Portal:Sports
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Portal:Sports

The Sports Portal

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

Sport includes all forms of competitive physical activity or games which, through casual or organized participation, at least in part aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, and in some cases, entertainment for spectators. Sports can bring positive results to one's physical health. 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" or "draw", in which there is no single winner; 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.

Selected articles

Selected image

Ed Walsh
Photo: Paul Thompson
Restoration: Staxringold/Lise Broer

Ed Walsh (1881-1959) was an American baseball pitcher who played for the Chicago White Sox and Boston Braves from 1904 to 1917. His career earned run average of 1.82 is the lowest major league ERA ever posted, but the record is unofficial since ERA was not an official statistic in the American League prior to 1913. After his playing career ended, he also served as an umpire and coach.

Selected athlete

Zersenay at the 2009 World Championships
Zersenay Tadese (born 8 February 1982) is an Eritrean long-distance track, and road running athlete. He currently holds the men's half marathon world record. His bronze medal in the 10,000 metres at the 2004 Athens Olympics made him the first ever Eritrean Olympic medallist, and his 20 km title at the 2006 IAAF World Road Running Championships also made him the country's first athlete to win at a world championship event. He does not use a sprint finish to win races: his strategy relies upon a combination of efficient running and fast pace setting.

He became interested in cycling in his teenage years and, after winning a number of races, he set his sights upon becoming a professional cyclist in Europe. He was a relative late-comer to competitive running: in his late teens, scouts from a local athletics club suggested that his cycling stamina might translate to running and invited him to compete. He won the race and was spurred on by the victory to start taking the sport seriously and focus on running.

Zersenay has found most of his success over the half marathon distance, with four consecutive victories in the World Half Marathon Championships from 2006 to 2009 & in 2012, and a world record at the Lisbon Half Marathon in 2010. He has also excelled in cross country running, winning a gold, one silver, and two bronze medals in the long distance race over the last five IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

In 2009 Zersenay became only the second man (after Paul Tergat) to win three World Championship medals over three different surfaces in the same year: winning World Cross Country bronze, 10,000 metres World Championship silver on the track, and gold in road running at the World Half Marathon Championships. He is a popular public figure in his home country; 2500 guests attended his wedding to Merhawit Solomon, which was broadcast live on Eritrean television. His brother, Kidane Tadese, is also a professional distance runner. (Full article...)

Selected team

The 1904 French national rugby union team
The France national rugby union team represents France in rugby union. They compete annually against England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in the Six Nations Championship. They have won the championship outright sixteen times, shared it a further eight times, and have completed nine grand slams. Eight former French players have been inducted into either the International Rugby Hall of Fame or the IRB Hall of Fame--two to the International Hall only, two to the IRB Hall only, and four to both Halls of Fame.

Rugby was introduced to France in 1872 by the British, and on New Year's Day 1906 the national side played its first Test match -- against New Zealand in Paris. France played sporadically against the Home Nations until they joined them to form a Five Nations tournament (now the Six Nations Championship) in 1910. France also competed in the rugby competitions at early Summer Olympics, winning the gold medal in 1900 and two silver medals in the 1920s. The national team came of age during the 1950s and 1960s, winning their first Five Nations title outright in 1959. They won their first Grand Slam in 1968.

Since the inaugural World Cup in 1987, France have qualified for the knock-out stage of every tournament. They have reached the final three times, losing to the All Blacks in 1987 and 2011 and to Australia in 1999. France hosted the 2007 Rugby World Cup, where, as in 2003, they were beaten in the semi-finals by England.

French international matches are played at several venues across the country; the Stade de France in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis is used for their games during the Six Nations, and they have a formidable home record at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille where they have only lost twice, to Argentina in 2004 and to New Zealand in 2009. (Full article...)

Selected quote

Tom Crean in 2008
The game of basketball is one of the greatest teachers of life there is. It teaches you first and foremost to believe in yourself. You must develop physical and mental toughness in order to succeed because there's going to be many disappointments and setbacks along the way. You learn quickly that basketball is a team game. You must be unselfish and accept the role that helps the team the most. Basketball teaches you the importance of setting high standards and never accepting anything other than your best effort.     

Did you know...

1933 Goudey baseball card of Guy Bush

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Opening ceremonies of the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics

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