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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 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" or "draw", in which there is no single winner; 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.

Selected article

Korketrekkeren in use in 1922
Korketrekkeren (direct translation: "The Corkscrew") is a tobogganing track and former bobsleigh and luge track in Oslo, Norway. The tobogganing track runs between Frognerseteren and Midtstuen and is operated as a public venue by the municipality. Return transport to the top of the hill is undertaken by riding the Oslo Metro's Holmenkollen Line.

Tobogganing in the area started in the 1880s, with several roads being used during winter evenings. Auto racing took place in the hill in 1921 and the following year it saw its first luge tournament. The first major tournament was the FIL European Luge Championships 1937. Tobagganing also took place in the nearby Heftyebakken, but from 1950 Korketrekkeren became the sole tobogganing hill and Heftyebakken was used for cross-country skiing.

The bobsleigh track was built for the 1952 Winter Olympics, where it hosted two bobsleigh events. It was built as a temporary, artificial track with the curves being constructed in snow and then frozen hard to ice. Trial runs were undertaken in 1951 and the bobsleigh course was not used after 1952. Both Olympic events were won by Germany, with Andreas Ostler and Lorenz Nieberl participating in both winning teams. The tobogganing hill hosted the inaugural FIL World Luge Championships 1955, with Norway's Anton Salvesen winning the men's single—the only time in history Norway has won a World Luge Championships medal.

There have been occasional proposals that Norway should build a permanent bobsleigh track, and Korketrekkeren was the leading location. The debate died out in the 1990s with the selection of Lillehammer as the host of the 1994 Winter Olympics and the subsequent construction of Lillehammer Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track. The Oslo bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics proposed using the Lillehammer track, rather than Korketrekkeren. In 2007, there were two serious accidents in the hill and it was subsequently closed by the police. The municipality then renovated the hill, removing poles and polstering dangerous edges.

Selected image

Several men in tracksuits and helmets adjust the tires and refuel the tanks of a race car
Credit: United States National Guard and Purpy Pupple

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and his team completes a pit stop during the 2008 Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway

Selected athlete

Jim Thorpe in 1916
James Francis "Jim" Thorpe (Sac and Fox (Sauk): Wa-Tho-Huk, translated as "Bright Path"; May 28, 1888 – March 28, 1953) was an American athlete of mixed Native American and Caucasian ancestry. Considered one of the most versatile athletes of modern sports, he won Olympic gold medals for the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon, played collegiate and professional American football, and also played professional baseball and basketball. He lost his Olympic titles after it was found he was paid for playing two seasons of semi-professional baseball before competing in the Olympics, thus violating the amateurism rules. In 1983, 30 years after his death, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) restored his Olympic medals.

Thorpe grew up in the Sac and Fox nation in Oklahoma. He attended Carlisle Indian Industrial School, where he attracted the attention of Pop Warner. In 1911 he played as running back, defensive back, placekicker and punter, for Carlisle, scoring 25 touchdowns and leading the team to a collegiate championship, and was awarded All-American honors in both 1911 and 1912. Thorpe with the New York Giants baseball team in 1913, he would also play for the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Braves (now Atlanta Braves), and in the minor leagues before leaving the sport in 1922. He continued playing football during this time, playing professionally for the Canton Bulldogs, which he led to several titles. He played professional sports until age 41, the end of his sports career coinciding with the start of the Great Depression. Thorpe struggled to earn a living after that, working several odd jobs. Thorpe suffered from alcoholism, and lived his last years in failing health and poverty.

In a poll of sports fans conducted by ABC Sports, Thorpe was voted the Greatest Athlete of the Twentieth Century.

Selected team

The 1906 Youngstown team
The Youngstown Ohio Works baseball team was a minor league club that was known for winning the premier championship of the Ohio–Pennsylvania League in 1905, and for launching the professional career of pitcher Roy Castleton a year later. A training ground for several players and officials who later established careers in Major League Baseball, the team proved a formidable regional competitor and also won the 1906 league championship.

During its brief span of activity, the Ohio Works team faced challenges that reflected common difficulties within the Ohio–Pennsylvania League, including weak financial support for teams. Following a dispute over funding, the team's owners sold the club to outside investors, just a few months before the opening of the 1907 season.

The club's strong record and regional visibility spurred the growth of amateur and minor league baseball in the Youngstown area, and the community's minor league teams produced notable players throughout the first half of the 20th century. The story of the Ohio Works team proved to be an early chapter in Youngstown's long history of amateur and minor league baseball. In the 1930s and 1940s, the city was a frequent host of the National Amateur Baseball Federation (NABF) championship. NABF officials praised the community for the condition of its sandlot baseball diamonds, which they rated as among the best in the country. During the first half of the 20th century, Youngstown-based teams provided experience and exposure to future major league players such as Everett Scott, Floyd Baker, and Johnny Kucab, and played an indirect role in launching the career of Hall of Fame umpire Billy Evans. In the late 1990s, this tradition was rekindled, with the establishment of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, a minor league team based in neighboring Niles, Ohio.

Selected quote

Muhammad Ali in 1967
Champions aren't made in gyms, champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.     

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A championship tug of war match in 2009

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A match between France and Germany during the 2011 World Cup

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