If you like sports and/or electoral politics, you’ll probably also like 2022. There are plenty of those things from around the world coming your way in the new year. In fact, the first big event on this list will see a clash of sports and politics. That may or may not be a good thing.
CHINA, Feb 4-20
The XXIV Olympic Winter Games will be held in Beijing, making it the first city in the world to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics after having hosted the Summer Games in 2008. The problem is, a lot of major powers have announced a diplomatic boycott to underscore concerns about human rights abuses in China, especially of the Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang. That would likely mean countries will not send an official delegation to the Games, but their athletes will still compete.
SOUTH KOREA, March 9
The South Korean presidential election would be a key political event of the year. As a constitutional amendment in 1987 has restricted the South Korean presidency to a single five-year term, incumbent President Moon Jae-in, like his predecessors, cannot be in the race.
The two major contestants are Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) and Yoon Seok-youl of the People Power Party (PPP), the main Opposition. Lee is a former governor of the Gyeonggi Province, while Yoon is the former prosecutor general of South Korea. A Gallup Korea poll in November 2021 revealed Yoon was favoured by 42 per cent of the respondents, while Lee had the support of 31 per cent.
FRANCE, April 10
About a month after the South Korean polls will be the first round of the French presidential election, on April 10. A second round will be held on April 24, if no one wins a majority in the first.
There is uncertainty over whether incumbent President Emmanuel Macron, who came to power in 2017, will contest. Several opinion polls have shown that he will win if he chooses to participate.
The other strongest contender is Valérie Pécresse of the conservative Les Républicains (LR) party. There’s also far-right Rassemblement National party leader Marine Le Pen, among others.
ENGLAND, June 2-5
Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 70th anniversary as monarch at the Platinum Jubilee, the first such celebration in the history of Britain. The British government has promised a “once-in-a-generation show” that will “mix the best of British ceremonial splendour and pageantry with cutting edge artistic and technological displays”.
And for the first time, Jubilee beacons will be lit in every capital city of each Commonwealth country to mark 70 years of the Queen’s reign.
FRANCE, July 24-31
A women’s version of the Tour de France will be held in 2022 with a start on Paris’ iconic Champs-Elysees boulevard after the conclusion of the men’s race.
The “Tour de France Femmes” aims to become a permanent fixture on the women’s world tour cycling calendar after various failed attempts in the past.
The route and length of the race were not immediately disclosed but a video accompanying the launch said riders will “tackle the most challenging route” and “defy the most iconic climbs.”
QATAR, Nov 21-Dec 18
The first World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world will kick off on November 21 and conclude on December 18 – Qatar National Day.
Throughout 10 years of preparations, Qatar has been wracked by controversy over the mega tournament, including allegations of corruption and bribery to secure the bid and that it failed to protect its workforce of 2 million amid deaths of thousands of migrant construction labourers who built massive infrastructure and an entirely new city, Lusail, to host the final match.
The tournament will be the last to involve 32 teams, with an increase to 48 teams scheduled for the 2026 edition in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. India though has not qualified for 2022.