American college students only seem to care about the four major American sports: Baseball, Football, Basketball and Ice Hockey. If you are a true sports fan, you should read up on what’s going on in the other sports around the world.
Let’s start with the English Premier League. The battle for the championship seems to be between the two clubs from Manchester: United and City. At the moment United tops City with 12 points, after City gave away 3 points to Southampton Saturday, February 9, and United did not miss a beat as they won comfortably 2-0 at home against Everton. If the Red Devils keep their recent form, nobody can stop them from celebrating their 20th league championship in May.
All the way on the bottom of the table we find the ambitious Queens Park Rangers, stuck with only 17 points. Another group of 4 teams battle with QPR to avoid the three bottom spots, which results in relegation from the Premier League.
Further south in Europe we find the Spanish La Liga. Barcelona has a safe distance down to the two Madrid based teams Athletico and Real on respectively 12 and 16 points, on top of the table. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona won their home games this weekend, while Athletico Madrid lost to Rayo Vallenco on the road. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who scored 91 goals during 2012, is the league leading goal scorer with 35 goals. Number two is not surprisingly Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo, who has found the back of the net 24 times so far.
Soccer is not the only big sport in Spain though. One of the world’s leading tennis players, Rafael Nadal returned to the world tour this week, after almost seven months on the sideline due to a knee injury. Nadal missed the 2012 London Olympics last summer, and played his first ATP tournament in Chile this week. Even with over half a year on the sideline, Nadal proved the world tennis elite that he belongs among them, as he advanced to the final both in the single and double tournament on Sunday February 10th. Unfortunately he lost both games, but can look back at a successful comeback on the court.
So let’s move from Chile to another country with high mountains: Austria. Austria hosts the 2013 Alpine Ski World Championship. Wednesday, February 6 was the Men’s Super G competition. Ted Ligety from the United States won, while Gauthier De Tessieres (France) and Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway) joined him at the podium. Tina Maze from Slovenia won gold medal for the women with Laura Gut (Switzerland) and Julia Mancuso (USA) came in second and third.
Saturday, February 9, the stage was set for the men’s Downhill competition. Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal took his second medal, as he won the race ahead of Dominik Paris (Italy) and David Poisson (France).
The upcoming week holds plenty of interesting sporting events. The Biathlon World Championship is unfolding in Nové Město, Czech Republic this week, in addition to the Alpine World Championships that will continue in Schladming, Austria, through Sunday, February 17. If you are into golf, you should know that the players on the PGA Tour have stopped in California to play the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club in exclusive Pacific Palisades this week, with final rounds on Sunday.