News in Digest: Majors, medals and immortality

Greatness beckons for Danes at the Oscars and Winter Olympics

The first nine weeks of 2018 is packed with opportunity for Danes in the world of sport and culture.

Woz fancied in Oz
First off, has there ever been a better chance for Caroline Wozniacki to win that first elusive grand slam title than at the Australian Open.

Buoyed by her triumph at the WTA Finals in late October, the bookies make Serena Williams the favourite despite her giving birth in September.

Strong Oscar hope
Another first would be an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, and Danish-Syrian film ‘Last men in Aleppo’ (‘De sidste mænd i Aleppo’) has made the 15-film shortlist.

Set on the streets of the warn-torn Syrian city Aleppo, it follows three men working for a rescue service. The Oscar nominations are revealed on January 23, and the award show is on March 4.

Pyeongchang potential
Denmark has never won a Winter Olympic skating medal before – in fact its only ever medal was a silver won by the women’s curling team at the 1998 Nagano games

But Elena Møller Rigas is tipped to end that in Pyeongchang (Feb 9-25). The 21-year-old recently won a silver in a World Cup mass start event in Calgary.

Could be their year
Elsewhere, at the Sundance Film Festival (Jan 18-28) two Danish films – Gustav Möller’s ‘The Guilty’ and Isabella Eklöf’s ‘Holiday’ – have been shortlisted in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition category.

All eyes will be on Nadia Nadim when she joins her new club Manchester City in January. Nadim was last week named ‘Dane of the Year’ by readers of Berlingske newspaper.

Andreas Knappe is again in contention to be included in a 53-man active roster at a NFL club. The 26-year-old offensive tackle currently has a practice squad contract with the Indianapolis Colts.

Director Nicolai Fuglsig’s Hollywood debut ‘12 Strong’ is hitting the cinemas on February 8. With Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon in the cast, the word is strong on the Dane’s War in Afghanistan film.

And keep an eye on midfielder Niklas Nartey, 17, who recently made his Bundesliga debut, coming on as a sub in FC Köln’s 0-2 loss to Hertha Berlin. (BH)