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Portal:Sports

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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 (British English) or Sports (American English) 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 game; 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

A South African player takes a line-out against New Zealand in 2006
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. It is played with an oval-shaped ball with a maximum width and length of 30 centimetres (12 in) and 62 centimetres (24 in) respectively, and is played on a field up to 100 metres (330 ft) long and 70 metres (230 ft) wide with H-shaped goal posts on each goal line. Historically an amateur sport, in 1995 the International Rugby Board (IRB) removed restrictions on payments to players, making the game openly professional at the highest level for the first time.

The IRB has been the governing body for rugby union since its formation in 1886. Rugby union spread from the Home Nations of Great Britain and Ireland, and was absorbed by many of the countries associated with the British Empire. Early exponents of the sport included Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Countries that have adopted rugby union as their de facto national sport include Fiji, Georgia, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga and Wales. Rugby union is played in over 100 countries across six continents and as of November 2010 118 unions were members of the IRB.

The Rugby World Cup, first held in 1987, takes place every four years, with the winner of the tournament receiving the Webb Ellis Cup. The Six Nations Championship in Europe and The Rugby Championship in the Southern Hemisphere (the latter replacing the Tri Nations) are major international competitions held annually. Major domestic competitions include the Top 14 in France, the English Premiership in England, the Currie Cup in South Africa, and the ITM Cup in New Zealand. Other transnational competitions include the Pro14, involving Irish, Italian, Scottish, South African and Welsh teams; The Rugby Championship, involving Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa; and the Heineken Cup, involving the top European teams from their respective domestic competitions.

Selected image

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

Official photograph of 1899 University of Michigan Wolverines football team

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

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.

Selected quote

George Orwell in 1933
Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.     

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SSAWS shortly before demolition

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Game 7 of the 2011 World Series

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