With all that has been going on in the world in the last few months, it is understandable that sport has taken has a back seat. However, as the lockdown restrictions ease in some countries and we attempt to get back to normal there are some big sporting events to look forward to.
The following are some of the major events that were postponed earlier in the year but that we can now look forward to. Let’s hope that no major upsets will happen, and we can all enjoy these events on a safe and healthy environment.
The Kentucky Derby
American’s biggest horse race was due to be run on the first Saturday in May, as has been the tradition for several decades. However, the coronavirus pandemic caused the 2020 race to be re-scheduled until Saturday, September 5.
This will be the 146th Kentucky Derby, and it is the first since World War II to occur after May. Unusually, it won’t be the first leg of the American Triple Crown this year, as the Belmont Stakes already took place, with Tiz the Law winning it. The Preakness Stakes will then be run at the start of October.
With sports fans keen to see some action, the 2020 Derby is sure to be an emotional affair. If you are planning on following the horses, click here to know what horses are running in the Kentucky Derby. At the time of writing, it is expected that spectators will be allowed to attend the event.
The Summer Olympics
The fate of the 2020 Summer Olympics has attracted less attention than might have otherwise been the case. Due to be held in Tokyo starting on July 24, the organizers insisted that the event would go ahead as planned, even after covid-19 began to make it appear impossible.
Eventually, the Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Organizing Committee had to admit defeat and re-schedule the whole thing for 2021. It is the first time that the Summer Olympics have ever been put back to a later date.
The new start date is July 23, 2021, with the event continuing until August 8. Interestingly, the organizers decided to stick with the Tokyo 2020 name despite it taking place a year later than originally expected. New sports such as freestyle BMX and 3×3 basketball are still due to be included, as planned.
Many soccer tournaments across the planet have also been deeply affected by the lockdown restrictions. Possibly the highest-profile casualty was Euro 2020. This is the 16th international tournament between European nations, and it was all set to take place between June 12 and July 12 this year.
UEFA moved quickly to switch it to 2021, with the exact dates now being June 11 to July 11. As with the Olympics, the “2020” part of the name will still be used. Portugal will be looking to defend the crown that they won in 2016, while the introduction of video assistant referee technology on tight decisions is sure to be controversial.
What is especially interesting about this soccer event is that it will be held over 12 different countries, with the final taking place in Wembley Stadium in London. It isn’t yet known if the tournament will be affected by travel restrictions in Europe, with many countries fearing a second wave of infections before it is due to take place.
While 2020 has been a year to forget so far, the return of sports has helped us to feel that life is slowly getting back to normal. Many of the most popular events will now be played months or even a year later than scheduled, but that shouldn’t detract from the excitement that they generate.