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Portal:Sports

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The Sports Portal

A collection of balls used in various sports

Sport, also known as sports, is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organized participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability. Sport can be practiced for health, for leisure or competitively, in the latter case often with spectators. Hundreds of sports exist, both 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 number 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.

Selected article

Korketrekkeren in use in 1922
Korketrekkeren (direct translation: "The Corkscrew") is a tobogganing track and former bobsleigh and luge track in Oslo, Norway. The tobogganing track runs between Frognerseteren and Midtstuen and is operated as a public venue by the municipality. Return transport to the top of the hill is undertaken by riding the Oslo Metro's Holmenkollen Line.

Tobogganing in the area started in the 1880s, with several roads being used during winter evenings. Auto racing took place in the hill in 1921 and the following year it saw its first luge tournament. The first major tournament was the FIL European Luge Championships 1937. Tobagganing also took place in the nearby Heftyebakken, but from 1950 Korketrekkeren became the sole tobogganing hill and Heftyebakken was used for cross-country skiing.

The bobsleigh track was built for the 1952 Winter Olympics, where it hosted two bobsleigh events. It was built as a temporary, artificial track with the curves being constructed in snow and then frozen hard to ice. Trial runs were undertaken in 1951 and the bobsleigh course was not used after 1952. Both Olympic events were won by Germany, with Andreas Ostler and Lorenz Nieberl participating in both winning teams. The tobogganing hill hosted the inaugural FIL World Luge Championships 1955, with Norway's Anton Salvesen winning the men's single—the only time in history Norway has won a World Luge Championships medal.

There have been occasional proposals that Norway should build a permanent bobsleigh track, and Korketrekkeren was the leading location. The debate died out in the 1990s with the selection of Lillehammer as the host of the 1994 Winter Olympics and the subsequent construction of Lillehammer Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track. The Oslo bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics proposed using the Lillehammer track, rather than Korketrekkeren. In 2007, there were two serious accidents in the hill and it was subsequently closed by the police. The municipality then renovated the hill, removing poles and polstering dangerous edges.

Selected picture

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

Selected athlete

Yao Ming in a Huston Rockets jersey
Yao Ming (born September 12, 1980 in Shanghai) is a retired Chinese professional basketball player who last played for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). At the time of his final season, he was the tallest active player in the NBA, at 2.29 m (7 ft 6 in). One of China's best-known athletes, Yao had sponsorships with several major companies.

Yao, who was born in Shanghai, started playing for the Shanghai Sharks as a teenager, and played on their senior team for five years in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), winning a championship in his final year. After negotiating with the CBA and the Sharks to secure his release, Yao was selected by the Houston Rockets as the first overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, becoming the first international player ever to be selected first overall without having previously played U.S. college basketball. Yao was selected to start for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game eight times, and was named to the All-NBA Team five times. He reached the NBA Playoffs four times, and the Rockets won a first-round series in the 2009 postseason, their first playoff series victory since 1997.

However, in his final six seasons, Yao missed 250 regular-season games due to foot and ankle injuries. He retired in 2011, citing his injuries. Shaquille O'Neal said Yao "was very agile. He could play inside, he could play outside, and if he didn't have those injuries he could've been up there in the top five centers to ever play the game."

Yao was nominated by a member of the Chinese media for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for his contributions to the game, but Yao felt it was too soon and requested that the Hall of Fame delay consideration of the nomination. His rookie year in the NBA was the subject of a documentary film, The Year of the Yao, and he co-wrote, along with NBA analyst Ric Bucher, an autobiography titled Yao: A Life in Two Worlds.

Selected team

The Maryland Terrapins football team in 2010
The Maryland Terrapins football team represents the University of Maryland, College Park in the sport of American football. The Terrapins compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Since 1950, the Terrapins have played their home games at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Maryland. The team's official colors of red, white, black, and gold have been in use in some combination since the 1920s and are taken from the state flag, and the nickname of the "Terrapins" (often abbreviated as "Terps") was adopted in 1933 after a turtle species native to the state. Maryland shares storied rivalries with Virginia and West Virginia.

The program's achievements have included one NCAA-recognized national championships, nine ACC championships, two Southern Conference championships, eleven consensus All-Americans, several Hall of Fame inductees, and twenty-four bowl game appearances. Maryland possesses the third-most ACC championships with nine. Many former Terrapins players and coaches have gone on to careers in professional football including 15 first-round NFL Draft picks.

The first officially recognized football team was fielded in 1892, and excluding a brief hiatus in 1895, Maryland has competed in college football each season since. Harry C. "Curley" Byrd, a student-athlete at Maryland, became head football coach in 1911 and served in that role for two decades before he became the university president. The Terrapins had consistent on-field success between 1947 and 1955. Maryland then suffered a period of mediocrity, until 1972, when the program again rose to national prominence under coaches Jerry Claiborne and Bobby Ross. The football program underwent another period of lackluster performance beginning in 1986 and lasting until 2001, when Ralph Friedgen was hired as head coach and engineered a first-year turnaround that culminated in a conference championship. In the following years, the Terrapins made regular postseason appearances, but were unable to match the success of Friedgen's first season.

Selected quote

Pelé in 2008
Every kid around the world who plays soccer wants to be Pelé. I have a great responsibility to show them not just how to be like a soccer player, but how to be like a man.     
Pelé, interview with Sports Illustrated in 1999
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