• Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Sports galore in 2024, with the Olympics leading the charge

ByCallum Couto

Jan 4, 2024
Olympic Rings

2023 was one of the most exciting years in sports and 2024 looks set to be just as action-packed, with a host of different events being held throughout the year. 

The Paris 2024 Olympic Games 

Without a doubt, the Summer Olympics will be one of the highlights of the sporting year. The event will be hosted in the French capital, with certain events, including the newly introduced surfing, taking place in French Polynesia. These Games will feature 48 disciplines within 32 different sports, with over 200 countries being invited to compete. Interestingly, Paris 2024 has also set the goal of cutting “the carbon footprint of the Games in half compared with previous editions,” with this mainly being achieved by relying on previous infrastructure and using green energy. The Summer Games will start on July 26, with the opening ceremony being hosted on the Seine, with at least 600,000 spectators being able to attend. Following the Summer Games, the Paralympics will also be hosted in Paris, with 22 sports being played starting on August 28 and 4,400 athletes participating in what should be one of the largest installments of the Paralympic Games yet.  

The 2024 Football Calendar 

Within the Men’s International Football Calendar, we are spoiled for choice. Within January alone, both the Qatari-hosted Asian Cup and Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) being held in Ivory Coast are due to start on January 12th and January 13th, respectively. Both of these regional tournaments feature emerging football nations such as Senegal and Morocco within the AFCON and Korea and Japan within the Asian Cup. Multiple prominent footballers, including Tottenham’s Son Heung-min and Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah, will be away from their clubs throughout January as they represent their national sides.  

Later on in the year, both the EUROs and the Copa América will be played starting on June 14 and June 20, respectively. The European Cup games will be hosted in Germany as their national team looks to return to winning ways, while the Copa will be played in the United States of America, with the final being hosted at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. The Copa being hosted in the USA will undoubtedly make the tournament more attractive, as it will feature a mixture of North American teams, including the hosts, Canada, and Mexico, alongside the usual South American teams, such as Brazil and the defending champions, Argentina.  

Unfortunately, the Women’s International Football Calendar does not feature as many major football tournaments, with both regional tournaments and the World Cup being played recently in 2022 and 2023, respectively. However, we will finally learn where the next installment of the Women’s World Cup will be hosted, as FIFA is set to make an announcement sometime in May, deciding between the four remaining bids. Despite the lack of the World Cup and significant regional tournaments, there will be crucial matches played in Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Africa, as all these regions will be sending teams to this year’s Olympics. Notably, the current World Champions, Spain, have not secured qualification, with their Olympic fate resting on the result of a UEFA Nations League semi-final against the Netherlands on February 23. Once all regions have finished their qualifying tournaments, a total of twelve women’s teams will be sent to Paris in pursuit of Olympic gold. 

Within Club Football, both the men’s and women’s games are set to see an exciting 2024. The title race within the Women’s Super League is beginning to heat up, with Chelsea currently holding onto a slim three-point lead. There is incredible transfer drama involving current Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps, who will be out of contract come summer and was pursued by rivals Arsenal earlier in the season. The Women’s Champions League will also occur, with the last of the group stages being played out in late January and the final being hosted in Bilbao on May 25. The favourites to win the cup are, of course, Barcelona, who have not only contributed significantly to Spain’s recent World Cup glory but have also gone undefeated (as per usual) in this year’s Primera División. 

Similarly, the men’s game is just as action-packed as the Premier League and features a close, tight title race, as just six points separate fifth-placed Tottenham from current leaders Liverpool. However, within Germany, there appears to be a potential title upset lurking, as the Bundesliga is currently topped by Bayer Leverkusen, who are attempting to prevent Bayern Munich from claiming the title for the twelfth time in succession. Finally, the Men’s Champions League round of 16 will kick off on February 13, with the final scheduled for June 1, being hosted in London at Wembley. 

