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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 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" 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.

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The Cotswold Olimpick Games is an annual public celebration of games and sports now held on the Friday after Spring Bank Holiday near Chipping Campden, in the Cotswolds of England. The Games probably began in 1612, and have continued on and off to the present day. They were started by a local lawyer, Robert Dover, with the approval of King James. The Games were attended by all classes of society, including on one occasion royalty. Events included horse-racing, coursing with hounds, running, jumping, dancing, sledgehammer throwing, fighting with swords and cudgels, quarterstaff, and wrestling.

Many 17th-century Puritans disapproved of such festivities, believing them to be of pagan origin, and they particularly disapproved of any celebration on a Sunday or a church holiday such as Whitsun. By the time of King James's death in 1625, many Puritan landowners had forbidden their workers to attend such festivities; the increasing tensions between the supporters of the king and the Puritans resulted in the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642, bringing the Games to an end.

Revived after the Restoration of 1660, the Games gradually degenerated into a drunk and disorderly country festival according to their critics. The Games ended again in 1852, when the common land on which they had been staged was partitioned between local landowners and farmers and subsequently enclosed. Since 1966 the Games have been held each year on the Friday after Spring Bank Holiday. Events have included the tug of war, gymkhana, shin-kicking, dwile flonking, motor cycle scrambling, judo, piano smashing, and morris dancing. The British Olympic Association has recognised the Cotswold Olimpick Games as "the first stirrings of Britain's Olympic beginnings".

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Priit Narusk in the qualification for the Tour de Ski cross-country skiing competition in Prague
Credit: Che

Priit Narusk in the qualification for the Tour de Ski cross-country skiing competition in Prague

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Magdalena Neuner in 2011
Magdalena "Lena" Neuner (born 9 February 1987) is a retired German professional biathlete. She is the most successful woman of all time at Biathlon World Championships and a two-time Olympic gold medalist. At the age of 21, she became the youngest Overall World Cup winner in the history of the International Biathlon Union (IBU). With 34 World Cup wins, Neuner is ranked second all-time for career victories on the Biathlon World Cup tour. She has won the Overall World Cup title three times, in 2007–08, in 2009–10 and her final season in 2011–12. Neuner retired from the sport in March 2012, citing a lack of motivation and her desire for a normal life.

Neuner started biathlon when she was nine years old and won five junior world championship titles from 2004 to 2006. She made her World Cup debut in 2006 and won her first World Cup race in January 2007. One month later, she claimed three gold medals in her first appearance at the Biathlon World Championships. In the 2007–08 season, Neuner won the Overall World Cup and once more claimed three titles at the 2008 World Championships. After a less successful winter in 2008–09, she participated in her first Winter Olympic Games in 2010, winning the gold medal in both the pursuit and the mass start, and silver in the sprint race. Neuner also claimed the 2009–10 Overall World Cup title. At the 2011 World Championships, she won three more gold medals. In her final winter on the World Cup tour, Neuner won two more titles at the 2012 World Championships and claimed the Overall World Cup for a third time. Neuner was known as one of the fastest cross-country skiers in biathlon. She had been noted for her volatile shooting performances in the standing position, particularly in the early years of her career, often at the expense of better results.

Since winning three world championship gold medals in 2007, Neuner has become one of her home country's most popular female athletes. She was named German Sportswoman of the Year in 2007, 2011 and 2012.

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Paul London and Brian Kendrick during a show of the WWE SmackDown Live Tour
Paul London and Brian Kendrick were a professional wrestling tag team best known for their time together in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). The team never had an official team name, but were just referred to as "the tag team of London and Kendrick.", going by their real names as opposed to using ring names. In 2006 London and Kendrick put the tag team name "The Hooliganz" on their wrestling attires and tried to convince the WWE management to start calling the team by that name, but were unsuccessful in their attempts.

They first began teaming together in 2003 as a part of WWE, but Kendrick left the company shortly thereafter. When he returned in mid-2005, he and London reunited as a tag team. In May 2006 the duo won the WWE Tag Team Championship from MNM; it was Kendrick's first title victory with the company, and London's third. Their reign was the longest since WWE created the title in 2002, and they became the fourth longest-reigning tag team champions in the company's history, finally dropping the titles to Deuce 'n Domino in April 2007.

Later in 2007, London and Kendrick were drafted from SmackDown to the Raw brand, where they briefly held the World Tag Team Championship. They would continue to work together until Kendrick was drafted back to SmackDown in the 2008 supplemental draft, thus disbanding the team until 2010, when they reunited in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla following their releases from WWE. They have since reunited on several occasions. In 2010 they defeated the PWG World Tag Team Champions Generation Me in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's part of the aptly titled WrestleReunion 4 show in a non-title match, their first match back together. Later that year London and Kendrick made an appearance in an event for Dragon Gate USA, however Kendrick had to leave the company when the duo lost a Pinfall Loser Leaves Company match. They reunited most recently in an October 2012 pay-per-view event for Family Wrestling Entertainment.

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Babe Ruth in 1918
The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime.     
Babe Ruth

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Bobby Pearce in 1928

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