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*** Sports
athletic games or tests of skill undertaken primarily for the diversion of those who take part or those who observe them. The range is great; usually, however, the term is restricted to any play, pastime, exercise, game, or contest performed under given rules, indoors or outdoors, on an individual or a team basis, with or without competition, but requiring skill and some form of physical exertion. Some sports, such as hunting , fishing , running, and swimming , derive from the rhythms and work requirements of primitive everyday life. Some, such as riding, shooting, throwing the javelin, or archery derive from early military practices. Still others, like boxing , wrestling, and jumping, arose from the spontaneous challenges and occasional hostilities that accompany human interaction.
Development of Sports
The precise origins of many sports remain obscure, although all cultures have known physical contests. The ancient Egyptians swam, raced, wrestled, and played games with balls. The ancient Greeks held large athletic festivals, including the Olympic games , that drew athletes from all over the ancient world. The Greeks, and then the Romans, also competed in events (chariot races, throwing the javelin) that relied on the participation of animals or the use of mechanical contrivances, a tradition continued into modern times in sports such as dog racing, horse racing, and shooting.
During the Middle Ages, the cultural isolation imposed by the feudal system and religious doctrine that opposed the use of the body for play hampered the development of organized sport in the Western world. For many centuries, contests between knights in tournaments that emphasized military skill were among the only forms of approved, public sports. In the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods, games and exercise attained renewed popularity. As had been the case in ancient times, however, politics and social class circumscribed activity. Sports that required wealth or leisure, such as polo or falconry, were the province of the upper classes, while inexpensive, massed sports, such as soccer, took root among commoners.
Modern Sports
The late 19th cent. witnessed an expanding belief in sport as useful recreation, and in industrialized societies equipment was standardized, local and national organizations were set up to govern play, and a doctrine of character-building declared sports to be a necessary endeavor for men. The revival of the Olympics in 1896 and the blossoming U.S. intercollegiate athletic system boosted many forms of amateur, or unpaid, sports at the same time that professional sports (such as baseball, boxing, and bicycle racing) drew large numbers of spectators. Sports that were traditionally played in various countries became, by legislative act or general acceptance, national sports baseball in the United States, bullfighting in Spain and Mexico, cricket in England, and ice hockey (see hockey, ice ) in Canada.
During the Great Depression, Americans sought inexpensive outlets for their energies; mass participation in sports such as softball and bowling resulted. At the same time, spectator sports burgeoned, and the commercialism that accompanied them gradually engulfed both amateur and professional sports. By the late 20th cent., the televising of athletic events had made sports big business. On the other hand, expanding public concern with personal physical health led to mass participation, not necessarily competitive, in sports like running, hiking, cycling, martial arts, and gymnastics. Athletic activity by women expanded, especially after political action in the 1960s and 1970s opened doors to many forms of competition and an increased share of public funding for sports.
During the 20th cent., sports took on an increasingly international flavor; aside from the world championships for individual sports, like soccer's World Cup, large-scale international meets, such as the Pan-American games and the Commonwealth games , were inaugurated. Sports have correspondingly become increasingly politicized, as shown in the boycott of the 1980 Moscow games by Western nations and the retaliatory boycott of the 1984 Los Angeles games by Soviet-bloc nations, an exchange brought on by Soviet actions in Afghanistan.


