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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.

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 image

Austrian Forward Rubin Okotie tries to score on Congo Goalkeeper Destin Onka at the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup
Credit: Nick Wiebe; edited by Fir0002

Austrian Forward Rubin Okotie tries to score on Congo Goalkeeper Destin Onka Malonga at the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup association football tournament

Selected athlete

Phelps in 2009
Michael Fred Phelps II (born June 30, 1985) is a retired American swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 22 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals (18, double the second highest record holders), Olympic gold medals in individual events (11), and Olympic medals in individual events for a male (13). In winning eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, Phelps took the record for the most first-place finishes at any single Olympic Games. Five of those victories were in individual events, tying the single Games record. In the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Phelps won four golds and two silver medals, making him the most successful athlete of the Games for the third Olympics in a row.

Phelps is the long course world recordholder in the 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly and 400-meter individual medley as well as the former long course world recordholder in the 200-meter freestyle and 200-meter individual medley. He has won a total of 71 medals in major international long-course competition, 57 gold, 11 silver, and three bronze spanning the Olympics, the World, and the Pan Pacific Championships.

Phelps's international titles and record-breaking performances have earned him the World Swimmer of the Year Award seven times and American Swimmer of the Year Award nine times as well as the FINA Swimmer of the Year Award in 2012. His unprecedented Olympic success in 2008 earned Phelps Sports Illustrated magazine's Sportsman of the Year award. On April 9, 2009, Phelps was invited to appear before the Maryland House of Delegates and the Maryland Senate, to be honored for his Olympic accomplishments.

After the 2008 Summer Olympics, Phelps started the Michael Phelps Foundation, which focuses on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthier lifestyles.

Selected team

Members of the Calgary Flames celebrating in a 1978 game
The Calgary Flames are a professional ice hockey team based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The club is the third major-professional ice hockey team to represent the city of Calgary, following the Calgary Tigers (1921–27) and Calgary Cowboys (1975–77). The Flames are one of two NHL franchises in Alberta, the other being the Edmonton Oilers. The cities' proximity has led to a famous rivalry known as the Battle of Alberta. Games between the teams are often heated events.

The team was founded in 1972 in Atlanta, Georgia as the Atlanta Flames until relocating to Calgary in 1980. The Flames played their first three seasons in Calgary at the Stampede Corral before moving into their current home arena, the Scotiabank Saddledome (originally known as the Olympic Saddledome), in 1983. In 1985–86, the Flames became the first Calgary team since the 1923–24 Tigers to compete for the Stanley Cup. In 1988–89, the Flames won their first and only championship. The Flames' unexpected run to the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals gave rise to the Red Mile, and in 2011 the team hosted and won the second Heritage Classic outdoor game.

The Flames have won two Presidents' Trophies as the league's top regular season team, and have claimed five division championships. Individually, Jarome Iginla is the franchise leader in games played, goals, and points, and is a two-time winner of the Maurice Richard Trophy as the league's leading goal scorer. Miikka Kiprusoff has the most wins by a goaltender in a Calgary Flames uniform. Nine people associated with the Flames have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Selected quote

Billie 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.     

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A golf ball next to a hole

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2011 Ladies singles champion Petra Kvitova with the Rosewater Dish trophy

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