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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

Talan Skeels-Piggins from Great Britain in the first run for the Men's Slalom (Sitting), at the Winter Paralympics 2010 in Vancouver, Canada
Paralympic alpine skiing is an adaptation of alpine skiing for athletes with a disability. The sport evolved from the efforts of disabled veterans in Germany and Austria during and after the Second World War. The sport is governed by the International Paralympic Committee Sports Committee. The primary equipment used includes outrigger skis, sit-skis and mono-skis. Alpine skiing was one of the foundation sports at the first Winter Paralympics in 1976 with slalom and giant slalom events being held. Different disciplines were added to the Paralympic programme over time. Para-alpine skiing disciplines now include the downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, super combined and snowboard.

International and national events for the sport include the Winter Paralympics, World Championships, World Cups, Continental Cups, National Championships, IPCAS Races and IPCAS Para-Snowboard. Skiers from 39 different countries actively compete in para-alpine skiing, in a sport is that one of eight governed by the International Paralympic Committee Sports Committee, with rules for para-alpine skiing set forth in the IPCAS Rules and Regulations. Event specific rules may be created for events like the Paralympic Games.

Para-alpine skiing classification is the classification system for para-alpine skiing designed to insure fair competition between alpine skiers with different types of disabilities. The classifications are grouped into three general disability types: standing, blind and sitting. A factoring system was created for para-alpine skiing to allow the three classification groupings to fairly compete against each other in the same race despite different functional skiing levels and medical issues. The factoring system is used at several para-alpine skiing competitions including the Alpine Cup, North American Races, European Cup, World Cup events, World Championships, and the Winter Paralympics.

Selected picture

Mara Friton in a handball match in Germany
Credit: Kuebi

Mara Friton in a handball match in the German Handball-Bundesliga

Selected athlete

Wilt Chamberlain in a Harlem Globetrotters uniform
Wilton Norman "Wilt" Chamberlain (August 21, 1936 – October 12, 1999) was an American basketball player. He played for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA; he played for the University of Kansas and also for the Harlem Globetrotters before playing in the NBA.

The 7 foot 1 inch Chamberlain weighed 250 pounds as a rookie before bulking up to 275 and eventually to over 300 pounds with the Lakers. He played the center position and is widely considered one of the greatest and most dominant players in NBA history.

Chamberlain holds numerous NBA all-time records in scoring, rebounding and durability categories. He is the only player to score 100 points in a single NBA game or average more than 40 and 50 points in a season. He also won seven scoring, nine field goal percentage, and eleven rebounding titles, and once even led the league in assists. Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to average at least 30 points per game and 20 rebounds in a season, a feat he accomplished nine times. He is also the only player to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game over the entire course of his NBA career.

Chamberlain had a successful career, winning two NBA championships, earning four regular-season Most Valuable Player awards, the Rookie of the Year award, one NBA Finals MVP award, and being selected to several all star teams. He was inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978, elected into the NBA's 35th Anniversary Team of 1980, and chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History of 1996.

After his basketball career ended, Chamberlain played volleyball in the short-lived International Volleyball Association, was president of this organization, and is enshrined in the IVA Hall of Fame for his contributions. Chamberlain also was a successful businessman, authored several books, and appeared in the movie Conan the Destroyer. He was a lifelong bachelor, and became notorious for his claim to have had sex with over 20,000 women.

Selected team

The 1904 French national rugby union team
The France national rugby union team represents France in rugby union. They compete annually against England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in the Six Nations Championship. They have won the championship outright sixteen times, shared it a further eight times, and have completed nine grand slams. Eight former French players have been inducted into either the International Rugby Hall of Fame or the IRB Hall of Fame—two to the International Hall only, two to the IRB Hall only, and four to both Halls of Fame.

Rugby was introduced to France in 1872 by the British, and on New Year's Day 1906 the national side played its first Test match — against New Zealand in Paris. France played sporadically against the Home Nations until they joined them to form a Five Nations tournament (now the Six Nations Championship) in 1910. France also competed in the rugby competitions at early Summer Olympics, winning the gold medal in 1900 and two silver medals in the 1920s. The national team came of age during the 1950s and 1960s, winning their first Five Nations title outright in 1959. They won their first Grand Slam in 1968.

Since the inaugural World Cup in 1987, France have qualified for the knock-out stage of every tournament. They have reached the final three times, losing to the All Blacks in 1987 and 2011 and to Australia in 1999. France hosted the 2007 Rugby World Cup, where, as in 2003, they were beaten in the semi-finals by England.

French international matches are played at several venues across the country; the Stade de France in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis is used for their games during the Six Nations, and they have a formidable home record at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille where they have only lost twice, to Argentina in 2004 and to New Zealand in 2009.

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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