travel to a part of the earth that is relatively unknown to the traveler's culture, historically often motivated by a desire for colonization, conquest, or trade.
Early Exploration
Early Egyptian expeditions penetrated into Nubia and Mesopotamia; the Phoenicians and the Greeks explored the Mediterranean and the Black Sea regions earlier than 600 BC; and a Phoenician expedition (c.600 BC) is said to have sailed around Africa. After 500 BC the Carthaginians explored beyond the Strait of Gibraltar to trade along the coasts of Spain and Africa. A Greek navigator, Pytheas, probably sailed beyond Britain c.330 BC The conquests of Alexander the Great brought the West in closer relationship with the East, and the Roman legions extended the limits of geographical knowledge, especially in N Europe. Trade with the East was stimulated by the discovery (c.AD 15) of a sea captain, Hippalus, that by using monsoon winds it was possible to sail across the Indian Ocean instead of hugging the coast. Roman trade was early established with India and Sri Lanka and later (c.AD 100) with China.
After the dissolution of the Roman Empire, the Arabs expanded their relationships with the East. The Chinese also made many explorations in this period. One of the best-known Chinese travelers is Hs¨¹an-tsang, who traveled (AD 629-646) to India and farther west. Exploration by Europeans was carried on during the Middle Ages by Norse adventurers and colonists who crossed the Atlantic to Iceland, Greenland, and North America. Their journeys, however, did not have much influence on the rest of Europe. European knowledge of Asia gained during the Crusades was extended by the journeys across Asia made by missionaries and by Marco Polo.
The European Age of Discovery
By about 1400 the breakup of the Mongol empire and the growth of the Ottoman Empire had blocked Europe's overland trade routes to the East. The search for new trade routes, the rise of merchant capitalism, and the desire to exploit the potential of a global economy initiated the European ¡°age of discovery.¡± Henry the Navigator promoted voyages along the coast of Africa that helped dispel the superstition and misinformation that had impeded previous attempts to sail through the torrid zone. The extent of the globe was revealed by Bartholomew Diaz's rounding of the Cape of Good Hope (1486-87), Vasco da Gama's voyage to India (1497-98), Christopher Columbus's first voyage to America (1492), and the circumnavigation of the globe by the expedition of Ferdinand Magellan (1519-22). In the 16th cent. Spanish explorers, notably Vasco de Balboa, Hern¨¢n Cort¨¦s, Francisco Pizarro, Cabeza de Vaca, Hern¨¢n De Soto, and Francisco de Coronado, explored large areas of the Americas. Much of the interior of North America was revealed in the 17th cent. by Samuel de Champlain, Sieur de La Salle, Louis Jolliet, Jacques Marquette, and other French explorers.
A Spanish and Portuguese monopoly of the new trade routes stimulated attempts to find other passages to the East (see Northeast Passage and Northwest Passage ) and was soon challenged by English and Dutch voyages in the Pacific and Indian oceans. Most of the major islands of the Pacific and the coastline of Australia became known to Europeans through the voyages of Francis Drake, Abel Tasman, William Dampier, James Cook, Vitus Bering, George Vancouver, and others. European exploration of the interior of Australia took place in the mid-19th cent., and by the end of the century most of Africa had been explored by David Livingstone, H. M. Stanley, and Richard Burton.
European exploration and colonization frequently had disastrous results for the indigenous peoples. Diseases brought to the Americas and Australia by Europeans decimated the inhabitants, and European intervention in Africa expanded the already thriving slave trade. The aboriginal peoples often viewed the presence of explorers as an encroachment, inevitably leading to war, repression, and dislocation.
Polar Explorations
In the late 19th and early 20th cent. the Arctic was explored by Nils Nordenskj?ld, Roald Amundsen, Donald MacMillan, Richard Byrd, and others. In 1909, Robert E. Peary reached the North Pole. The continent of Antarctica was explored in the first half of the 20th cent. by William Bruce, Jean Charcot, Douglas Mawson, Ernest Shackleton, and others. The South Pole was reached first by Amundsen (Dec. 14, 1911) and almost immediately thereafter (Jan. 18, 1912) by Robert Scott. The airplane provided a new method of antarctic exploration, with George Wilkins and Richard E. Byrd as the pioneers. Since World War II there have been many well-equipped expeditions, most notably those during the International Geophysical Year (1957-58), to the Antarctic.

