Days after the Boston Celtics clinched the NBA Finals in the National Hockey League (NHL), the Florida Panthers held off Conor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers to win their first Stanley Cup Finals in franchise history. While the NBA and NHL playoffs were exciting and filled with legendary performances and shocking upsets, the conclusion of each postseason marks the beginning of a long and boring offseason.

Coupled with the NFL offseason in full swing, sports fans are typically left counting down the days til these leagues resume. However, 2024 is different. Normally with just one or maybe no options, sports addicts will have their choice between the Copa América, Tour de France, and the 2024 Summer Olympics this summer.

Copa América

The oldest continental soccer tournament in the world, Copa América usually sees the best South American national teams duke it out every few years. However, with the tournament hosted in the United States for just the second time in history, the best North American teams will also be there. So far, we’ve seen matchups that we typically don’t get to see. During the group stage, Christian Pulisic and the United States took on Uruguay, while Alphonso Davies’s Canada faced Lionel Messi’s Argentina.

With the knockout stage on the horizon, Brazil and Argentina remain the two heavy favorites of the competition. They’ve won the last two editions of Copa América, but neither looked unstoppable during the group stage. This year’s competition is wide-open and there are plenty of surprises that are still yet to come.

Tour de France

The Tour de France is the most prestigious yet difficult bike race in the world. It features 21 different stages that consist of flat, hilly and mountain stages with a couple of time-trials mixed in. The Tour de France takes riders through hell and back. With the Alps and the Pyrenees on the schedule, it’s an accomplishment in itself to finish the tour let alone win the whole race. Yet there are plenty of riders looking to get their hands on the maillot jaune (yellow jersey) this year.

Tour de France courtesy wikipedia commons

2-time winner Joonas Vingegaard is looking for his third straight maillot jaune. The Dane is known for his incredible endurance and climbing skills, making him a force on mountain stages. While fellow 2-time winner Tadej Pogacar possesses great climbing skills of his own, he’s also got great speed and will look to constantly attack the other general classification (GC) riders. The Slovenian will fancy his chances considering Vingegaard is not at 100 percent due to a crash during the Tour of the Basque Country.

Pogacar’s countryman and Vingegaard’s ex-teammate, Primoz Roglic, is looking to get on the top step for the first time in his career. Roglic has come close on many occasions. In 2020, he lost the maillot jaune to Pogacar on the final stage in heartbreaking fashion. The veteran is running out of time, but he’ll be hoping that a switch to the Bora-hansgrohe team will do the trick.

2024 Summer Olympics

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fans were barred from attending the 2020 Tokyo Games. While this was disappointing news to athletes and fans around the world, it has only built up anticipation for the 2024 Paris Games. For two weeks, fans will be treated to nonstop action of the greatest athletes in the world.

Swimming highlights the first week of the Olympics, but if you’re a runner like me, you’re waiting for track & field to kick off the second week of the games. In the 100-meter, Team USA’s Noah Lyles and Sha’Carri Richardson will look to back up their triumphs at the 2023 World Championships with another gold medal in Paris. Amongst the distance runners, Great Britain’s Josh Kerr and Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigsten will finally settle their feud in the 1600-meter.

Apart from swimming and track & field, there are many other sports and storylines to look forward to. Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles will look to bounce back from a disappointing campaign at Tokyo as she looks to help Team USA reclaim gold in Paris. Biles will have plenty of help, but they’ll have their hands full. The Russians won’t be there. However, expect Great Britain, Brazil, and hosts France to bring very strong teams.

Simone Biles courtesy flickr

After years of pleading, breaking will make its highly anticipated debut at Paris. The world’s best b-boys and b-girls will finally showcase their talents and contrasting styles on the biggest stage. For two straight weeks, Californians will have to wake up early to watch their favorite athletes live. But with all the talent on display, it will be well worth it.