The new year is almost always a time of great anticipation and excitement – and for good reason.
Often a period of reflection, January 1 traditionally marks the time when we approach our futures with a renewed sense of optimism and take the chance to offer a toast to a reinvigorated tomorrow.
But the reality is that while some of us who start the new year will fail to see it out and the lives of others will be irrevocably altered via circumstances over which they will have little or no control.
For some of us 2020 will be the year we achieve our personal bests while for others it will be a period of growth through loss or heartache. For some it may be even be a combination of the two.
But whatever your thoughts or fears for the year ahead – which coincidentally is also a leap year – there are a tonne of events occurring on a global scale sure to keep even the most pessimistic among us invested in what comes next.
When it comes to the wide world of sports, events don’t get much bigger than the Summer Olympics being staged in Tokyo Japan from July 24 to August 9.
Officially known as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, this year’s event will see the debut of new and additional competitions including 3×3 basketball, freestyle BMX, Madison cycling together with karate, sport climbing, surfing and skateboarding the latter four of which will make their Olympic debuts.
The eyes of the tennis world will be on Melbourne as the Australian Open, the first major of the year, takes place between January 20 and February 2. Ash Barty, ranked No. 1 in the world in singles by the Women’s Tennis Association, is among the top tier players competing for the $62.5 million total prize pool, while Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka will both be attempting to defend their 2019 Australian Open titles.
From June 12 to July 12, the UEFA EURO 2020 will be held across 12 European countries as a one-off event to celebrate the competition’s 60-year history. The European Football Championship is staged every four years and is a must-see for die hard football (soccer) fans. Portugal are the defending champions, having beat France in 2016 in extra time to win Portugal’s first ever EURO.
October will be a massive month for cricket fanatics with the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup being staged across seven Australian cities. The 16-team men’s event takes place from 18 October – 15 November however the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup takes place first, hosted across six Australian cities between February 21 and March 8.
A political view
Every year is a big year in the political sphere but none more so than when the top job in the United States is up for grabs.
American voters will head to the polls on November 3 but controversial US president Donald Trump is not the only one who will be fighting to retain his position.
Popular New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will also be making a play to remain as leader during the Kiwi general election taking place on November 21.
By year’s end the Dominican Republic will also boast a new leader with the country’s general elections being held on May 17 where a new president, vice-president, 32 senators and 190 deputies will be voted in. It marks the first time in Dominican socio-political history in which all its authorities will be elected simultaneously and directly. Incumbent President Danilo Medina is ineligible to stand for re-election, having served two consecutive terms since 2012.
Other events of note
Whether you have your head in the clouds or stars in your eyes, 2020 is shaping up to be a huge year for those who enjoying sparkling performances.
In early May (12-16) the next Celine Dion (winner 1988), Olivia Newton John (4th place 1974) or Michael Ball (2nd place 1992) could be discovered when Eurovision Song Contest 2020 takes place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Just over a month later, on July 17, is the planned launch of NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission to study the habitability of Mars. The aim is to find signs of habitable conditions on Mars in the ancient past and evidence of past microbial life, as well as improve landing techniques, and characterise weather, dust, and other potential environmental conditions that could affect future astronauts living and working on Mars.
From October 20 to April 10 2021 Dubai will be hosting the 2020 World Expo themed Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. This will be the largest event ever staged in the Arab world with 190 countries participating and millions of visitors expected. Youth are at the heart of the World Expo, and this expo aims to create a meaningful legacy that will benefit generations to come, both locally and globally, spanning everything from innovations and architecture to friendships and business opportunities.
While the dates have yet to be confirmed there are a number of developments expected on the health, environment and cultural front to take place this year. Liberia will become the first nation of the world to completely stop cutting down its trees in return for development aid, the largest archaeological museum in the world, The Grand Egyptian Museum, is expected to be completed, and Egypt – which has the highest rate of hepatitis C in the world – is expected to finally eradicate the disease after an ambitious nationwide campaign.
Whatever you plan to do in 2020 this quote from Oprah is very fitting to most of us… ‘Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right’.