Sport, also known as sports, is all forms of competitive physical activity which, through casual or organized participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and provide entertainment to participants. Hundreds of sports exist, from those requiring only two participants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals.
Sport is generally recognized as activities which are based in physical athleticism or physical dexterity, with the largest major competitions such as the Olympic Games admitting only sports meeting this definition, and other organizations such as the Council of Europe using definitions precluding activities without a physical element from classification as sports. However, a number of competitive, but non-physical, activities claim recognition as mind sports. The International Olympic Committee (through ARISF) recognizes both chess and bridge as bona fide sports, and SportAccord, the international sports federation association, recognizes five non-physical sports, although limits the amount of mind games which can be admitted as sports.
Sports are usually governed by a set of rules or customs, which serve to ensure fair competition, and allow consistent adjudication of the winner. Winning can be determined by physical events such as scoring goals or crossing a line first, or by the determination of judges who are scoring elements of the sporting performance, including objective or subjective measures such as technical performance or artistic impression.
In organized sport, records of performance are often kept, and for popular sports, this information may be widely announced or reported in sport news. In addition, sport is a major source of entertainment for non-participants, with spectator sports drawing large crowds to venues, and reaching wider audiences through sports broadcasting.
The modern Olympic Games
are a major international event featuring summer and winter sports in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions
. The Olympic Games are considered to be the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Games are currently held biennially, with Summer
and Winter Olympic Games
alternating, meaning they each occur every four years. Their creation was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games
, which were held in Olympia, Greece
, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Baron Pierre de Coubertin
founded the International Olympic Committee
(IOC) in 1894. The IOC has since become the governing body of the Olympic Movement
, with the Olympic Charter
defining its structure and authority.
The evolution of the Olympic Movement during the 20th and 21st centuries has resulted in several changes to the Olympic Games. Some of these adjustments include the creation of the Winter Games for ice and winter sports, the Paralympic Games for athletes with a disability, and the Youth Olympic Games for teenage athletes. The IOC has had to adapt to the varying economic, political, and technological realities of the 20th century. As a result, the Olympics shifted away from pure amateurism, as envisioned by Coubertin, to allow participation of professional athletes. The growing importance of the mass media created the issue of corporate sponsorship and commercialization of the Games. World wars led to the cancellation of the 1916, 1940, and 1944 Games. Large boycotts during the Cold War limited participation in the 1980 and 1984 Games.
Over 13,000 athletes compete at the Summer and Winter Olympics in 33 different sports and nearly 400 events. The Games have grown in scale to the point that nearly every nation is represented. Such growth has created numerous challenges, including boycotts, doping, bribery, and terrorism. The Games also constitute an opportunity for the host city and country to showcase themselves to the world.
Michael Fred Phelps II
(born June 30, 1985) is a retired American swimmer
and the most decorated Olympian of all time
, with a total of 22 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals
(18, double the second highest record holders), Olympic gold medals in individual events
(11), and Olympic medals in individual events for a male
(13). In winning eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games
, Phelps took the record for the most first-place finishes at any single Olympic Games
. Five of those victories were in individual events, tying the single Games record
. In the 2012 Summer Olympics
in London, Phelps won four golds and two silver medals, making him the most successful
athlete of the Games for the third Olympics in a row.
Phelps is the long course world recordholder in the 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly and 400-meter individual medley as well as the former long course world recordholder in the 200-meter freestyle and 200-meter individual medley. He has won a total of 71 medals in major international long-course competition, 57 gold, 11 silver, and three bronze spanning the Olympics, the World, and the Pan Pacific Championships. Phelps's international titles and record-breaking performances have earned him the World Swimmer of the Year Award seven times and American Swimmer of the Year Award nine times as well as the FINA Swimmer of the Year Award in 2012. His unprecedented Olympic success in 2008 earned Phelps Sports Illustrated magazine's Sportsman of the Year award. On April 9, 2009, Phelps was invited to appear before the Maryland House of Delegates and the Maryland Senate, to be honored for his Olympic accomplishments.
After the 2008 Summer Olympics, Phelps started the Michael Phelps Foundation, which focuses on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthier lifestyles.
The Portland Trail Blazers
, commonly known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland
. They play in the Northwest Division
of the Western Conference
in the National Basketball Association
(NBA). The Trail Blazers originally played their home games in the Memorial Coliseum
, before moving to the Rose Garden
in 1995. The franchise entered the league in 1970, and Portland has been its only home city. The franchise has enjoyed a strong following; from 1977 through 1995, the team sold out 814 consecutive home games, the longest such streak in American major professional sports. The Trail Blazers are also currently the only NBA team based in the Pacific Northwest
, after the Vancouver Grizzlies relocated to Memphis
and became the Memphis Grizzlies
in 2001 and the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City
and became the Oklahoma City Thunder
The team has advanced to the NBA Finals three times, winning the NBA Championship once, in 1977. The other NBA Finals appearances were in 1990 and 1992. The team has qualified for the playoffs in 29 seasons of their 42-season existence, including a streak of 21 straight appearances from 1983 through 2003, the second longest streak in NBA history. Six Hall of Fame players have played for the Trail Blazers (Lenny Wilkens, Bill Walton, Clyde Drexler, Dražen Petrović, Arvydas Sabonis, and Scottie Pippen). Bill Walton is the franchise's most decorated player; he was the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in 1977, and the regular season MVP the following year. Three Blazer rookies (Geoff Petrie, Sidney Wicks, and Brandon Roy) have won the NBA Rookie of the Year award. Two Hall of Fame coaches, Lenny Wilkens and Jack Ramsay, have patrolled the sidelines for the Blazers, and two others, Mike Schuler and Mike Dunleavy, have won the NBA Coach of the Year award with the team.
- April 6, 1896 – The first international Olympic Games held in the modern era, the 1896 Summer Olympics (pictured), begin
- April 8, 2005 – The inaugural Islamic Solidarity Games open in Mecca, Saudi Arabia
- April 14, 1900 – Union Cycliste Internationale, the world governing body for sports cycling, is founded in Paris, France
- April 19, 1897 – The first Boston Marathon is run
- April 26, 2002 – The inaugural season of the China Baseball League begins
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