International Rugby

Within the world of international rugby, the two marquee events of the Six Nations and the Rugby Sevens being played at the Summer Olympics will be the most exciting for fans. The Men’s Six Nations will kick off on February 2 as France faces current title holders Ireland in Marseille. However, France will be without one of their key players, as their captain, Antoine Dupont, has elected to miss the Six Nations in order to represent France at the Olympics. Scotland is scheduled to play at Murrayfield here in Edinburgh on February 10 against France and on February 24 against England. The Women’s Six Nations is scheduled to begin in March, with Edinburgh’s Hive Stadium hosting Scotland against France and England on March 30 and April 13, respectively. Scotland will look to improve on their form following last year’s tournament, in which they finished fourth, losing three of their matches. 

Tennis 

Tennis looks set to have a huge 2024, with the four Grand Slams being kicked off in Melbourne as the Australian Open starts on January 14, with the big news being the return of former champions Angelique Kerber, Naomi Osaka, and Rafael Nadal. The next Grand Slams will then be London’s Wimbledon, beginning on July 1, followed by Paris’ Roland-Garros, starting on May 26, and finally, New York’s US Open, beginning on August 26. However, due to the Olympics, an added honour of the Olympic Gold Medal will be available; notably, 24 Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic has not won this accolade as of yet and has stated his “huge desire” to win a singles gold in 2024. The 2024 Olympics also present an opportunity for American star Coco Gauff, who unfortunately missed the Tokyo games due to testing positive for COVID-19. The teenager has made it clear that winning the Olympic gold is one of her “biggest dreams,” and she might compete in the doubles alongside fellow American Jessica Pegula.

Formula 1 

With the sport’s popularity increasing, many fans will be excited for what the new season will bring, especially since last season saw Red Bull win all Grand Prix’s bar one. Despite Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s dominance, it seems as if this season might be potentially more competitive, as teams such as the papaya-clad McLaren have made huge gains across the season and will no doubt be working tirelessly during the winter break to ensure the Dutchman does not have as much of an enjoyable season. The first Grand Prix of the season will start with the new season of Formula 1 in Bahrain on March 2, with the popular Netflix series Drive to Survive releasing on February 23

NFL 

The NFL is just about to enter the playoffs, with five spots up for grabs across the divisions. The playoffs begin with the NFL’s Wild-Card round on January 13th, while the Vince Lombardi Trophy will be awarded to the Super Bowl winner on February 11 in Las Vegas. The two favourites, as reported by The Athletic, are the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers, with the latter holding a slight advantage

NBA

The US’ National Basketball League will host the first of their final games on June 6, with the play-in tournament starting on April 16. Our own Oliver Barker wrote a summary of the NBA’s first quarter of games and gave his prediction of Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets retaining the championship. Many of the NBA’s premier stars, including LeBron James, have reportedly become increasingly interested in representing the USA in 2024 in pursuit of Olympic gold, with fellow Americans Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant supposedly being tempted to travel to Paris come summer. 

Cricket

Cricket fans have a lot to be excited about in 2024. Starting on January 25, England and India will be playing a test series that will run until March 11. Immediately after this, the Indian Premier League (IPL) will kick off in March, with international stars such as Virat Kohli and Pat Cummins being part of the league. However, one of the highlights of this year will be the Men’s and Women’s T20 World Cup, with the men’s tournament taking place in June within the West Indies and America, while the women’s tournament starts later on in September and is hosted by Bangladesh. In the women’s game, Australia will attempt to add to their impressive run within the competition, as they have won three titles on the bounce. 


That’s just eight of the key events and sports that you should be looking out for in the new year. These alone will make sports fans excited but despite my best efforts, there’s so much more happening this year, whether it be a heavyweight title fight or the Rotterdam Marathon, that might see the two-hour marathon barrier (officially) smashed. So if you’re already a die-hard sports fan or are looking to get more involved in the sporting world, 2024 is the year for you. 

London 2012 Olympic Games” by amsr_photography is licensed under CC BY 2.0.