To say that 2014 is going to be huge in terms of epic sports events is something of an understatement! We have all the usual annual sporting tournaments within tennis, rugby, football, athletics, golf (and so much more) but this is a special year thanks to the highly anticipated World Cup, much publicised Winter Olympics and world-class events of the Commonwealth Games. These are the top sports events 2014.
Tennis: Australian Open - 13–26 January 2014
The annual tennis Grand Slam tournament gets underway in the first month of the year, with the first leg being played out in Melbourne in Australia. Competing for the A$30,000,000 prize money will be last year’s singles winners: Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka. The season is then followed up with the French Open in Paris (26 May 26 – 2 June), Wimbledon in London (23 – 30 June) and finally the US Open in New York City (25 August – 1 September). It goes without saying that all British eyes are on Andy Murray!
Rugby Union: Six Nations Championship – 1-15 March 2014
The most anticipated rugby union event on the annual calendar has to be the Six Nations Championship which this year is the 120th edition. A total of six countries will participate including England, Ireland, Wales, France, Italy and Scotland. The 2013 tournament was won by Wales for the second year in a row. The home stadium of each club will feature in proceedings including Twickenham Stadium in outer London (England) which is the largest at 82,000 capacity, Stadio Olimpico in Rome (Italy) and the Stade de France in Saint-Denis (France).
The UK rugby union season is then followed up with the 2014 Heineken Cup Final which will be played at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on 24 May 2014.
Multi-Sports: 2014 Winter Olympics - 7-23 February 2014
The 22nd Winter Olympic Games will be held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in Russia, close to the border with Georgia. A total of 65 nations are competing in the multi-sports events which carries the motto "Hot. Cool. Yours." The newly built Fisht Olympic Stadium will host the majority of the events, including the opening and closing ceremonies for both the Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics which are held from 7 – 16 March 2014. The nearby resort of Krasnaya Polyana will host the alpine and Nordic snow events.
All eyes will remain on Sochi in the coming years as it’s currently scheduled to host the Russian leg of the mighty Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit from 2014. It’s also in the running as a host city for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Golf: United States 2014 Masters Tournament - 10–13 April 2014
The first of the major golf championships gets underway in April with the world-renowned 78th series of the Masters Tournament. The Augusta National Golf Club is once again the setting in Augusta, Georgia for the 72 par course. Last year’s tournament was won by Australian pro golfer Adam Scott.
The golfing sports events 2014 season then continues with three other major championships; the 114th US open on 12–15 June 2014 at the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina; The Open Championship played at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in England on 17–20 July 2014 and the 96th PGA Championship which is being held at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville in Kentucky, USA.
Football: FIFA World Cup 2014 – 12 June-13 July 2014
And now for the most hotly anticipated sporting event on the 2014 calendar – the mighty World Cup which is being held in 12 locations across Brazil. Following the magical World Cup 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa, there is a lot to live up to.
In total there are 12 cities across the length and breadth of Brazil that are co-hosting including: Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Brasilia, Fortaleza, Belo Horizonte, Manaus, Curitiba, Recife, Porto Alegre, Natal and Cuiaba. It’s a great opportunity for travellers to experience this truly diverse nation for themselves, from the diverse north dominated by the mighty Amazon, to the sizzling resorts along the east coast, to the pampas and gaucho territories of the south. Failing that you can always buy the biggest flatscreen TV you can afford and hunker down for the month!
The World Cup draw is as exciting as the tournament itself, with a lavish ceremony held at the Costa do Sauipe resort in Bahia, around approximately 56 miles from Salvador. Actors will host the vents which will also have performances from singers and dancers such as the Companhia de Danca troupe. Oh and the two and half hour spectacle will also include the hotly-anticipated draw itself! The BBC sports site has full details.
Multi-Sports: 2014 Commonwealth Games – 23 July-3 August
Glasgow in Scotland will host the XX Commonwealth Games over 11 days, which will see over 70 nations participating. Events will be held at the cities two main stadiums of Hampden Park and Celtic Park. Scotland’s capital Edinburgh has held the prestigious event twice before in 1970 and 1986. First held in 1930, the event is held every four years and the last was held in 2010 in Delhi in India.
The location of the 21st Commonwealth Games has already been revealed as Australia’s Gold Coast which take place in April 2018.
Football: Premier League Season – Saturday 16 August 2014
The most watched football series in the world gets underway once more with the start of the 2014/15 Premier League Season. Football junkies will (hopefully) be riding high after the World Cup.
Multi-Sports: 2014 Asian Games - 19 September-4 October 2014
The über sporty country of South Korea will host the Asian Games in Incheon. This is the largest sports event within Asian and a total of 28 Olympic sports will be played across 437 separate events. This is the third time that South Korea, who has a superb reputation for its sports facilities, has hosted. Since its inception in 1978, the city of Seoul has hosted in 1986 and since then, the city of Busan has hosted in 2002.
Multi-Sports: Asian Beach Games - 14–21 November 2014
The tropical holiday island of Phuket in Thailand will host the 2014 Asian Beach Games in the fourth series of the event . In total 45 nations will compete in 17 sports set across sports courts, beaches and parkland. This unique event is held every two years and was first staged in 2008 on the paradise holiday island of Bali in Indonesia.