Sport is doing its best to get back to normal in 2022 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The risk of a positive test remains, but the biggest impact on this year's calendar will be the need to host the World Cup in winter.
Here's a look at 10 things we learned from a year of sports.
England had to wait for the right moment
The World Cup again brought more disappointment for England, as Harry Kane missed a penalty in their 2-1 quarter-final loss to France.
But despite the disappointment after the loss, Britain is hopeful that a new golden generation is on the way. Ten members of this squad are under the age of 25, and a few of them have passed the age of 32 for the next World Cup in four years.
Meanwhile, a host of talent including Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Jadon Sancho, Emile Smith Rowe and Harvey Elliott will be looking to take the next step.
Sport remains linked to politics
History has shown that the idea that politics has no place in sports is always wrong, but the relationship remains complex.
For a minute, the Board of Directors hastened to adopt a certain message by proudly flying the Ukrainian flag at major sporting events, as evidenced by the official adoption of the call for peace after Russia's aggression against Ukraine.
Then, you can write to FIFA, asking all participating nations to "focus on football", threatening penalties for promoting the message of inclusion and Gianni Infantino's publicly aggressive rhetoric the day before. kick.
Sport remains a powerful force in world affairs, if not for usually its leaders.
Chelsea's forced sale resulted in a whopping £4.25 billion fine against former Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
The Premier League's owners quickly reassessed the value of their assets, and by the end of the year, the league's two most respected brands, Manchester United and Liverpool, were up for sale.
Football financier Kieran Maguire has described it as "the last of the Premier League", suggesting that the owners believe the club won't be worth more than it is now after the failure of the Europa League project and the big picture has more power at the top.
English cricket is heading towards danger
Duo Ben Stokes and Brendon McCollum have revived the fortunes of a struggling Test team and pushed the boundaries of what the format can create.
Both are natural gamblers and forwards and have taken the team's philosophy in fearless new directions.
New women's coach Joanne Lewis will follow suit, which means next year's Summer Ashes pairing should be a good showing.
Rugby is in crisis
Shock waves were sent through the rugby club in October as Wasps and Worcester went into administration within 13 days, relegated from the top flight in England and relegated to the Championship.
Both clubs cited the pandemic as a factor in the financial loss, but the RFU rejected claims that "the bankruptcy is not their fault", saying other factors also played a role. The Football Association's chief executive Bill Sweeney said it showed England's current rugby model was "broken".
Ronaldo's embarrassing departure
Cristiano Ronaldo has built an extraordinary career thanks to his talent and determination. His big ego and fuel results are an essential part of the formula that made him one of the greatest athletes of all time.
But now he is about to leave first Manchester United, and now Portugal. His shocking interview with Piers Morgan was a letter of resignation to United after being left out of Erik ten Hag's plans.
Goncalo found himself on the bench for Ramos amid rumors of a World Cup blowout, and Ramos' hat-trick certainly made the situation permanent.
Champions League-seeking free agent Ronaldo has found suitors and intends to make his career in the Middle East.
Good things have come to those who wait
When Eve Muirhead led Great Britain to gold at the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February, it was the end of a long streak.
Since becoming the youngest jumper to win the world curling title in 2013, Muirhead has struggled with the disappointment of her previous three Olympics, including only a bronze medal in 2014.
His fortunes appear not to have changed: first his team failed to qualify for the Olympics at last year's World Cup in Calgary, then tested positive for Covid before the final round of qualifying.
After going to Beijing, they got stuck in the round robin but somehow made it to the finals. They made no mistakes when they were there and led Japan to a 10-3 victory.
Long football ban
In May, 17-year-old Blackpool striker Jake Daniels came out as gay, making him England's only active player. The teenager has been widely praised for telling his story, but his fame shows how far football still has to go.
Many wondered if other players would follow suit, especially with focus ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.
But two years later, the Justin Fashanu Foundation published a letter from an anonymous Premier League player who said he was too afraid to quit because the game didn't reach out to the community, and no one else did.
Formula 1 fans, never satisfied with Max Verstappen winning the 2021 championship from Lewis Hamilton at the end of last season, had yet another reason to add an asterisk to the October results, when Red Bull was found guilty of breaching the payment cap. last year.
Ross Brawn had previously claimed such an offense would cost the team the title, but with the offense considered minor, Red Bull lowered its fine-tunnel and wind test.
This wasn't enough to prevent the tensions in the ring from becoming more toxic in the final weeks of the season, as the bad feelings are unlikely to pass before the next season.
The Birmingham Commonwealth Games present the future
When the 22nd Commonwealth Games began in Birmingham at the end of July, the future of the event was in question. Games seen as historical anachronisms must prove that they can be relevant to the modern world.
And for 11 days, Birmingham showed what it was all about, hosting the Olympic Games like no other city had seen before, as fans filled the stands and created an atmosphere of joy that could celebrate both the event and the victory. Cost mentality elsewhere.
Birmingham by no means solves all problems, but it does point the way forward.