In the beginning of January we can still look forward to several big winter sports competitions from the Alpine Ski World Cup to the new NHL season. Sadly some events in figure skating have been cancelled but most other events are going ahead. Let’s see the top winter sports events in 2021.
After the early end of last year’s winter season, fans were hoping for the return of a more normal schedule. Including races in the Alpine ski, Biathlon or Cross-country world cups. And major competitions like the Luge World Championships or the Speed Skating European Championships. The fans of ice hockey have been following major leagues. With the biggest, the NHL starting this week, on the 13th of January. Unfortunately there have been several alterations this season as well. Most events are held without fans and in European locations. We can still hope though that this season will go ahead without any major disruption. So let’s see the biggest events of the 2021 year.
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in the top winter sports events in 2021
The most traditional winter sport has to be alpine skiing, which attracts several fans all over the world. The biggest event of it will be the 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships held in Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy between 9-21 February. Top athletes will compete in the 12-day long competition in 13 different disciplines. Including Mikaela Shiffrin and Petra Vhlova in the women’s, and Alexis Pinturault and Henrik Kristoffersen in the men’s events.
Of course, we can also watch the races of the 2020-21 Alpine Ski World Cup until then, with races every weekend. Even though there are no events in North America this season, the competition is very exciting. Just as in other ski events like in cross-country. Where athletes have just completed the Tour de Ski, one of the biggest competitions of the season. Russian Alexander Bolshunov managed to defend his title, while in the women’s event US athlete Jessie Diggins won. Online sportsbooks in Germany mention both of them as favorites to win in the 2021 Nordic World Ski Championships, which will be held in Germany at the end of February.
Other top ski events
We also have to mention the 2021 Biathlon World Championships in the top winter sports events in 2021. It will take place in Pokljuka, in Slovenia between the 10-21 February. The Norwegian team won six gold medals last year and predicted to achive a similar great result this year. In the 2020-21 Biathlon World Cup double races are taking place in the same location to cut travel and eliminate several usual race locations. Norwegian athletes lead in all men’s disciplines, with Johannes Thingnes Bo topping the overall standings.
Online gambling sites in Germany offer the smallest odds for his victory in the next race in Oberhof as well. In the women’s competition we can also find mostly Norwegian athletes at the top of the tables with Marte Olsbu Roiseland leading the overall race. The best ski jumping athletes will also take part in the Nordic World Championship, by then they compete in the 2020-21 Ski Jumping World Cup. The race is very tight this seson in the men’s event between Norwegian Halvor Egner Granerud, German Marcus Eisenbicher and Polish Kamil Stoch. While in the women’s race Austrian Marita Kramer won the only event so far.
Luge, bobsleigh and skeleton
If you’re looking for more thrills, don’t forget to follow the 2021 FIL World Luge Championships at the end of January. In this sport racers speed down a slope on a small sled lying face up and reaching extreme speed. Even watching it can increase your adrenaline, but you have to catch it now as the season ends on the 6th of February. Bobsleigh is a more popular version of the sport, which will have its world championship also in Germany, between the 5-14 February. Germany dominates bob and skeleton races after winning 5 gold medals out of six last year.
Speed and figure skating
Skating fans can watch the 2021 ISU European Speed Skating Championships from Heerenveen, the Netherlands this weekend. Followed by the 2021 ISU Short Track Speed Skating Championships from Gdansk, Poland between 22-24 January. Dutch skaters have been dominating the sport in long track ahead of Russia, while Hungary has top athletes in the short track version. The world championships in both sports will be also held in the Netherlands in February and in March.
Sadly in figure skating major amendments have been made which also meant the cancellation of the 2021 European Championships from Zagreb. The world championships is still scheduled to take place in Sweden between the 22-28 March. But with most other major competitions being cancelled it’s a difficult task to predict who can perform well in the only event of the season.
One of the most popular winter sports is ice hockey which luckily still goes ahead in all prominent countries. Fans can follow games in the Russian, German, Finnish or Swedish leagues. The NHL will also return with the new, 2021 season this week. Tampa Bay Lightning are the defending champions and one of the main favorites for the new season as well.
The biggest ice hockey event, the 2021 IIHF World Championship will be co-hosted by Belarus and Latvia between the 21st of May and 6th of June. Last year’s event was cancelled which gives more importance to the event. Finland won the tournament in 2019 and their team is one of the main favorites again. While the 2021 Women’s Ice Hockey World Championship will take place in April in Canada.
Winter X Games
Last but not least let’s mention the biggest competition of more extreme winter sports, the Winter X Games. This year the games will return to the Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen for the 20th consecutive year. Between 29-31 January the best athletes will compete in 14 disciplines including SuperPipe, Slopestyle, Big Air and Men’s Knuckle Huck. The event will also be the first North American snowboard and freestyle ski event of the season. The Games will be also held without spectators but we can follow it on several channels along with virtual experiences.