America’s Sports Events You Can’t Miss in 2016
America’s Sports Events You Can’t Miss in 2016
The sports universe is set to be very active in America in 2016. Most of the eyes will be undoubtedly focused on Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games; but the region is also going to host several world championships, as well as a special edition of Copa America, the 57th Copa Libertadores, 50th Super Bowl and a new season of Major League Baseball.
Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games (Brazil, August)
The upcoming edition of the Olympic Games is going to be the first one to take place in South America. Rio de Janeiro prevailed over Tokyo in the final voting and became the second Latin American city and seventh on the continent to hold the most important sports event on the face of earth.
The 31st edition of the Olympic Games is scheduled to be carried out on August 5 - 21 and it’s expected to be attended by 10,500 athletes from 206 national Olympic committees. They will be competing for 306 sets of medals, in 28 sports approved by the International Olympic Committee. Two sports disciplines are going to make their debut in Rio: golf and seven-player rugby. The competitions are slated to take place in four neighborhoods of the Brazilian city (Barra, Copacabana, Deodoro and Maracana). After this event, Rio is also going to organize the Paralympic Games, on September 7 - 18.
Copa America Centenario (United States, June)
The first edition of the soccer Copa America, the oldest tournament of national teams worldwide, was held back in 1916. A century later, Conmebol decided to celebrate the centenary with a special event, with the participation of all South American teams, as well as the best Concacaf teams.
After the controversy and disagreement, in a context of uncertainty because of the corruption scandals related to FIFA, the Copa America Centenario is finally going to take place in the United States, on June 3 - 26, with the presence of 16 teams (10 Conmebol and 6 Concacaf). The winner of this event won’t get a ticket to FIFA’s Copa Confederaciones, in 2017, because that position is already held by Chile, the champion of in 2015. The next Cups are going to be organized by Brazil, in 2019, and Ecuador, in 2023.
Ice Hockey Junior World Championship (Montreal / Toronto, Canada, December – January 2017)
Ten teams will be fighting for the title in the 41st edition of the Ice Hockey Junior World Championship, to be hosted by Montreal and Toronto on December 26 - January 3, 2017. The tournament was divided into two groups. Group A, to be playing in Toronto, will have Canada facing the silver medalist in 2016, Russia, United States, Slovakia and Latvia. On the other hand, Group B, in Montreal, is made up of the present champions, Finland, accompanied by Sweden, Czech Republic, Denmark and Switzerland. The semifinal and the discussion for the medals will take place in Montreal.
Five-a-side Soccer World Championship (Colombia, September/October)
The 8th edition of FIFA’s Five-a-side Soccer World Championship is going to be organized by Colombia, on September 10 – October 1. Teams from 24 countries will be fighting for the title that is presently held by Brazil, since it won it in 2012. This is going to be the second time round that South America hosts the event (Brazil organized it back in 2008). Bucaramanga, Medellin, Ibague and Cali will be the venues.
Indoors Athletics World Championship (Portland, United States, March)
The Athletics World Championship is described as the third largest event in the sports realm, only surpassed by the Olympic Games and the Soccer World Cup. The indoors version of those world-class events might not attract as many people as the outdoors ones, but many people around the world undoubtedly pay attention to them. In 2016, Portland is going to hold the 16th Indoors World Championship. On March 18 - 20, the Oregon Convention Center will be crowded with most of the best athletes of the world. In the 2014 edition, held by Zoppot (Poland), Cuba was the Latin American country occupying the highest position, since it finished seventh, with three medals.
BMX Cycling World Championship (Medellin, Colombia, May)
The 21st edition of the BMX Cycling World Championship is going to take place in Medellin, May 25 - 29, at the Super cross BMX track that has been named after Mariana Pajon, the world and Olympic champion. The tournament is organized by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the Colombian Cycling Federation.
Four Stops of Formula 1 World Championship (Austin, Montreal, Mexico and Brazil)
The 67th season of Formula 1 will include four stops on the continent. For this edition of the event, the International Motor Racing Federation increased the number of tests up to 21 (a new record) and approved the presence of a brand-new motor-racing team: Haas; so there will be 22 cars at the start line. Five Latin American pilots are going to race in the 2016 season: Mexican Sergio “Checo” Perez with Force India, Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado with Lotus, Brazilians Felipe Nasr with Sauber and Felipe Massa with Williams; and Mexican Esteban Gutierrez is back, now with Haas.
Out of the season’s 21 Grand Prix, the continent is set to host four: June 12 at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit, in Montreal; October 23 at the Americas Circuit, in Austin, United States; a week later the cars will be racing at Hermanos Rodriguez Circuit, in Mexico City; and Jose Carlos Pace Circuit, in Sao Paulo, will be hosting the 20th race of the championship, on November 13th.
NBA All-Star Game (Toronto, February 14)
The 65th edition of NBA All-Star Game is scheduled to take place at the Air Canada Centre, in Toronto, and it’ll be the first time in the history that this game is not carried out in the United States. Beyond the match, the Stars Weekend includes a skills competition, three-pointer, a “slam dunk” tournament, a game with celebrities and another one with rookies.
50th Super Bowl (California, United States, February)
The most popular game of the year in the United States, NFL Super Bowl, will hold its 50th edition. Although no Latin American athlete plays here, the truth is that the whole continent pays attention to the clash between the champion of the National Conference and the American’s.
This year round the Super Bowl is slated to take place at Levi Stadium, in Santa Clara, California, home of the San Francisco 49ers, on February 7.
Copa Libertadores de America
The utmost club tournament on the continent will carry out its 57th edition. Once again, the best clubs from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela will be on the field.
32 clubs, divided into eight groups, are going to play in the second phase. The first two of each group will go to the quarterfinals. The champion automatically gets the right to play in the FIFA World Cup, in December, and fight in the 2017 South American Cup against the champion of the 2016 edition.
In 2015, River Plate won the Copa Libertadores and represented the continent in the World Cup of clubs, where it was defeated by Barcelona.
New Season of Major League Baseball (United States, April - October)
The influence of Latin American players in MLB has reached a significant level in the 21st century. Several of the main stars, playing different positions, have Latin American roots (from Miguel Cabrera, to Nelson Cruz, Jose Dariel Abreu and Johny Cueto) and this fact has helped that baseball gain momentum among Latin American enthusiasts.
The 2016 season officially kicks off on April 3 and 30 teams will play in order to win the World Series. The Kansas City Royals currently hold the title, a team that was made up of several latino baseball players, such Dominican catcher Salvador Perez (chosen MVP in the Fall Classic), Venezuelan short stop Alcides Escobar, Cuban batter Kendrys Morales and Dominican pitchers Yordano Ventura, Edison Volquez and Johnny Cueto (who will be playing with the San Francisco Giants).