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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 amount 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

A fight during a hockey match
Fighting in ice hockey is an established tradition of the sport in North America, with a long history involving many levels of amateur and professional play and including some notable individual fights. Although a definite target of criticism, it is a considerable draw for the sport, and some fans attend games primarily to see fights. Fighting is usually performed by one or more enforcers, or "goons" —players whose role it is to fight and intimidate— on a given team and is governed by a complex system of unwritten rules that players, coaches, officials, and the media refer to as "the code". Some fights are spontaneous, while others are premeditated by the participants.

While officials tolerate fighting during hockey games, they impose a variety of penalties on players who engage in fights. Unique among North American professional team sports, the National Hockey League (NHL) and most minor professional leagues in North America do not eject players outright for fighting but major European and collegiate hockey leagues do, and multi-game suspensions may be added on top of the ejection. Therefore, the vast majority of fights occur in the NHL and other North American professional leagues.

Physical play in hockey, consisting of allowed techniques such as checking and prohibited techniques such as elbowing, high-sticking, and cross-checking, is inextricably linked to fighting. Those who defend fighting in hockey say that it helps deter other types of rough play, allows teams to protect their star players, and creates a sense of solidarity among teammates. The debate over allowing fighting in ice hockey games is ongoing. Despite its potentially negative consequences, such as heavier enforcers (or "heavyweights") knocking each other out, some administrators are not considering eliminating fighting from the game, as some players consider it essential. Additionally, the majority of fans oppose eliminating fights from professional hockey games. However, considerable opposition to fighting exists and efforts to eliminate it continue.

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Selected athlete

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.

Selected team

Jesus College Boat Club women's team in 1993
Jesus College Boat Club (commonly abbreviated to JCBC) is a rowing club for members of Jesus College, Oxford, one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford. The club was formed in 1835, but rowing at the college predates the club's foundation: a boat from the college was involved in the earliest recorded races between college crews at Oxford in 1815, when it competed against Brasenose College. In the early years of rowing at Oxford, Jesus was one of the few colleges that participated in races. Neither the men's nor the women's 1st VIIIs have earned the title of "Head of the River", which is gained by winning Eights Week—the main inter-college rowing competition at Oxford.

A number of college members have rowed for the university against Cambridge University in the Boat Race and the Women's Boat Race. Barney Williams, a Canadian rower who studied at the college, won a silver medal in rowing at the 2004 Summer Olympics, and participated in the Boat Race in 2005 and 2006. Other students who rowed while at the college have achieved success in other fields, including John Sankey, who became Lord Chancellor, Alwyn Williams, who became Bishop of Durham, and Maurice Jones, who became Principal of St David's College, Lampeter. Another college rower, James Page, was appointed Secretary of the Amateur Rowing Association and coached both the Oxford and Cambridge University boat clubs.

The college boathouse, which is shared with the boat club of Keble College, is in Christ Church Meadow, on the Isis (as the River Thames is called in Oxford). It dates from 1964 and replaced a moored barge used by spectators and crew-members.

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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Jannik Blair in 2012

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Athletes march during the opening ceremony of the 2011 Southeast Asian Games

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