Photo: Rob Wingate/Unsplash

By MARK LORENZANA

We saw soccer legend Lionel Messi finally win a World Cup to close out 2022, as Argentina beat France via penalty shootout on Dec. 18 in Qatar. It was, indeed, one of the biggest highlights of the year that was.

It was bittersweet, though: Watching Messi celebrate with his teammates after finally winning the only trophy that eluded him his entire career was something special, but it also marked the end of one of the most anticipated international sporting events — the most prestigious soccer tournament in the world — that only happens every four years.

But fret not, sports fans. This year, we have a lot of sporting events to look forward to. (Disclaimer: This is not a definitive list, just something to get everyone excited — a 2023 major sporting calendar, if you will.)

1. Tennis, beginning with the Australian Open, on Jan. 16.

The first of the four Grand Slam tennis events held each year — preceding the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open — will jumpstart 2023: the Australian Open, at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, which will be held from Jan. 16 to 29. Rafael Nadal will look to defend his singles title, although Carlos Alcaraz, Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic are in contention for the world number 1 ranking at the start of the tournament.

2. Super Bowl LVII, on Feb. 12.

The most-anticipated championship game of the National Football League (NFL) for the 2022 NFL season, Super Bowl LVII, will kick off on Feb. 12, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Needless to say, every Super Bowl is more than a sporting event: Aside  from the football game itself, fans look forward to the halftime show. This year, pop and R&B superstar Rihanna will be performing.

3. IIHF Men’s World Ice Hockey Championship, on May 12.

For ice hockey fanatics. This is the biggest international men’s ice hockey tournament, which is organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). This year’s tournament, from May 12 to 28, will be cohosted by Finland and Latvia, after Russia’s hosting duties were revoked due to its invasion of the Ukraine.

4. Special Olympics World Summer Games, on June 17.

The 2023 edition of the Special Olympics World Summer Games will be hosted by Germany, in Berlin, from June 17 to June 25. This is the first time ever that Germany will host the event.

5. Tour de France, on July 1.

The first stage of the world’s most prestigious cycling tourney (its 110th edition) will hit the road on July 1 in Bilbao, Spain, for its first stage, and will end in Paris, France, on July 23.

6. FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, on July 20.

This article started by lamenting the end of the FIFA Men’s World Cup tournament in December of last year, but soccer fans rejoice! The women’s edition of the tournament is slated for the third quarter of this year (from July 20 to Aug. 20) across 10 stadiums in Australia and New Zealand, and will see the best international women’s soccer teams from 32 countries leave it all out on the field.

7. FIBA Basketball World Cup, on Aug. 25. 

The 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup will head to Asia this year, and will be held from Aug. 25 to Sept. 10 in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines. It will serve as a qualifying tournament for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France.

8. ICC Cricket World Cup, in October and November.

The Cricket World Cup (officially known as ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup) is the international championship of One Day International (ODI) cricket. The 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup (the 13th edition of the tournament) will be hosted by India in October and November. England is the current defending champion of the event, having won the 2019 edition.

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