Due to Covid-19, many sports events were postponed in 2020 and were rescheduled for 2021. This included the Tokyo Olympics, football’s European Championship, The Paralympics, Men’s and Women’s Rugby World Cup, and more. The sports-filled 2021 made headlines for many rising stars and world champions that created history.
Athletes from all over the world took part, and some of them became renowned for their incredible performances and wins. In this article, we will take a look at some of the notable world champions of 2021.
Skier Alexis Pinturault
Alexis Pinturault is a world-class skier and has represented France at five World Championships and two Winter Olympics. According to his bio, Alexis tried many different sports including ice hockey, fencing, tennis, and 15 years playing soccer all while skiing. Despite the list of sports he’s played, skiing became his passion.
He claimed his first World Cup in Moscow in 2012. In 2021, he won the Crystal Globe after winning the Giant Slalom in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Alexis Pinturault was awarded the best skier of the season in Switzerland and was the 4th French skier to win the title.
The skier has multiple races planned for 2022, coming up first, the Slalom World Cup in Wengen, SUI. With his incredible performance in 2021, it is predicted that Alexis Pinturault will become yet another World Cupholder.
French Cyclist Julian Alaphilippe
French cyclist Julian Alaphilippe was named the most influential French sports personality in 2021. He is a reigning UCI World Road Champion. A former cyclo-cross racer, and started competing on the road in 2010. He had a very successful season in 2013 and made his professional debut in 2014 by joining the Omega Pharma-Quick-Step.
In 2021, he started the season by finishing second in the Tour de la Provence. He also won the La Flèche Wallonne for the third time and became the first World Champion holder to win the race since 2010. In the second half, he returned to compete in the World Championships, and won. He is the 1st French male cyclist to win multiple road race titles.
In a recent interview, Julian Alaphilippe shared he wants to continue his career in cycling and focus on the Ardennes Classics in the first half of his 2022 season, and then the Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Tour de France.
Footballer Lionel Messi
Footballer Lionel Messi had a life-changing career path in 2021. He is considered one of the best players globally and has won 5 European Golden Shoes, 7 Ballon d’Or awards, and more. He had spent the entirety of his career with Barcelona but changed clubs in 2021 and now plays as a forward for Paris-Saint Germain.
Messi has had a highly influential career since he joined Barcelona at age 13. He holds records for the most goals in the European League season (50), UEFA Champions League (8), La Liga (474), and more. Additionally, he holds the record for the most goals for a single club. He also won Copa America as Argentina’s captain and claimed the 7th Ballon d’Or award. He also won the Copa Del Rey by defeating Athletic Bilbao in the finals.
In PSG, Messi has not made a significant impact yet but is hopeful to change the stats in 2022. He also aims to hold the world cup trophy.
Motorcycle Racer Fabio Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo is a 2021 MotoGP World Championship Winner and the first French World Champion in the premier class’s history. He started his early career in France at the age of 3 and moved to Spain to compete in various competitions. He also won the Mediterranean pre-Moto3 class in 2012.
Moving into Moto3 class for the CEV Repsol series in 2013, he won his first series and became the first non-Spanish rider to win the title. Fast-forwarding to 2021, Quartararo replaced Valentino Rossi in Yamaha Factory Racing and started the series with a win in two consecutive weekends. He also won the fifth race of the season in Silverstone.
Quartararo took 10 podiums, including five wins, out of 16 races in 2021. Moving forward in 2022, Quartararo has decided to keep his #20 on the front fairing for Yamaha next season, thus giving up the # 1.
Besides these, there are several other world champions of 2021 that have an interesting career ahead of them in 2022. With major sports events taking place in 2022, there is a lot to look forward to.