*** Sailing

as a sport, the art of navigating a sailboat for recreational or competitive purposes.
Racing Classes
There is no single ¡°yacht type¡± of boat, rather many types that include sloops, yawls, catamarans, and ketches. The hundreds of different racing classes fall into three broad groups: one-design classes where very similar boats compete; handicap classes where dissimilar boats race, some with an advantageous time allowance; and rating classes where a variety of formulas take into account boat length, sail size, type of rig, and other factors. Sailboats originally had wooden hulls with sails made of sailcloth, a canvas commonly called duck. Today, however, fiberglass hulls and synthetic fabrics predominate.
Especially popular are the 16-23 ft (4.88-7.01 m) one-design boats; these are mass-produced craft made from a single blueprint and intended for the sailor of modest means. Races between one-design boats are thought to be a particularly good test of a crew's ability, to which, rather than to design, any variation in speed must, at least in theory, be attributable.
History of Sport Sailing
Although sailing as a means of transportation predates history, sport sailingor yachtingseems to have originated in the 17th cent. in Holland. From there it was introduced into England (c.1660) by Charles II, and eventually spread to the American colonies. Then, as now, it was common for sport sailors to join together for social and recreational purposes in groups known as yacht clubs. The world's first such club was founded (1720) at Cork, Ireland. The oldest continuously existing club in the United States is the New York Yacht Club (NYYC; founded 1844). In 1851 members of the NYYC raced the schooner America against British competitors around England's Isle of Wight. Victorious, they deeded their trophy to the NYYC. It became known as the America 's Cup, giving its name to the oldest and most prestigious event in international sailboat racing. The United States won every America 's Cup (the event is irregularly held) between 1851 and 1983, when it was won by Australia. In the 1980s and 90s radical changes in boat design and charges of espionage and even sabotage roiled Cup competition. The United States regained the Cup in 1987, then lost it to New Zealand in 1995; New Zealand successfully defended in 2000. Since 1992, a new class of longer, lighter boats carrying more sail on a higher mast have been used in America 's Cup races.
Ocean racing, an arduous and dangerous sport, especially in long-distance solo events, has gained increased notice. Major ocean racing events include the Newport-Bermuda Race, the Transpacific Race, and the Whitbread Round the World Race. Francis Chichester circumnavigated the globe alone in 1967, making only one stop; a year later nonstop around-the-world solo sailing was initiated in a race called the Golden Globe. Today's ocean racers sail advanced multihulled yachts and are aided by such modern technology as sophisticated communication devices and satellite-generated weather reports. Sailboat racing has also been part of the Olympic Games since 1900; at present Olympic sailors compete in nine classes ranging from sailboards 12 ft 1 in. (3.7 m) in length to 26-ft 9-in (8.2-m) sloops. Sailing, traditionally a sport of the wealthy, has been opened to wider participation by modern methods of boatbuilding.


act of catching fish for consumption or display. Fishingusually by hand, club, spear, net, and possibly by hookwas known to prehistoric people. It was practiced by the ancient Persians, Egyptians, and Chinese, and it is mentioned in the Odyssey and in the Bible. It is a major means of subsistence and livelihood today, not only in societies such as those in the South Pacific but also in most nations of the world.
Sport Fishing
The development of fishing as a sport or pastime is comparatively recent, although books on the art and philosophy of angling have been published since the early 16th cent.; the most famous work is Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler (1653). The basic equipment of modern sport fishing consists of a barbed metal hook at the end of a nylon or Dacron line, and a wood, fiberglass, or metal rod, or pole, that usually has some type of spool, or reel, near the handle around which the line is wound. Recreational fishing, which is practiced throughout the world, may be done in either fresh- or saltwater. The most popular game fish are salmon, trout, bass, and pike in freshwater, and sailfish, tuna, marlin, tarpon, and bonefish in saltwater. In the United States each state issues fishing licenses and sets regulations as to the season in which a certain species of fish may be caught, the minimum permissible size, and the number that may be taken per day. There are two basic types of freshwater tackle, those for fly casting and those for bait casting.
Fly Casting
Fly rods and reels are light and require that a hooked fish be ¡°played¡± rather than reeled in by force; they are used to catch fish that inhabit running streams, such as trout and salmon. Live bait (worms, insects, minnows, or frogs) or artificial flies and lures are cast into or on the stream as an enticement for the fish to bite.
Bait Casting
A sturdier rod and reel are used for bait casting, which is done mainly in lakes and large rivers. Live bait or a variety of plugs, spoons, and other artificial lures can be cast and pulled in, ¡°popped¡± along the surface, trolled from a moving boat, or allowed to rest near the bottom. Spinning tackle, which greatly simplifies bait casting by allowing the line to unwind more evenly, has become very popular.
Other Methods
Heavier rods and reels of the bait-casting type are used in saltwater fishing; trolling and casting from the surf are the usual methods. In big-game fishing, sport fishers troll the open ocean for large fish such as tuna, swordfish, and shark. The familiar bamboo pole, without reel, continues to be used for still fishing. Fishing with handlines through holes in the ice and spearfishing underwater are also popular. High-tech devices such as underwater cameras have been introduced, but are regarded by many as unsporting.
Competitive Fishing
There are many annual tournaments both for catching fish and for accuracy and distance in casting; records are kept for the largest catch in each species. The International Game Fish Association (founded 1939) standardizes rules for saltwater fishing throughout the world. The largest ratified catch of any type is a 2,664-lb (1,208-kg) white shark caught off the Australian coast in 1959


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