Here we go then... a New Year and new hope plus, after all the postponements in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have what seems like a never ending supply of big sporting events to be crammed in over the course of 2021.
Steven Beacom picks out 21 to watch in 2021 in the hope they will go ahead.
The greatest show on earth has been rescheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8 in Tokyo this year. For Northern Ireland, the Games promise to be special. World class gymnast Rhys McClenaghan from Newtownards has a genuine shot at winning gold in the pommel horse discipline. Should he do so he will follow in the illustrious footsteps of iconic athlete Lady Mary Peters and hockey heroes Stephen Martin and Jimmy Kirkwood in bringing gold home to Northern Ireland from the summer Olympics. Middle distance runner Ciara Mageean is another worth watching and then there's Ireland's female hockey stars, captained by Katie Mullan. That's even before we get to the boxing, rowing, cycling and all the other sports that make the Games great.
Once the Olympic roadshow moves out of Tokyo, the Paralympics will move in and, if recent history in the event is anything to go by, it could be highly successful for Northern Ireland, with athletes Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop and swimmer Bethany Firth out to win more gold medals.
Northern Ireland will not be there. The Republic of Ireland won't be involved either. But the Euro 2020 finals will be the focus of football attention between June 11 and July 11 with England, Scotland and Wales all competing. The final is at Wembley. What price England to be in it? No doubt world champions France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands will have something to say about that. So too Italy, who Northern Ireland play in their World Cup qualifying campaign which starts in March.
In the middle of the Euros the British and Irish Lions will start their tour of South Africa, with the first Test scheduled against the Springboks for July 24. Any time the Lions travel to South Africa, the invincible tour of 1974 led by inspirational captain Willie John McBride comes to mind. Will any Ulster players make the trip this time?
The hits will keep on coming with Europe aiming to retain the Ryder Cup versus USA at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in September. Ireland's Padraig Harrington will captain the European team, who will look to Rory McIlroy for inspiration.
By then, perhaps Holywood star McIlroy will have completed golf's Grand Slam. The Masters will be back in its traditional April slot and if Rory can overcome his first round issues, that green jacket could be his. The Open, which wasn't played in 2020, is at Royal St George's where fellow Ulsterman Darren Clarke memorably won it back in 2011.
Another huge event which was called off in 2020 was Wimbledon. SW19 should be open for business again on June 28, with the men's final on July 11, the same date as the Euro 2020 final. Imagine if fit again Andy Murray went all the way having felt his Centre Court days were over due to injury.
The Scottish tennis star loves boxing and, like the rest of us, would relish seeing a heavyweight fight with all the belts on the line between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. The hype for that one would be off the scale.
It should be pretty tasty for Carl Frampton vs Jamel Herring too. The Jackal will be going all out to make history early in the year knowing victory would make him the first Irish three-weight world champion. Another Belfast man planning to be world champion is Michael Conlan. What a double that would be.
When Ireland play England in the Six Nations in Dublin it is always worth watching, so put March 20 in the diary now. February 7 should be fun, too, with the Irish facing Wales in Cardiff. The competition tends to go up a level in a Lions tour year with all the players desperate to impress to make the squad, so excitement is virtually guaranteed.
Ulster have excelled in the PRO14 to date. Could Dan McFarland's side finally end the club's trophy drought from 2006? We certainly hope so.
One man who could teach Ulster how to win is Jonathan Rea who will be going for a remarkable seventh title this year. With his determination and desire combined with his talent, few would bet against him.
Ronnie O'Sullivan will also be going for his seventh world title in 2021, but maybe, just maybe, Antrim's Mark Allen might beat him to the top prize.
It could be quite a year for the county of Antrim especially if Larne win the Irish Premiership title having made such a fantastic start. Champions Linfield and Crusaders will also be contenders, while in the Irish Cup, Glentoran will have dreams of retaining the trophy they won so dramatically in 2020.
If the race for the Irish Premiership promises to be tense it could be the same in England and Scotland. The Premier League has witnessed some strange results this season, though champions Liverpool enter 2021 leading the way despite all their misfortune with injuries, while in the Scottish Premiership, Steven Gerrard's Rangers are in control but they have underperformed in the second half of previous seasons which will give Neil Lennon's Celtic hope of 10-in-a-row. The calming influence and experience of Northern Ireland's inspirational skipper Steven Davis could be a key factor for Rangers.
Dean Shiels and Steven Davis go back a long way, playing football together as kids. Now Dean is assistant to his dad Kenny, who has led the Northern Ireland women's team to an historic Euro play-off. In 2021 they could reach a major tournament for the first time ever. What a story that would be.
For the first time in almost two decades, Mickey Harte won't be involved in the Ulster Championship having left Tyrone to take over the reins at Louth. There will be much interest in how Tyrone's new management team, Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher, do replacing Harte, while all the counties will endeavour to stop Dublin winning a seventh All-Ireland in a row.
Motorcycling here was badly hit in 2020, so hopefully big events like the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix will be back, though already the Isle of Man government have made the call not to push ahead with their popular TT in 2021 due to the pandemic.
Colin Turkington just missed out on a fifth Touring Car title in 2020 so expect him to come roaring back.
While Cheltenham controversially went ahead in 2020, the Grand National was called off. The race at Aintree is one of the most eagerly anticipated and most watched sporting events of any year. It would be a major boost to horse racing if it could return.
And, finally, it would be great to see the Belfast Giants back on the ice again at the SSE Arena and we hope that at some stage in 2021 sporting events will be played in front of spectators on a regular basis. It just isn't the same without fans.