Around The World In 4 Sporting Events

Sport is more than just a spectator event, it’s a cultural touchstone. It’s a language that is spoken all over the world and transcends the limitations of the spoken word. It’s a transformative gift to communities and individuals, forging friendships and even strengthening economies. For travel buffs who also happen to be sports nuts though, imbibing a local culture through its most hallowed sporting events is one of the greatest gratifications that travel can offer.

While many culturally disparate countries may share common sporting ground (Brazilians and Brits are equally soccer mad) their approach to the game and its spectatorship can vary wildly but whatever your sporting preferences and wherever you set your sights, it’s easy to immerse yourself in the culture and drama of sports. Here I have compiled some major sporting events from around the world and how they can help you best appreciate the local color…

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The Stanley Cup

Nobody loves hockey more than Canadians. Absolutely nobody! While the NHL is an American body, The Stanley Cup is an undeniable mainstay on the Canadian sporting calendar. The trophy itself actually predates the NHL and unlike most sporting trophies, it’s one of a kind. A new one isn’t made every year. Instead, its detachable rings are engraved and added to over the years. Hockey fans are among the most passionate and outspoken in the world and tend to be very welcoming to new visitors. Hockey is best enjoyed with someone you love because you never know when that kiss cam will find you! Just remember to kiss your date, not your beer!

The Australian Open

Sure, Aussie Rules football is kind in the land down under but in the interests of variety, let’s take a look at the Australian Open. The Grand Slam of Asia / Pacific is one of Australia’s most famous sporting highlights. Buying Aus Open tickets for next year is still viable and surprisingly affordable. Melbourne plays host to the open so while you’re there have a cheeky pint in the famous Young and Jacksons or a long lunch at the Middle Park Hotel.

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The Ashes

While soccer is the sport of choice for most brits, there’s no sport so quintessentially English as cricket. The Ashes at Lords is more steeped in culture, history and tradition than virtually anything in the world of FIFA. The term came from a joke coined by a sporting journalist in 1882 when England lost to Australia on home turf for the first time. A mock obituary was written lamenting the death of English cricket “The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia”. If you’ve ever wondered why the English and Australians are such good ‘frenemies’, then getting into cricket is the best way to do it.

The Superbowl

There’s no greater and more bombastic sporting event anywhere in the world than The Superbowl. The infamous American football tournament encapsulates everything that’s great about America. It’s huge, it’s loud, it’s a little bit obnoxious, it’s bursting with passion and it’s a whole lot of fun. While New Orleans played host to this year’s Superbowl, next year the tournament heads to Minneapolis. We’ll see you there with those humblest of refreshments, a hot dog and a beer!


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