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 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.

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Selected article

Washington Park Race Track in 1903
Washington Park Race Track was a popular horse racing venue in the Chicago metropolitan area from 1884 until 1977. It had two locations during its existence. It was first situated in what is the current location of the Washington Park Subdivision of the Woodlawn community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. This is located immediately south of both the current Washington Park community area and Washington Park. The track was later relocated to Homewood, Illinois, which is also in Cook County.

The original track and its accompanying Jockey Club were social draws in the late 19th century, but modern developments and changes in the law led to the decline of both. In its prime, the track was an especially important social gathering place on opening day and the day of the American Derby, which ranked as one of horse racing's highest purses. The Jockey club, designed by Solon Spencer Beman, hosted a social gathering led by General Philip Sheridan who was an early leader of the track and club. The track was closed and reopened according to the contemporary state and local laws on gambling and eventually waned in popularity and social importance.

Over the years, numerous famous horses and jockeys appeared at the track. In the 19th century, notable horses of the time, such as Emperor of Norfolk and Domino raced. In the 20th century, some of the most notable Thoroughbreds to race at Washington Park included Triple Crown winners Citation and Whirlaway. Other notable horses included Native Dancer and Swaps, who each won legs of the Triple Crown. Jockey Eddie Arcaro won both the 1948 and 1953 American Derby races at the track. In addition to the American Derby, several other notable graded stakes races were run at the track such as the Stars and Stripes Turf Handicap and the Washington Park Handicap. In addition, notable match races were held at the track.

Selected picture

Juuso Pykälistö of Finland in his Peugeot 206 WRC during the 2003 Swedish Rally, part of the World Rally Championship
Credit: Christopher Batt

Juuso Pykälistö of Finland in his Peugeot 206 WRC during the 2003 Swedish Rally, part of the World Rally Championship

Selected athlete

Nurmi at the 1920 Summer Olympics
Paavo Johannes Nurmi (13 June 1897 – 2 October 1973) was a Finnish middle and long distance runner. He was nicknamed as the "Flying Finn" as he dominated distance running in the early 20th century. Nurmi set 22 official world records at distances between 1,500 metres and 20 kilometres, and won a total of nine gold and three silver medals in his twelve events in the Olympic Games. At his peak, Nurmi was undefeated at distances from 800 m upwards for 121 races. Throughout his 14-year career, he remained unbeaten in cross country events and the 10,000 m.

In the 1920 Summer Olympics Nurmi took the silver medal in the 5,000 m and the gold in the 10,000 m and the cross country events. In 1923, Nurmi became the first, and so far only, runner to hold the mile, the 5,000 m and the 10,000 m world records at the same time. He went on to set new world records for the 1,500 m and the 5,000 m with just an hour between the races, and take gold medals in the distances in less than two hours at the 1924 Olympics. Nurmi won all his races and returned home with five gold medals, but embittered, as Finnish officials had refused to enter him for the 10,000 m. At the 1928 Summer Olympics, Nurmi recaptured the 10,000 m title but was beaten to the gold in the 5,000 m and the 3,000 m steeplechase. He then turned his attention to longer distances, breaking the world records for events such as the one hour run and the 25-mile marathon. Nurmi intended to end his career on a marathon gold medal. In a controversial case that strained Finland–Sweden relations and sparked an inter-IAAF battle, Nurmi was suspended before the 1932 Games by an IAAF council that questioned his amateur status. Although he was never declared a professional, Nurmi's suspension became definite in 1934 and he retired from running.

Nurmi, who rarely ran without a stopwatch in his hand, has been credited for introducing the "even pace" strategy and analytic approach to running, and for making running a major international sport.

Selected team

Jesus College Boat Club women's team in 1993
Jesus College Boat Club (commonly abbreviated to JCBC) is a rowing club for members of Jesus College, Oxford, one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford. The club was formed in 1835, but rowing at the college predates the club's foundation: a boat from the college was involved in the earliest recorded races between college crews at Oxford in 1815, when it competed against Brasenose College. In the early years of rowing at Oxford, Jesus was one of the few colleges that participated in races. Neither the men's nor the women's 1st VIIIs have earned the title of "Head of the River", which is gained by winning Eights Week—the main inter-college rowing competition at Oxford.

A number of college members have rowed for the university against Cambridge University in the Boat Race and the Women's Boat Race. Barney Williams, a Canadian rower who studied at the college, won a silver medal in rowing at the 2004 Summer Olympics, and participated in the Boat Race in 2005 and 2006. Other students who rowed while at the college have achieved success in other fields, including John Sankey, who became Lord Chancellor, Alwyn Williams, who became Bishop of Durham, and Maurice Jones, who became Principal of St David's College, Lampeter. Another college rower, James Page, was appointed Secretary of the Amateur Rowing Association and coached both the Oxford and Cambridge University boat clubs.

The college boathouse, which is shared with the boat club of Keble College, is in Christ Church Meadow, on the Isis (as the River Thames is called in Oxford). It dates from 1964 and replaced a moored barge used by spectators and crew-members.

Selected quote

1919 painting of George Harris
That cricket is going to stay in India there cannot be a shadow of a doubt; it has taken hold all over the country, and chokras can be seen playing in every village with any sort of old bat and ball that they can lay hands on. I should hope that it will do something to get over any racial antipathy; for instance, it must, I think, bring the several races together more and more, in a spirit of harmony that should be the spirit in which cricket is played. Unquestionably, it arouses excitement and enthusiasm, and extreme ambition that one's own side should succeed, but it also ought to lead to friendliness, and that is what is needed in India. East will always be East, and West, West, but the crease is not a very broad line of demarcation – so narrow, indeed, that it ought to help bring about friendly relations.     

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