Women's World Soccer Championships
Sweden hosts this 12-team event, which is patterned after the men's World Cup, with round-robin play leading to the final. The United States won the inaugural championship four years ago in China, beating Norway 2-1. Michelle Akers, the leading goal scorer of that tournament, returns to lead the American squad.
US Cup '95 (soccer)
It was almost a year ago that the United States hosted the month-long World Cup tournament. Now the US Cup, an invitational round-robin first played in 1992, will provide the American men's team an opportunity to check its progress. Three higher-ranked national squads, Nigeria, Mexico, and Colombia, provide stiff competition. A US upset of Colombia last summer helped the United States advance beyond the World Cup's first round for the first time since 1930. The opener pits Nigeria against the US on June 6 in Foxborough, Mass.
National Basketball Association championship series
There will be one, maybe two newcomers in this series, which may start earlier depending on conference finals. In the East, neither Indiana nor Orlando has ever made it to the NBA Finals; in the West, San Antonio is seeking its first finals berth against defending champion Houston.
US Open golf championship
For its 100th anniversary season, the United States Golf Association picked a historic course for this showcase tournament. Shinnecock Hills on Long Island, a charter USGA member called the King of American links courses, is sandwiched on a neck of land 90 miles east of Manhattan in picturesque Southampton, N.Y. South African Ernie Els is the defending champion.
Winter Olympics site selection
The International Olympic Committee will choose one of four cities for the 2002 Winter Games: Quebec City; Ostersund, Sweden; Sion, Switzerland; or Salt Lake City.
US Rowing National Championship
This represents the first of 23 events the organizers of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics are hosting prior to the '96 Games. Major competitions follow in swimming, wrestling, table tennis, volleyball, and badminton, among other sports.
June 24 to July 1
ESPN Extreme Games
Question: What do you get when television pushes the outer limits of sports coverage? Answer: ESPN's own multisport event, which brings together the world's top athletes in such ''extreme'' sports as skateboarding, bungy jumping, kite sailing, barefoot water-ski jumping, and mountain biking. Most of the action will occur in Newport and Providence, R.I.
June 26-July 9
Before the tennis world arrives in London, there's a little business beneath the Eiffel Tower, namely the French Open from May 29 to June 11. Spaniards Sergei Bruguera and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario are the defending champions. When the focus shifts to the Big W, Canadian-born Greg Rusedski may find himself a center of attention. Rusedski, the world's fastest server, with a top speed of 137 m.p.h., has been given permission to play as a Briton.