Sport is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical fitness and provide entertainment to participants. Sport may be competitive, where a winner or winners can be identified by objective means, and may require a degree of skill, especially at higher levels.

Hundreds of sports exist, including those for a single participant, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals. Some non-physical activities, such as board games and card games are sometimes referred to as sports, but a sport is generally recognised as being based in physical athleticism.

Sports are usually governed by a set of rules or customs. Physical events such as scoring goals or crossing a line first often define the result of a sport. However, the degree of skill and performance in some sports such as diving, dressage and figure skating is judged according to well-defined criteria. This is in contrast with other judged activities such as beauty pageants and body building, where skill does not have to be shown and the criteria are not as well defined. Records are kept and updated for most sports at the highest levels, while failures and accomplishments are widely announced in sport news.

Sports are most often played just for fun or for the simple fact that people need exercise to stay in good physical condition. However, professional sport is a major source of entertainment. While practices may vary, participants in many sports are expected to display good sportsmanship, and observe standards of conduct such as being respectful of opponents and officials, and congratulating the winner after having lost.



"Sport" comes from the Old French desport meaning "leisure". American English uses the term "sports" to refer to this general type of recreational activity, whereas other regional dialects use the singular "sport". The French word for sport is based on the Persian word bord, meaning "winning" or "win". The Chinese term for sport, connotes physical training. The modern Greek term for sport is Αθλητισμός (athlitismos), directly cognate with the English terms "athlete" and "athleticism".

The oldest definition of sport in English (1300) is of anything humans find amusing or entertaining. Other meanings include gambling and events staged for the purpose of gambling; hunting; and games and diversions, including ones that require exercise.

There are artifacts and structures that suggest that the Chinese engaged in sporting activities as early as 2000 BC. Gymnastics appears to have been a popular sport in China's ancient past. Monuments to the Pharaohs indicate that a number of sports, including swimming and fishing, were well-developed and regulated several thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt. Other Egyptian sports included javelin throwing, high jump, and wrestling. Ancient Persian sports such as the traditional Iranian martial art of Zourkhaneh had a close connection to the warfare skills. Among other sports that originate in ancient Persia are polo and jousting.

A wide range of sports were already established by the time of Ancient Greece and the military culture and the development of sports in Greece influenced one another considerably. Sports became such a prominent part of their culture that the Greeks created the Olympic Games, which in ancient times were held every four years in a small village in the Peloponnesus called Olympia.

Sports have been increasingly organized and regulated from the time of the ancient Olympics up to the present century. Industrialization has brought increased leisure time to the citizens of developed and developing countries, leading to more time for citizens to attend and follow spectator sports, greater participation in athletic activities, and increased accessibility.



These trends continued with the advent of mass media and global communication. Professionalism became prevalent, further adding to the increase in sport's popularity, as sports fans began following the exploits of professional athletes through radio, television, and the internet—all while enjoying the exercise and competition associated with amateur participation in sports. In the New Millennium, new sports have been going further from the physical aspect to the mental or psychological aspect of competing. Electronic sports organizations are becoming more and more popular.


statue of Zeus

The beginning (8e century, 776 BC) is surrounded by darkness. The Games were organised in honour of Zeus and to promote solidarity. The marathon has nothing to do with the Games. Around 93 AC, the Games had stopped because the 'pagan'. Games were no longer reconcilable with the rise of believe in Jesus Christ. Not until in the 19th century in Olympia new life was put into the Games.

Athletics is the king of sport. The old Games were also held every other 4 years. Greeks (only men) from Spain till Egypt went to the Games in Delphi, Corinthe and other polis. 6th Till 47th century BC was the flourishing period. Roman breathe new life into the Games. Much more people were involved and quantity of sports increased. The meaning: to realise more fraternization.

In 1859 the Greec Zappas started up the idea to organise the Games again. The Frenchmen Pierre De Coubertin ('to join is more important than to win') took over this idea. In the year of 1869 the first of the new Olympic Games wer held. The torch is a modern tradition.

A brief survey:

1896: the first new Games in Athene. Lewis won the marathon.
1900: Paris. The Games lasted 5 months.
1908: London. Length of the marathon 42,195km is based on the distance between the start in front of the Royal apartments at Windsor Castle and the end on the track at White City stadium in front of the Royal Box.
1920: First Games including politics. Several countries were excluded.
1964: Games of reconcilement again
1972: München Games become a political instrument,
1980: use of drugs became public

Paralympic sports

A traditional Iranian system of athletics originally used to train warriors. It combines martial arts, calisthenics, strength training and music. Recognized by UNESCO as among the world's longest-running forms of such training, it fuses elements of pre-Islamic Persian culture (particularly Zoroastrianism, Mithraism and Gnosticism) with the spirituality of Shia Islam and Sufism. Practiced in a domed structure called the zurkhaneh, training sessions consist mainly of ritual gymnastic movements and climax with the core of combat practice.