A glimmer of hope
There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic turned the whole of 2020 upside down. With lockdown, quarantine, social distancing and more, life became unrecognisable around the world. The new year brings some hope. Many countries are working on developing vaccines to bring the virus under control. In fact, some have already begun vaccinating people. With this, the expectation is that this year will be slightly more ‘normal’ than the previous one.
The U.S., where the pandemic is currently raging, has much to look forward to. A new leader takes charge of the country that has been under President Donald Trump for the past four years. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election in 2019 to become the president-elect and vice-president elect respectively. On January 20, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the country’s 46th president. Kamala Harris will become its first female Vice-President, and also the first of African-America and Asian descent.
Sports lovers have plenty of excitement in store. The Summer Olympics that was supposed to be held in 2020 in Tokyo was postponed owing to the pandemic, and will be held in July-August 2021 instead. In its history, the competition has never been postponed; only been cancelled thrice due to war. Four new sports will make their Olympic debut: sport climbing, surfing, skateboarding and karate. What’s more, baseball and softball return after being absent since the 2008 Games. If you draw inspiration from watching the world’s best athletes compete for glory, the stage doesn’t get bigger than this.
More sporting glory
While the 2020 sporting calendar was pretty much wiped out, this year promises to be more eventful. The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is scheduled to be conducted this year with India being the host. With the Indian Premier League also slated to be conducted in the first half of the year, there’s no dearth of cricketing action. The UEFA Euro 2020 will also be held this year after being postponed. In tennis, Serena Williams is poised to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam singles titles, the most by any player in the world. With 23 titles already, the legendary player is just one title away from making history.
Going to the polls
Elections will be conducted in four states and one union territory in India this year. As West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry go to the polls for their Assembly elections, the country braces itself for several high intensity political battles with higher stakes.
Reaching for the stars
2021 promises to be a busy year for space exploration. NASA’s rover, Perseverance, will land on Mars to look for signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples. Missions from the U.A.E. and China are also expected to arrive on the Red Planet this year. In a test for ‘planetary defence’, NASA plans to launch a car-sized craft that will deliberately crash into an asteroid’s moon in 2022 to tweak its orbit. Another exciting launch is the James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most powerful space telescope ever built. Chandrayaan-3, India’s planned mission to the moon, is likely to be launched too. Preparations will also be underway for Gaganyaan, the country’s first-ever human space mission.
With many movies from 2020 being pushed to 2021 due to the pandemic, movie buffs have plenty to look forward to. Releases slated for this year include “Cinderella”, “Tom & Jerry”, “Raya and the Last Dragon”, “Boss Baby: Family Business”, “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway”, “Ron’s Gone Wrong”, “Rumble”, “Cruella”, “Spirit Untamed”, “Luca”, “Minions: The Rise of Gru”, “Jungle Cruise”, “Hotel Transylvania 4”, “Paw Patrol: The Movie”, “The Addams Family 2”, “Encanto”, “Blazing Samurai”, “My Little Pony” and “Black Widow”. Of course, the pandemic continues to influence release dates.
2021 marks the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. Queen Elizabeth II turns 95 this year. What’s more, her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, will complete a century.