beautiful areas of France. The Tour de France seemingly grows in popularity each year and is now one of the greatest sporting events in the world, with millions of people tuning in each year. The route will change with each event but the format stays the same, and the excitement and adrenaline that unfolds makes for a gripping watch and something that can be enjoyed by all.
6 Monaco Grand Prix
The premier auto racing event, the Monaco Grand Prix attracts an enormous amount of attention each year and will ensure people around the world are tuned in to see the adrenaline pumping action. The Indianapolis 500 and 24 Hours of Le Mans deserve honourable mentions, but it is the Formula One race which is a must see for sports fans and anyone looking for a bit of excitement. It is a notoriously difficult track to navigate with tight corners, elevation changes and a tunnel, all taking place throughout the city of Monaco. This adds to the charm and action of this race, and also ensures that you do not want to miss a second of the action. Whether you are a fan of auto racing or not, the Monaco Grand Prix is sure to get your blood pumping.
5 The World Series
The World Series is an important part of American culture as it is the climax of America’s favourite pastime, but the World Series is also closely followed around the world and is growing in popularity each year. The best-of-seven series takes place in October each year, and is consequently also known as the Fall Classic. It sees the American League and National League champions compete for the Commissioner’s trophy, and as it takes place over seven games it ensures that there is plenty of ebb and flow as well as a number of epic duels that emerge each year.
Held in Wimbledon, England, The Championships first started in 1877, and it is therefore the oldest and most prestigious competition in professional tennis. Held in the middle of summer each year, this event is intensely followed in each corner of the world. In addition to seeing the greatest players around the world competing against one another on luscious grass courts, a large part of Wimbledon’s appeal is its tradition. Players must wear all white and they are referred to as gentlemen and ladies, and of course the Royal Family are always in attendance plus a whole host of other celebrities dressed up for the occasion. This quintessentially English event, and fiercely fought competition, is one that captures the attention of the whole world.
3 Super Bowl
This is one event which everyone with an interest in sports will have circled in their calendar. It is the most watched sporting event in America, but it is also one that even those with little interest in the NFL will watch in each corner of the world, even if it is not on till the early hours of the morning. In addition to the tense action, the Super Bowl is also an enormous spectacle with the halftime show being a huge topic of conversation which ensures it also dominates pop culture. Parties are held all around the world in honour of the event (nachos and beer are a must), with everything seemingly coming to a standstill as everyone tunes in to watch what is essentially an unofficial American national holiday.
2 The Summer Olympics
There is no sporting event quite like the Summer Olympics, as it simultaneously brings together each individual nation, but also the entire planet. Everything seems to take a back seat throughout the event, and it is the perfect example of what is so magical about sports.
The competition takes place every four years and a different nation will host the event, adding to the excitement as the world eagerly anticipates seeing what the host nation will put on. With hundreds of different events taking place with thousands of competitors, it means that there will always be something engaging to see. Many people will find themselves glued to the television for 17 days, watching the greatest athletes in the world showcase what they have been training for their entire lives. Patriotism is at its highest for the Olympics, but there is also a great deal of respect and good natured competition with all the participating countries.
1 FIFA World Cup
The world seems to stop spinning every four years when the World Cup is on, and everything seems to become less important for its duration. The World Cup epitomises everything that is great about sport, as it helps to unite each individual nation whilst also making the world seem much smaller. Even those with little interest in football can’t help but get caught up in the excitement, and there is enough of it too with so many talented players and teams showcasing their talent.
Bosses give their employees the afternoon off, the important games are played in classrooms around the world, giant screens at national landmarks allow thousands of fans to come together and cheer their country on and every sports bar on the planet will be packed for the entire month. The FIFA World Cup is the ultimate sporting event and one which unites the entire globe.