The Economist – Qatar is about to host the most expensive World Cup ever, costing as much as $300bn. Why has this small, gas-rich kingdom chosen to host football’s most prestigious event, and how does it fit into its broader plans for economic transformation?
Video timeline: 00:00 – Why is Qatar hosting the World Cup? 00:57 – World Cups are expensive competitions 01:56 – Qatar’s human rights violations 02:36 – Qatar’s place in the Gulf 04:43 – Qatar distinguishes itself from its neighbours 05:50 – Qatar bids to host the World Cup 07:18 – Qatar’s neighbours issue a blockade 10:12 – What might happen after the World Cup?
Ordinarily a football World Cup would be a moment for celebration,a time to savour sport’s power to unite nations and a glorious distraction from the problems of the day. Not this time: the 2022 tournament has been mired in controversy since it was awarded to Qatar 12 years ago.
Another dubious global milestone was reached this weekas the world’s population passed 8 billion, according to UN estimates. In a the first of a series of dispatches from the frontline of population growth, Hannah Ellis-Petersen reports from India, which next year will overtake China as the planet’s most populous nation, on what the shift means for the world.
The US midterm elections saw the Democrats fare better than expected, retaining control of the Senate despite looking likely to lose control of the House by a small margin to the Republicans. The more consequential outcome may be for Donald Trump: Chris McGreal and David Smith ask if the former president’s grip on the GOP is weakening, and if his rival Ron DeSantis’s time may be coming.
San Francisco Bay is playing host this weekend to a new sailing competition called Sail GP. The races are short, the boats are very fast and, if Saturday’s crowd was any indication, it may be the wave of the future.
This is only the second season for Sail GP, an international sailing competition that patterns itself on the Grand Prix auto racing circuit. The 50-foot catamarans ride up out of the water on foils, turn on a dime and can reach speeds over 60 mph.
“Sail GP is all about high-adrenaline, close-to-shore racing,” said chief marketing officer Erica Kerner. “It is the fastest boats on the water. It is absolutely incredible.”
The Cross Country Adventure Guide 2022 is our guide to the very best of adventure paragliding. Cross Country editor Ed Ewing introduces it.
In this first Cross Country Adventure Guide – specially produced for subscribers of Cross Country magazine and sent out with XC227 (Feb/Mar 2022) – we wanted to bring together a collection of people, activities and experiences that reveal what pilots are doing across our sports. From para-alpinists to hike-and-fly racers, from eight-minute flights to 2,000km long odysseys.
We’re barely scratching the surface with these POV (point of view) videos from 2021 at Red Bull, we’ve had an epic year and some incredible projects, on skis, kayaks, bikes and in the air with some world firsts like flying a plane through a tunnel and flying through a volcano. We couldn’t include them all. Which one of these action clips is your favourite? Which should we have included? What should we do next year?
Sports betting in the U.S. is booming. During the 2021 NFL season an estimated 45 million Americans are expected to wager at least $12 billion. Since a 2018 Supreme Court ruling, sports betting is now legal in more than 30 states.
A flood of new customers eager for risk and excitement has made DraftKings one of the nation’s biggest sportsbooks. In the third quarter of 2021 DraftKings revenue rose 60% from the year prior to $213 million. During that same period with mobile betting launching in several states the number of its monthly unique paying customers rose 31% to 1.3 million.
And the online sports betting and gaming industry in the U.S. is just starting to grow. As of 2021 only 4% of gross gaming revenue in the U.S. was generated online compared with 45% in a more mature market like the UK. The online sports betting market in the U.S. is expected to be worth nearly $40 billion by 2033. So what does the future look like for legal sports betting in America and what challenges lie ahead for sports betting providers like BetMGM, FanDuel and DraftKings?
Beijing will become the first city to have staged both a summer and winter Games, having already hosted a successful summer Olympics in 2008. China is already getting ready for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. Justin Downes, a Canadian winter sports specialist has been advising games organizers. “There is no question that Beijing will be ready as all the competition venues are ready for the Games and they have already hosted test events.” Some organisations are calling on governments to boycott Beijing 2022 because of reported human rights abuses in the country.