Portal:Sports
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Portal:Sports

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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A South African player takes a line-out against New Zealand in 2006
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. It is played with an oval-shaped ball with a maximum width and length of 30 centimetres (12 in) and 62 centimetres (24 in) respectively, and is played on a field up to 100 metres (330 ft) long and 70 metres (230 ft) wide with H-shaped goal posts on each goal line. Historically an amateur sport, in 1995 the International Rugby Board (IRB) removed restrictions on payments to players, making the game openly professional at the highest level for the first time.

The IRB has been the governing body for rugby union since its formation in 1886. Rugby union spread from the Home Nations of Great Britain and Ireland, and was absorbed by many of the countries associated with the British Empire. Early exponents of the sport included Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Countries that have adopted rugby union as their de facto national sport include Fiji, Georgia, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga and Wales. Rugby union is played in over 100 countries across six continents and as of November 2010 118 unions were members of the IRB.

The Rugby World Cup, first held in 1987, takes place every four years, with the winner of the tournament receiving the Webb Ellis Cup. The Six Nations Championship in Europe and The Rugby Championship in the Southern Hemisphere (the latter replacing the Tri Nations) are major international competitions held annually. Major domestic competitions include the Top 14 in France, the English Premiership in England, the Currie Cup in South Africa, and the ITM Cup in New Zealand. Other transnational competitions include the Pro14, involving Irish, Italian, Scottish, South African and Welsh teams; The Rugby Championship, involving Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa; and the Heineken Cup, involving the top European teams from their respective domestic competitions.

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[[File:|center|x300px|Laura Vihervä participating in an aerobic gymnastics competition]]

Credit: Lareee123

Laura Vihervä participating in an aerobic gymnastics competition

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Natasha Luikin at a charity event in 2008
Anastasia Valeryevna "Nastia" Liukin (born October 30, 1989) is a retired American artistic gymnast. She is the 2008 Olympic individual all-around Champion, the 2005 and 2007 World Champion on the balance beam, and the 2005 World Champion on the uneven bars. With nine World Championships medals, seven of them individual, as of 2012 Liukin is tied with for the having the second-highest tally of World Championship medals. Liukin has also tied the record as the American gymnast having won the most medals in a single non-boycotted Olympic Games.

The daughter of two former Soviet champion gymnasts, Olympic gold medalist Valeri Liukin - the first man to do a triple backflip - and World Champion rhythmic gymnast Anna Kotchneva, Nastia Liukin was born in Moscow and moved to the United States as a young child. She began gymnastics after spending time in the gym while her parents coached. Liukin is coached by her father at the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy, her family's gymnastics club in Frisco, Texas.

Liukin became a member of the U.S. junior national team when she was 12 years old and won the National all-around title at the age of 13. She was the all-around silver medalist at the 2003 Pan American Games. Since 2005, Liukin has been a key member of the U.S. senior team. She is a four-time all-around U.S. National Champion, winning twice as a junior and twice as a senior. She has been the U.S. senior National Champion on the uneven bars since 2005. Liukin has represented the United States at three World Championships, the 2003 and 2007 Pan American Games, and the 2006 and 2008 Pacific Rim Championships. In October 2011, Liukin announced that she was returning to the sport of gymnastics with the hopes of making the 2012 Olympic team. She did not make the team, and instead went to London as the athlete representative for the Federation of International Gymnasts (FIG).

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Members of the Colorado Avalanche in 2010
The Colorado Avalanche are a professional ice hockey franchise based in Denver, Colorado. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League. Their home arena is the Pepsi Center. Their head coach is Joe Sacco and their general manager is Greg Sherman.

The Avalanche were founded in 1972 as the Quebec Nordiques as a member of the rival World Hockey Association. The Quebec Nordiques were one of the World Hockey Association's original teams when the league began play in 1972. The Nordiques became members of the NHL in 1979 with the NHL-WHA merger. Following the 1994-95 season, the Nordiques were sold to the COMSAT Entertainment Group of Denver and relocated there, where they were renamed the Avalanche.

In their first year in Denver, the Avalanche won the Pacific Division and went on to sweep the Florida Panthers in the Finals, becoming the first NHL team to win the Stanley Cup in the season following a relocation. Among teams in the four major American professional sports leagues, only the National Football League's Washington Redskins had also accomplished the feat. This was the first major professional sports championship a Denver based team would bring to the city.

In the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals, the Avalanche defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-3 to win their second and most recent championship. The 2000-01 season was the best season the team has ever had, with the team finishing the regular season with a 52-16-10-4 record for 118 points.

The Avalanche have won eight division titles and they qualified for the playoffs in each of their first ten seasons in Denver; the streak ended in 2007.

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1919 painting of George Harris
That cricket is going to stay in India there cannot be a shadow of a doubt; it has taken hold all over the country, and chokras can be seen playing in every village with any sort of old bat and ball that they can lay hands on. I should hope that it will do something to get over any racial antipathy; for instance, it must, I think, bring the several races together more and more, in a spirit of harmony that should be the spirit in which cricket is played. Unquestionably, it arouses excitement and enthusiasm, and extreme ambition that one's own side should succeed, but it also ought to lead to friendliness, and that is what is needed in India. East will always be East, and West, West, but the crease is not a very broad line of demarcation - so narrow, indeed, that it ought to help bring about friendly relations.     

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A match between France and Germany during the 2011 World Cup

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