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The Sports Portal

A collection of balls used in various sports

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.

Selected article

Korketrekkeren in use in 1922
Korketrekkeren (direct translation: "The Corkscrew") is a tobogganing track and former bobsleigh and luge track in Oslo, Norway. The tobogganing track runs between Frognerseteren and Midtstuen and is operated as a public venue by the municipality. Return transport to the top of the hill is undertaken by riding the Oslo Metro's Holmenkollen Line.

Tobogganing in the area started in the 1880s, with several roads being used during winter evenings. Auto racing took place in the hill in 1921 and the following year it saw its first luge tournament. The first major tournament was the FIL European Luge Championships 1937. Tobagganing also took place in the nearby Heftyebakken, but from 1950 Korketrekkeren became the sole tobogganing hill and Heftyebakken was used for cross-country skiing.

The bobsleigh track was built for the 1952 Winter Olympics, where it hosted two bobsleigh events. It was built as a temporary, artificial track with the curves being constructed in snow and then frozen hard to ice. Trial runs were undertaken in 1951 and the bobsleigh course was not used after 1952. Both Olympic events were won by Germany, with Andreas Ostler and Lorenz Nieberl participating in both winning teams. The tobogganing hill hosted the inaugural FIL World Luge Championships 1955, with Norway's Anton Salvesen winning the men's single—the only time in history Norway has won a World Luge Championships medal.

There have been occasional proposals that Norway should build a permanent bobsleigh track, and Korketrekkeren was the leading location. The debate died out in the 1990s with the selection of Lillehammer as the host of the 1994 Winter Olympics and the subsequent construction of Lillehammer Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track. The Oslo bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics proposed using the Lillehammer track, rather than Korketrekkeren. In 2007, there were two serious accidents in the hill and it was subsequently closed by the police. The municipality then renovated the hill, removing poles and polstering dangerous edges.

Selected picture

Selected athlete

Signed portrait of Donald Bradman
Sir Donald George Bradman, AC (27 August 1908 – 25 February 2001), often referred to as "The Don", was an Australian cricketer, widely acknowledged as the greatest Test batsman of all time. Bradman's career Test batting average of 99.94 is often cited as statistically the greatest achievement by any sportsman in any major sport. The story that the young Bradman practised alone with a cricket stump and a golf ball is part of Australian folklore. Bradman's meteoric rise from bush cricket to the Australian Test team took just over two years. Before his 22nd birthday, he had set many records for high scoring, some of which still stand, and became Australia's sporting idol at the height of the Great Depression.

During a 20-year playing career, Bradman consistently scored at a level that made him, in the words of former Australia captain Bill Woodfull, "worth three batsmen to Australia". A controversial set of tactics, known as Bodyline, was specifically devised by the England team to curb his scoring. As a captain and administrator, Bradman was committed to attacking, entertaining cricket; he drew spectators in record numbers. He hated the constant adulation, however, and it affected how he dealt with others. The focus of attention on his individual performances strained relationships with some team-mates, administrators and journalists, who thought him aloof and wary. Following an enforced hiatus due to the Second World War, he made a dramatic comeback, captaining an Australian team known as "The Invincibles" on a record-breaking unbeaten tour of England.

Bradman retained a pre-eminent position in the game by acting as an administrator, selector and writer for three decades following his retirement. Even after he became reclusive in his declining years his opinion was highly sought. Bradman's image has appeared on postage stamps and coins, and a museum dedicated to his life was opened while he was still living. On 19 November 2009, he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

Selected team

The Maryland Terrapins football team in 2010
The Maryland Terrapins football team represents the University of Maryland, College Park in the sport of American football. The Terrapins compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Since 1950, the Terrapins have played their home games at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Maryland. The team's official colors of red, white, black, and gold have been in use in some combination since the 1920s and are taken from the state flag, and the nickname of the "Terrapins" (often abbreviated as "Terps") was adopted in 1933 after a turtle species native to the state. Maryland shares storied rivalries with Virginia and West Virginia.

The program's achievements have included one NCAA-recognized national championships, nine ACC championships, two Southern Conference championships, eleven consensus All-Americans, several Hall of Fame inductees, and twenty-four bowl game appearances. Maryland possesses the third-most ACC championships with nine. Many former Terrapins players and coaches have gone on to careers in professional football including 15 first-round NFL Draft picks.

The first officially recognized football team was fielded in 1892, and excluding a brief hiatus in 1895, Maryland has competed in college football each season since. Harry C. "Curley" Byrd, a student-athlete at Maryland, became head football coach in 1911 and served in that role for two decades before he became the university president. The Terrapins had consistent on-field success between 1947 and 1955. Maryland then suffered a period of mediocrity, until 1972, when the program again rose to national prominence under coaches Jerry Claiborne and Bobby Ross. The football program underwent another period of lackluster performance beginning in 1986 and lasting until 2001, when Ralph Friedgen was hired as head coach and engineered a first-year turnaround that culminated in a conference championship. In the following years, the Terrapins made regular postseason appearances, but were unable to match the success of Friedgen's first season.

Selected quote

Alexander Ovechkin in 2008
You can't just stand and say to yourself, 'OK, right now I'm the best. That's it. No more working.' If you're a good player you have to be working harder and harder. This is not just my goal, it's my team goal. We can improve more and we can probably be even better than last year. My dream is to be the best.     

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Jannik Blair in 2012

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A match between France and Germany during the 2011 World Cup

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