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Portal:Sports

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Introduction

Sport in childhood. Association football, shown above, is a team sport which also provides opportunities to nurture physical fitness and social interaction skills.

Sport (British English) or sports (American English) includes all forms of competitive physical activity or games which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, and in some cases, entertainment for spectators. Hundreds of sports exist, from those between single contestants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals. In certain sports such as racing, many contestants may compete, simultaneously or consecutively, with one winner; in others, the contest (a match) is between two sides, each attempting to exceed the other. Some sports allow a tie game; others provide tie-breaking methods to ensure one winner and one loser. A number of contests may be arranged in a tournament producing a champion. Many sports leagues make an annual champion by arranging games in a regular sports season, followed in some cases by playoffs.

Sport is generally recognised as system of 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 organisations 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) recognises both chess and bridge as bona fide sports, and SportAccord, the international sports federation association, recognises five non-physical sports: bridge, chess, draughts (checkers), Go and xiangqi, and limits the number of mind games which can be admitted as sports.

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A South African player takes a line-out against New Zealand in 2006
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. It is played with an oval-shaped ball with a maximum width and length of 30 centimetres (12 in) and 62 centimetres (24 in) respectively, and is played on a field up to 100 metres (330 ft) long and 70 metres (230 ft) wide with H-shaped goal posts on each goal line. Historically an amateur sport, in 1995 the International Rugby Board (IRB) removed restrictions on payments to players, making the game openly professional at the highest level for the first time.

The IRB has been the governing body for rugby union since its formation in 1886. Rugby union spread from the Home Nations of Great Britain and Ireland, and was absorbed by many of the countries associated with the British Empire. Early exponents of the sport included Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Countries that have adopted rugby union as their de facto national sport include Fiji, Georgia, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga and Wales. Rugby union is played in over 100 countries across six continents and as of November 2010 118 unions were members of the IRB.

The Rugby World Cup, first held in 1987, takes place every four years, with the winner of the tournament receiving the Webb Ellis Cup. The Six Nations Championship in Europe and The Rugby Championship in the Southern Hemisphere (the latter replacing the Tri Nations) are major international competitions held annually. Major domestic competitions include the Top 14 in France, the English Premiership in England, the Currie Cup in South Africa, and the ITM Cup in New Zealand. Other transnational competitions include the Pro14, involving Irish, Italian, Scottish, South African and Welsh teams; The Rugby Championship, involving Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa; and the Heineken Cup, involving the top European teams from their respective domestic competitions.

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Selected athlete

Edge as WWE Champion in 2008
Adam Joseph Copeland (born October 30, 1973) is a retired Canadian professional wrestler and actor, best known for his time with WWE under the ring name Edge.

Copeland was trained by former professional wrestlers Sweet Daddy Siki and Ron Hutchinson. Throughout the 1990s, he wrestled in North American independent promotions early in his career. During his time in these promotions, he competed in singles and tag team competition, the latter with Christian, his storyline brother. In 1997, Copeland signed a developmental deal with the WWF and began competing for the company later that year; he made his televised debut the following June under the ring name Edge. In July 1999, he won the WWF Intercontinental Championship at a house show in Toronto, making it his first title reign with the company. He and Christian went on to win the WWF Tag Team Championship on seven different occasions. During this time, they gained notoriety in the tag team division, partly due to their participation in Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches.

Overall, Edge won 31 championships in WWE, including eleven world championships (the WWE Championship four times and the World Heavyweight Championship a record seven times), five Intercontinental Championships, one United States Championship, 14 tag team championships (a record 12 World Tag Team Championships and two WWE Tag Team Championships), and is one of only three wrestlers (Kurt Angle and Big Show being the others) who has held every currently active male Championship in WWE. In addition to his championship accolades, Copeland won the 2001 King of the Ring tournament, the inaugural Money in the Bank ladder match in 2005, and the Royal Rumble match in 2010 making him the only wrestler in history to achieve all three of those accomplishments. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by his long-time friend and tag team partner Christian on March 31, 2012.

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2010 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers with President Barack Obama
The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California. They play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Lakers play their home games at Staples Center. The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, and have won 16 championships.

The franchise began with the 1947 purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the NBL. The new team began playing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, calling themselves the Lakers in honor of the state's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes". The Lakers won five championships in Minneapolis, propelled by center George Mikan. After struggling financially in the late 1950s following Mikan's retirement, they relocated to Los Angeles before the 1960–61 season.

Led by Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, Los Angeles made the NBA Finals six times in the 1960s, but lost each series to the Boston Celtics, beginning their long and storied rivalry. In 1968, the Lakers acquired four time MVP Wilt Chamberlain to play center, and after losing in the Finals in 1969 and 1970, they won their sixth NBA title—and first in Los Angeles—in 1972, led by new head coach Bill Sharman.

The 1980s Lakers were nicknamed "Showtime" due to their Magic Johnson-led fast break-offense, and won five championships in a nine-year span, including their first ever Finals championship against the Celtics in 1985. The team struggled in the early 1990s before acquiring Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant in 1996. Led by O'Neal, Bryant, and Hall of Fame coach, Phil Jackson, Los Angeles won three consecutive titles between 2000 to 2002, securing the franchise its second "three-peat".

The Lakers hold the record for NBA's longest winning streak (33), set during the 1971–72 season, it is also the longest of any team in American professional sports. Sixteen Hall of Famers have played for Los Angeles, while four have coached the team.

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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...

Jaime Navarro in 2008

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Athletes march during the opening ceremony of the 2011 Southeast Asian Games

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