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.

Selected article

Four time winner Věra Čáslavská, center, in 1967
Sportsperson of the Year was a prize awarded annually to the best athletes of Czechoslovakia from 1959 to 1992 by the Club of Czechoslovak Sports Journalists. The first winner was white-water canoer Vladimír Jirásek. From 1961 the prize was also given to the best sports team; the first team recipient was the Czechoslovakia national ice hockey team. Since the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, the prize has continued in both successor countries as the Sportsperson of the Year of the Czech Republic.

The individual prize was usually awarded to a single sportsperson, but on two occasions, two people received it – Eva Romanová and Pavel Roman (ice dancers) in 1962, and the Pospíšil brothers (cycle-ball players) in 1979. The prize was given to 28 different athletes, 22 men and 6 women, in 23 sports disciplines. Gymnast Věra Čáslavská won the prize four times, the most of any sportsperson. She was also the only one to have received it in three consecutive years (from 1966 to 1968). Six people were awarded the prize more than once.

The team prize was won by teams in 12 sport disciplines; all winners but one were national teams. The only time members of a sports club team were awarded the Sportsperson of the Year was the Dukla Prague handball team, in 1963. Ice hockey teams were given the award six times – most of all disciplines. Ice hockey goaltender Josef Mikoláš was the only person who won both the individual and the team prize (as a member of the Czechoslovakia national ice hockey team in 1961). Men's teams received the prize 20 times, and women's teams won it 3 times. From 1970 to 1977, and in 1979, the team prize was not awarded. The team award was won back to back twice, by the men's national ice hockey team in 1968 and 1869, and by the men's national ski-relay team in 1988 and 1989.

Selected picture

Official photograph of 1899 University of Michigan football team
Credit: Fred Rentschler

Official photograph of 1899 University of Michigan Wolverines football team

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 German women's national team in 2012
The Germany women's national football team represents Germany in international women's association football and is directed by the German Football Association (DFB). Initially called "West Germany" in informal English, the team played its first international match in 1982. After German reunification in 1990, the DFB squad remained the national team of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The German national team is one of the most successful in women's football. They are two-time world champions, having won the 2003 and 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup. Germany is the only nation to have won both the men's and the women's World Cup. The team has won seven of the ten UEFA Women's Championships, claiming five titles in a row. Germany has won three bronze medals at the Women's Olympic Football Tournament, finishing third in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Birgit Prinz holds the record for most appearances and is the team's all-time leading goalscorer. Prinz has also set international records; she has received the FIFA World Player of the Year award three times and is the joint overall top goalscorer at the Women's World Cup.

Women's football was long met with scepticism in Germany, and official matches were banned by the DFB until 1970. But the women's national team has grown in popularity since winning the World Cup in 2003, when it was also chosen as Germany's Sports Team of the Year. Silvia Neid has been the team's head coach since 2005, succeeding Tina Theune after nine years as her assistant. As of December 2012, Germany is ranked No. 2 in the FIFA Women's World Rankings, behind only the United States.

Selected quote

Billy Jean King in 2011
I have these two sayings, “Champions adjust” and “Pressure is a privilege”. Tennis teaches you about those things. When you're playing a tennis match, you can't say, “Stop, I want to do another take”, or “Can I play that over?” That's the way sports are.     

Did you know...

Gerald Ciolek in 2011

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2011 Ladies singles champion Petra Kvitova  with the Rosewater Dish trophy

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