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Top 10 Spectacular Sporting Events Around the World

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As the Isle of Man prepares for its annual dose of TT fever, RL360° takes a look at some of the most spectacular sporting events held across the globe. Send us your choices to top10@rl360.com


Isle of Man TT

1) Isle of Man TT: Of course as the TT’s longest running sponsor we’re biased at RL360° when it comes to the TT, especially the RL360° Quantum Superstock race, but there’s no denying it’s a spectacle. 37-plus miles of closed public roads, brave bikers hitting speeds of up to 200mph and an influx of around 40,000 spectators each year. The always beautiful Isle of Man scenery comes into its own as TV coverage of the thrilling races is beamed around the world. There’s something gladiatorial about it.


Super Bowl

2) Super Bowl: You could argue that the Super Bowl is not important outside of the US. But that would be to misunderstand the wider spectacle of the event. Yes, there’s American Football, but who really needs to pay attention to that when really everyone’s just waiting for the half time show? Enter world class acts such as Madonna, Coldplay, Lady Gaga and, of course, Janet Jackson and her shocking ‘wardrobe malfunction’. It’s more about glitz and glamour than sport really.


Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

3) Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Ok, there’s the Monaco Grand Prix and we all know how stunning that is. But there’s a contender in the market for the title of most glamorous Formula One location and that’s Yas Island, on the eastern side of Abu Dhabi. The Yas Marina Circuit has the honour of hosting the finale to the FIA Formula One World Championship and that says a lot. The UAE really does know how to do big and beautiful.


The Lions

4) The Lions Tour: The Lions hit the road every four years, visiting Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in rotation. This summer the British and Irish Lions have jetted to the always stunning New Zealand to battle it out over 10 games, including 3 test matches against the mighty All Blacks. If you’re looking for chills, tune in in time to watch the All Blacks do their pre-match Haka dance - they almost don’t need to play after that.


Wimbledon

5) Wimbledon: If some of the events above are about bombast and glitz, Wimbledon is the antidote. Traditional, refined and truly proud to be stuck in its old English ways, it is certainly not lacking in its own brand of excitement. As royalty look on, great sporting moments are made on the perfectly manicured lawns. As the world moves on at a great pace, Wimbledon manages to avoid becoming an anachronism and instead plays on its tradition.


The Dubai World Cup

6) The Dubai World Cup: The Dubai World Cup could almost be a metaphor for the Dubai way of life - faster, stronger, richer. Known as the world’s richest race day, the prize money alone is worth over $30 million. And it’s the place to be seen - the who’s who of the equestrian world wouldn’t miss the event for all the money in, well, the United Arab Emirates, and they’re joined by Dubai’s society elite.


US Masters Golf

7) US Masters Golf: Unlike other majors, the US Masters is played at the same location each year, the Augusta National Golf Club, in Georgia. The tournament is all about tradition. For example, since 1949 a green jacket has been awarded to the champion, who must return it to the clubhouse one year after his win, where it is stored in a special cloakroom. Only a first-time and currently reigning champion may remove his jacket from the club grounds. Clearly trying to give Wimbledon a run for its money.


World Cup

8) World Cup: The eyes of the globe are on the host nation as the cream of international football gathers to battle it out for the iconic trophy. Fan expectations hit fever pitch, particularly in England where supporters are whipped into a frenzy, only to have their hopes and dreams dashed by way of a penalty shoot-out with Germany. There’s always some controversy too - bear in mind next year the event is heading to Russia…


The Ashes

9) The Ashes: Try explaining this to a non-cricket loving friend: “Right, there’s a 6-inch tall urn full of ashes and Australia and England have been meeting since 1877 to play 5 cricket matches in the hope of winning it.” Well, it would certainly pique your interest and it has done more than that for the historic and, hopefully friendly, rivalry between the 2 nations over the years. Alternately hosting the event, England and Australia stage the matches in grounds around the country and fans really do throw themselves into their support. Sales of red and white face paint rocket (probably).


The Olympics

10) The Olympics: The strongest, the bravest, the fastest, the toughest - and that’s just the workmen expected to toil around the clock to make sure the stadia and the infrastructure are ready in time for the arrival of the hordes of sports fans. The Olympic Games is the ultimate sporting spectacle, wherever it’s held. Each host country adds its own bit of national colour to the event but, really, the sporting action is the star. It’s inspirational, it’s addictive. Remember that time you got up at 4am to watch the badminton final between 2 players from 2 countries you’d barely heard of?