Sport (or, in the United States and Canada, sports) is all forms of competitivephysical 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.
The evolution of the Olympic Movement during the 20th and 21st centuries has resulted in several changes to the Olympic Games. Some of these adjustments include the creation of the Winter Games for ice and winter sports, the Paralympic Games for athletes with a disability, and the Youth Olympic Games for teenage athletes. The IOC has had to adapt to the varying economic, political, and technological realities of the 20th century. As a result, the Olympics shifted away from pure amateurism, as envisioned by Coubertin, to allow participation of professional athletes. The growing importance of the mass media created the issue of corporate sponsorship and commercialization of the Games. World wars led to the cancellation of the 1916, 1940, and 1944 Games. Large boycotts during the Cold War limited participation in the 1980 and 1984 Games.
Over 13,000 athletes compete at the Summer and Winter Olympics in 33 different sports and nearly 400 events. The Games have grown in scale to the point that nearly every nation is represented. Such growth has created numerous challenges, including boycotts, doping, bribery, and terrorism. The Games also constitute an opportunity for the host city and country to showcase themselves to the world.
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 Testbatting 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 captainBill 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.
Midway through the 1992 season, the team collapsed financially as its owner was unable to make repayments against loans. The case was investigated by the United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office. In 2009, an unsuccessful attempt was made by a German organisation to enter the 2010 Formula One season using the Brabham name.