People all over the world, of all body styles, sizes, races and backgrounds occupy their time and gain physical fitness through games and activities referred to as sports. From professional leagues around the world, school sports, and neighborhood games, fun and strategy come together to form a worldwide phenomenon that has come to be loved. Whether your watching them or participating in them, sports have touched a part of everyone’s lives. Since the development of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the development of its sports has progressed with the country.
Over four hundred million Chinese people take part in physical activities regularly. Not only the group sports, but the competitive sports too. Since 1949, five hundred and sixty sports facilities of all kinds have been constructed to satiate the needs of the growing sports industry in China. Over four hundred existing associations exist today in China for individual events. Fifty-six of these associations have been put in the hands of management individuals. The others are owned by the nation itself. Also, fourteen administrative headquarters for the sports have been built to house the Chinese sports (Chinese Olympic Committee).
Rong Guotuan was the first Chinese man in history to win a gold medal in the men’s single’s table tennis event in the 1959 Olympics. He was also the only man in Chinese history to be a world champion. Since Rong Guotuan, the Chinese have won nine hundred and fifty-six world titles and set over eight hundred world records. Some of the more preferred sports in Communist China consist of table tennis, basketball, soccer, and golf (Chinese Olympic Committee). Also the people of China Participate in the traditional sports. These sports include Wushu and Qigong. Both of these sports combine mental and physical power to complete a task.
They both also work in promoting one’s physical fitness. Not only traditional oriental sports increase fitness, many modern sports do also. One such sport is practiced in Brazil as well as all over the world. The preeminent sport exercised and cherished by the Brazilian population is the sport of soccer or Futbol. The people of Brazil are devout soccer fans. It is a national pastime. Soccer is more than a game, and it is often forgotten what the goal of the game is. The spectators become so enraptured by the game that they sometimes can become riotous and people have even been injured, while only watching the game.
It is thought to have been brought to South America but the Dutch in the nineteenth century, but this is one of a few theories (Dani. Danial). The heroes of this sport are called “craques” in Brazil, or in Spain and England “cracks”. The word “craque” refers to “the best of the best”. In America, we merely refer to them as superstars (Pavan). Other sports found to be practiced by the Brazilians are Surfing and Deep Sea Diving. Brazil has over one thousand kilometers of clear unadulterated beaches along it’s shore. This makes the conditions perfect for the sport of surfing to be prominent.
The Bahia coast is the most pleasing to even the most demanding surfers. The water along this coast is home to many spectacular creatures, such as humpback whales and sea turtles (Pavan). These creatures aren’t alone. Also in the waters along the Brazilian coast are millions of tropical fish that make this area exemplary for divers. This is also a sport practiced in Brazil. There are many clubs throughout the country that support divers and even fund some expeditions. Many of these clubs even offer safety courses in the sport of diving.
They also keep them updated in environmental awareness to keep the waters clean and healthy (Pavan). Also having a large quantity of coastal area is England, which is known for its “gentleman sports” such as cricket and polo, not diving and futbol. It is also known for the brutal game of rugby which is like American football, but without all of the padding and protective equipment. Cricket is said to have originated as a major sport in England as early as the seventeen hundreds. It is also said to have been played back as far as thirteen hundred. In 1744, the first set of rules appeared.
As of now, the rules are printed for use, by the MCC, or Maryleborn Cricket Club (Heinemann). Cricket, with its rules and proper behavior, far contrasts England’s other favorite sport, Rugby. Rugby, as before mentioned, is a harsh form of American football. The gore of this sport is probably what makes it so popular with the British public as well as the international crowd it draws. Because of this international recognition, rugby is now played in many more countries other than just the European countries. These countries include Australia, New Zealand, America, and many more (Heinemann).
Known for it’s “tough skin”, kangaroos and koala bears, Australia is an often forgotten country. As far as sports go, Australia is probably the last country one would think of. Sport occupies a central part in Australian life, with more than six-and-a-half million of its eighteen million people playing, coaching or actively supporting sport. Australians are enormously enthusiastic about sport, from elite involvement to spectatorship. The country “down under” host’s a number of varied sports from England’s rugby to motor sports like dirt bike racing and motocross.
Like in the United States, Australia has both football and soccer. Australia, being completely surrounded by water makes it prime for diving and deep water exploration. Australia has many reefs off of its shores making natural homes for many types of tropical fish and other sea life. A trip here would be a diving enthusiast’s dream come true (Australian Sports Commission). Another sport that immigrated to Australia from Europe is the sport of cricket. Cricket is widely played throughout many countries, its terminology may seem odd to the initiate’s ear, but it becomes a second language to the seasoned player.
Despite its reputation for the rugged outback and tough leather skinned men, Australia has many sides unseen by much of the world. Its sports are only one of those sides (Australian Sports Commission). Finally, in our journey through the vast landscape of the earth, we come to America. In the USA, sports take up the weekend of many men, women and children abroad. Children play sandlot baseball on school break during the summer and two hand touch football on the chilly autumn days. America is known for baseball and it’s history which s deeply imbedded in the great country’s culture.
From Babe Ruth, to Mark McGwire, people still hunger for the peanuts and crackerjacks; They thirst for the father/son bonding that the sport brings, and they urn for the smell of the freshly cut grass baking in the bright June sunlight. This is all part of baseball. The players are heroes and role models to children abroad. Football is not far behind baseball when it comes to American opinion. The pure barbarity of men tackling each other ferociously for the pig skinned ball is enough to get one’s adrenaline rushing full speed.
It could be that, or it could just be the unadulterated masculinity that attracts both sexes to the brutal but forgiving sport. Basketball is next on the list. Basketball is a very flexible game, it can be played in the city in an empty parking lot, it can be played in a friend’s back yard, or it can be played n a fancy court indoors. No matter where you choose to play basketball, you are guaranteed you will have fun playing it. The possibilities for sports are endless. All over the world, or in a backyard, sports are possible everywhere.
Despite the cultural diversion among the before mentioned countries, it is obvious they share many common traits when it comes to activities. They all share the history and tradition of physical activity among family members of all age groups. There are sports for people of all designs and sizes. Even people with disabilities can play the milder sports. Some have even been made more accessible to the handicapped by undertaking in minor adjustments to fit their needs. So no matter where one may be, or what their physical conditions might entail, there is an activity that fits the criteria.