We explain what sport is and what its benefits are. In addition, its origin, the Olympic Games, and the professionalization of sport.
What is sport?
Sport is a physical activity carried out by a person or group following specific rules and within a particular physical space. It is generally associated with traditional skills and improves physical and mental health.
In some cases, sport is institutionalized by sports associations, federations, or clubs.
It is common to confuse the terms sport and physical activity or fitness. The difference lies in the competitive nature of the sport; in the case of fitness or physical activity, it is done for personal satisfaction and recreation.
Evidence indicates that classical sports’s origin dates back to 4000 BC. C. approximately. In ancient Egypt, tools, utensils, and structures were found to be the precursors of sports practiced today, such as javelin throwing and high jumping.
On the other hand, the fight and the marathon originate in ancient Greece. The term “marathon” comes from the Greek soldier Philippides, who died of fatigue after running 37 kilometers in 490 BC. C. from the town of Marathon to the city of Athens to report the victory over the Persian army.
Greek culture attached great importance to sport and created the Olympic Games of antiquity (the basis of the modern Olympic Games) that took place from 776 B.C. until 393 AD
Combat sports. Disciplines in which two opponents fight hand to hand based on specific rules. Example: boxing, taekwondo, fencing, judo, karate, kickboxing, wrestling, mixed martial arts, and jiu-jitsu.
Ball sports. Disciplines in which the essential element is a ball and is played in groups or individually. For example football, rugby, volleyball, basketball, tennis, paddle tennis, golf, handball, table tennis, squash, cricket, hockey, baseball, billiards, and lacrosse.
Athletics sports. Disciplines in which competitors are measured in tests of strength, speed, throwing, and jumping. For example: running, hurdles, pole vault, high jump, long jump, shot put, javelin throw, discus throw, and hammer throw
Watersports. They are performed on or in the water. For example swimming, surfing, rowing, windsurfing, kite surfing, sailing, diving, kayaking, water polo, water skiing, body boarding, and rafting.
Mountain Sports. They take place in mountainous terrain. For example mountaineering, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, zip-lining, and rock climbing.
Motor sports. They are carried out on a motorized vehicle. For example, motorsports (formula 1, rally), motorcycling (speed motorcycling, motocross), monastics, and aeronautics.
Equestrian sports. They are made of animals—turf, polo, duck, cross-country, and horse riding.
The Olympic Games are the most significant sporting celebration in the world. It occurs every four years, with headquarters in a city (previously defined by the international sports committee). It brings together athletes from the five continents participating in the different sports disciplines representing their country.
The Summer Olympic Games and the Winter Olympic Games are inspired by the games that were organized in ancient times in Olympia, Greece (8th century B.C.). The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece, in 1896.
Competitors from more than 200 countries currently participate in 46 disciplines, among which are: athletics, basketball, cycling, rowing, soccer, hockey, taekwondo, tennis, and volleyball.