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Next up: the best sporting events to catch in 2022

Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in February will feature a range of exciting events, from popular sports like hockey, skiing and figure skating, to more unique sports like skeleton, luge and bobsleigh. These Games will feature 45% female athletes, the largest share to ever compete in the Winter Olympics, in part due to the introduction of more mixed events like freestyle ski jumps and snowboard cross. . Notable Canadian athletes to watch include ice dance duo Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, as well as bobsleigh Cynthia Appiah. On the Paralympic side, notable athletes include Josh Dueck, the first athlete to land a backflip on a sit ski; Brian McKeever, Canada’s most decorated Paralympian who will retire after the 2022 Games; Ina Forrest, who is aiming for her fourth medal in wheelchair curling; and Billy Bridges, one of Canada’s most accomplished para-ice hockey players, who hopes to lead his team to gold against the top-ranked US team.

The Games were surrounded by controversy due to human rights violations in China, namely their detention of Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority, in the Xinjiang region. Several countries have launched the idea of ​​boycotting the Games, but as it stands, none have officially canceled their participation, nor any competing athlete. Instead, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia have announced a “diplomatic boycott,” where government officials will not attend the Games. As for pandemic restrictions, Chinese authorities plan to host spectators from mainland China who meet vaccine requirements, unlike the Tokyo 2020 Games, which were held in empty stadiums.

Fallout from MLB foreclosure

The Major League Baseball (MLB) offseason is always filled with dramatic deals, exchanges and contract negotiations. But in December 2021, after the Atlanta Braves won their first World Series title in nearly 30 years, the MLB imposed a lockout. It comes after a labor dispute between the Players’ Association and league teams, and their disagreement over player salaries and competitive disparities between different teams. During this work stoppage, teams are prohibited from communicating with players, even about simple things like training programs, and players are excluded from training facilities. While the lockout is intended to put pressure on the union to speed up negotiations, the shutdown could extend until the start of the regular season, which is scheduled to begin March 31. Either way, these restrictions will undoubtedly reduce players’ abilities to build a squad. chemistry and properly prepare for the start of the season.

Djokovic’s luck to greatness

The Serbian tennis star walked away with the 2021 Wimbledon title, and this year has the chance to outdo Nadal and Federer for the most Grand Slam tournaments of all time. The big three are tied at 20 apiece, but Djokovic hasn’t been plagued with injuries like the other two, meaning if he can even compete in the Australian Open. Originally unable to enter the country due to his unvaccinated status, and now waiting to see if the Australian government revokes his visa, it’s unclear if he will have the chance to compete for the major title. Currently, there is an online campaign for #BoycottAustralianOpen in support of Djokovic’s decision not to be vaccinated; on the other hand, many Australian citizens are against the player flouting the rules and endangering others. Despite his anti-science stance, the tennis player has donated millions of euros to COVID-19 relief funds in three different countries. Unless what happens (or doesn’t) in Melbourne, Wimbledon in July will be another chance for the trio of tennis masters to break their three-way lead in the majors, and is not to be missed.

FIFA World Cup 2022

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is the first to take place in the Middle East, in Qatar in November. While this step is welcomed by many, the host country has come under scrutiny for allegedly bribing FIFA officials for their candidacy and using migrant labor to build the stadiums. The teams that qualify for the tournament include Canada, the United States and Mexico from the Confederation of North American, Central American and Caribbean Football (CONCACAF). Italy and Portugal have yet to play in the European playoffs, so there’s a chance Cristiano Ronaldo won’t play in Qatar. The favorites to win the cup this year are Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands; However, that could all change if Italy does not qualify. As for women’s football, the qualifying competition for both the 2023 Women’s World Cup and the 2024 Olympics will take place in July.

Will Tiger Woods return to Masters?

Casual and dedicated golf enthusiasts were rocked when Tiger Woods, arguably the best golfer to ever graced the green, was injured in a life-threatening car crash in February 2021. He broke his ankle and suffered two broken legs. After the announcement of his full recovery, the world is waiting to see if, or when, he will return to professional golf. After finishing second at the 2021 PNC Championships with his son Charlie, the odds of Woods playing in the Masters have increased significantly. He told reporters after the tournament that he won’t be returning to competing anytime soon, but many fans are still hoping he will attend, if not play, at the Masters. He is more likely to return to the British Open course, where the St. Andrews course has fewer hills to climb.

The NHL Stanley Cup playoffs and the Habs implode

The 2022 Stanley Cup has a myriad of possible contenders. The Colorado Avalanche, although it hasn’t reached the conference finals since 2002, is one of the favorites to win. Tampa Bay are another favored team to do well in the playoffs this year. The Lightning have won the Stanley Cup two years in a row, and the only treble fans are the Lightning fans. Tampa Bay rivals the Florida Panthers are also having a solid season and could potentially pose a challenge for the defending champions as they are currently tied. In the metro division, the Carolina Hurricanes dominate, a change that could see the organization win their second Stanley Cup championship. Unfortunately, the Montreal Canadiens, having won just seven of their 35 games in total, will not be in contention for the cup this year. The only Canadian team with a real chance of winning is the Toronto Maple Leafs. Just behind the Lightning in points, the Leafs have a roster filled with star players. If they can find a way through the first round of the playoffs, the Leafs could be a team to be reckoned with.

(Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports)

Formula 1 season

2022 will bring a new car design and a longer season. While the season will feature a new Miami Grand Prix, favorite courses such as Montreal will be restored after the COVID-19 pandemic prevented them from hosting in previous years. There will be several exciting battles between the teams that finished neck and neck in the 2021 season. Ferrari and McLaren will battle for third place this season, with Mercedes and Redbull in the top two. Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris have brought their respective teams back to life and will be extremely exciting to watch this season. Unfortunately for Mercedes, George Russell is ranked eighth in the power standings, a gap that could allow other teams to better challenge the defending champions. In the midfield, the triple Aces – Alpine, Aston Martin and AlphaTauri – will face each other again. Pierre Gasly for AlphaTauri is a phenomenal driver and will keep his team in the race for fifth place in 2022. Aston Martin finished well behind the other two teams in 2021, and while they have potential, most of it comes from the owner. billionaire Lawrence Stroll. potential to spend money. However, he will face the new spending cap of $ 140 million for 2022, which aims to give smaller-budget teams a better chance of victory.