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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.

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The Cotswold Olimpick Games is an annual public celebration of games and sports now held on the Friday after Spring Bank Holiday near Chipping Campden, in the Cotswolds of England. The Games probably began in 1612, and have continued on and off to the present day. They were started by a local lawyer, Robert Dover, with the approval of King James. The Games were attended by all classes of society, including on one occasion royalty. Events included horse-racing, coursing with hounds, running, jumping, dancing, sledgehammer throwing, fighting with swords and cudgels, quarterstaff, and wrestling.

Many 17th-century Puritans disapproved of such festivities, believing them to be of pagan origin, and they particularly disapproved of any celebration on a Sunday or a church holiday such as Whitsun. By the time of King James's death in 1625, many Puritan landowners had forbidden their workers to attend such festivities; the increasing tensions between the supporters of the king and the Puritans resulted in the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642, bringing the Games to an end.

Revived after the Restoration of 1660, the Games gradually degenerated into a drunk and disorderly country festival according to their critics. The Games ended again in 1852, when the common land on which they had been staged was partitioned between local landowners and farmers and subsequently enclosed. Since 1966 the Games have been held each year on the Friday after Spring Bank Holiday. Events have included the tug of war, gymkhana, shin-kicking, dwile flonking, motor cycle scrambling, judo, piano smashing, and morris dancing. The British Olympic Association has recognised the Cotswold Olimpick Games as "the first stirrings of Britain's Olympic beginnings".

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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

Toronto Raptors players in 2006
The Toronto Raptors are a professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario. They are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team was established in 1995, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, as part of the NBA's expansion into Canada. When the Grizzlies relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, to become the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001, the Raptors became the only Canadian team in the NBA. They originally played their home games at the SkyDome, before moving to the Air Canada Centre in 1999.

Like most expansion teams, the Raptors struggled in their early years, but after the acquisition of Vince Carter through a draft day trade in 1998, the team set league attendance records and made the NBA Playoffs in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Carter was instrumental in leading the team to a franchise high 47 wins and their first playoff series win in 2001, where they advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. During the 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons, they failed to make significant progress and he was traded in 2004 to the New Jersey Nets. After Carter left, Chris Bosh emerged as the team leader, but they continued to struggle. However, with the appointment of Bryan Colangelo as Raptors President and General Manager, the first overall NBA draft selection of Andrea Bargnani, and a revamp of the roster for the 2006–07 season, they qualified for their first playoff berth in five years and captured the Atlantic Division title with 47 wins. In the 2007–08 season, they advanced to the playoffs again but failed to make the playoffs in the following season. Although Colangelo overhauled the team in an effort to keep Bosh after the end of his contract, Bosh signed with the Miami Heat in July 2010, ushering in a new era for the Raptors with Bargnani becoming the new face of the franchise.

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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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A flèche during the qarter-finals of the Masters à l'épée 2012

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