Portal:Sports

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The Sports Portal

A collection of balls used in various sports

Sport, also known as sports, is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organized participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability. Sport can be practiced for health, for leisure or competitively, in the latter case often with spectators. Hundreds of sports exist, both 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

Fabian Kauter, right, hits Diego Confalonieri with a flèche attack
Credit: Marie-Lan Nguyen

Fabian Kauter, right, hits Diego Confalonieri with a flèche attack in the final match of a professional fencing tournament

Selected athlete

Yao Ming in a Huston Rockets jersey
Yao Ming (born September 12, 1980 in Shanghai) is a retired Chinese professional basketball player who last played for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). At the time of his final season, he was the tallest active player in the NBA, at 2.29 m (7 ft 6 in). One of China's best-known athletes, Yao had sponsorships with several major companies.

Yao, who was born in Shanghai, started playing for the Shanghai Sharks as a teenager, and played on their senior team for five years in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), winning a championship in his final year. After negotiating with the CBA and the Sharks to secure his release, Yao was selected by the Houston Rockets as the first overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, becoming the first international player ever to be selected first overall without having previously played U.S. college basketball. Yao was selected to start for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game eight times, and was named to the All-NBA Team five times. He reached the NBA Playoffs four times, and the Rockets won a first-round series in the 2009 postseason, their first playoff series victory since 1997.

However, in his final six seasons, Yao missed 250 regular-season games due to foot and ankle injuries. He retired in 2011, citing his injuries. Shaquille O'Neal said Yao "was very agile. He could play inside, he could play outside, and if he didn't have those injuries he could've been up there in the top five centers to ever play the game."

Yao was nominated by a member of the Chinese media for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for his contributions to the game, but Yao felt it was too soon and requested that the Hall of Fame delay consideration of the nomination. His rookie year in the NBA was the subject of a documentary film, The Year of the Yao, and he co-wrote, along with NBA analyst Ric Bucher, an autobiography titled Yao: A Life in Two Worlds.

Selected team

Members of the Calgary Flames celebrating in a 1978 game
The Calgary Flames are a professional ice hockey team based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The club is the third major-professional ice hockey team to represent the city of Calgary, following the Calgary Tigers (1921–27) and Calgary Cowboys (1975–77). The Flames are one of two NHL franchises in Alberta, the other being the Edmonton Oilers. The cities' proximity has led to a famous rivalry known as the Battle of Alberta. Games between the teams are often heated events.

The team was founded in 1972 in Atlanta, Georgia as the Atlanta Flames until relocating to Calgary in 1980. The Flames played their first three seasons in Calgary at the Stampede Corral before moving into their current home arena, the Scotiabank Saddledome (originally known as the Olympic Saddledome), in 1983. In 1985–86, the Flames became the first Calgary team since the 1923–24 Tigers to compete for the Stanley Cup. In 1988–89, the Flames won their first and only championship. The Flames' unexpected run to the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals gave rise to the Red Mile, and in 2011 the team hosted and won the second Heritage Classic outdoor game.

The Flames have won two Presidents' Trophies as the league's top regular season team, and have claimed five division championships. Individually, Jarome Iginla is the franchise leader in games played, goals, and points, and is a two-time winner of the Maurice Richard Trophy as the league's leading goal scorer. Miikka Kiprusoff has the most wins by a goaltender in a Calgary Flames uniform. Nine people associated with the Flames have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Selected quote

Pelé in 2008
Every kid around the world who plays soccer wants to be Pelé. I have a great responsibility to show them not just how to be like a soccer player, but how to be like a man.     
Pelé, interview with Sports Illustrated in 1999

Did you know...

Elizabeth Adelaide wearing her medals

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Volleyball match between the Russian and Italian national teams

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