Sports is like music – it brings people of different nationalities, age, and gender together. A person’s love and devotion to a particular sport can be strong and unwavering to the point of wanting to visit a country of its origin. Here is a shortlist of countries you may have in your bucket list when you get the chance to travel in the future.
Are you one of the millions of people who are absolute fanatics over football? We’re not talking about body hitting, rough American football — to Americans and other people football is “soccer”. A trip to the United Kingdom would be a football fan’s dream come true. After all it has some of the world’s best football teams (or clubs as they call it) and the most prolific players in the sport. Old Trafford is where you can find Manchester United’s stadium. Tours available if you make the necessary plans, and if you’re lucky enough you can even snag a ticket or two to future games. If football isn’t exactly your thing, head over to Wimbledon in London where the famed Wimbledon tennis championships are held every year.
While we’re on the subject of soccer, another country worth visiting is Brazil. Brazilians go crazy over the sport – almost every child dreams of playing soccer professionally – and they see soccer players as almost god-like. The Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro is THE stadium to pay a visit when you go to this South American country. It houses 78,000 spectators and it held the 2014 World Cup. If you are into car racing, make sure to book a flight to Brazil in November when you can witness the Brazilian Grand Prix, a world-renowned car racing event.
Who would like that baseball would be the most popular sport in Japan but it is! Japanese people are so into it they have their own league and have numerous manga (comics) and anime (animated series) dedicated just to the sport of baseball. However, coming to Japan means you may have another sport in mind, a sport that is uniquely Japanese in every way — sumo wrestling. Sumo is the country’s national sport and is pretty easy to follow. Two gigantic men dressed in mawashi (or loin cloth) try to push each other out of a circle.
The sport is steeped in history and tradition and many Japanese people flock to see basho tournaments.. If you are interested in watching one yourself, you’re in luck: basho competitions take place six times a year. The country’s main center for sumo wrestling is at Sumida, Tokyo at the Ryogoku Kokugikan and the basho tournament happens every summer. Come fall it moves to Nagoya and Fukuoka, and in the spring it heads over to Osaka.
Going Down Under? There are many sporting events in Australia to tickle your fancy and you won’t run out of things to see and do in this country. Australia is wildly diverse in the world of sport since it was once a colony of England. You can find its English heritage in their love for cricket, soccer, and rugby. Melbourne is home to one of the world’s four Grand Slam tournaments and it is held every January. Visit Bondi Beach and watch surfing contests while you sip on ice-cold beer. The Noosa Heads in Queensland. Australia is where the yearly Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race takes place. It is considered to be one of the most difficult sea races in the world and is always a cause for celebration for its winners. Indeed, Australia is a gem for sports enthusiasts!