The Sports Portal

Sport in childhood. Association football, shown above, is a team sport which also provides opportunities to nurture physical fitness and social interaction skills.
Sport in childhood. Association football, shown above, is a team sport which also provides opportunities to nurture physical fitness and social interaction skills.

Sport pertains to any form of competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain, or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some cases, entertainment to spectators. Sports can, through casual or organized participation, improve one's physical health. 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 based in physical athleticism or physical dexterity, with major competitions such as the Olympic Games admitting only sports meeting this definition. Other organisations, such as the Council of Europe, preclude 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. (Full article...)

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A Northwestern Wildcats women

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[[Image:|x100px|Jesse Owens in 1936]]
The road to the Olympics, leads to no city, no country. It goes far beyond New York or Moscow, ancient Greece or Nazi Germany. The road to the Olympics leads — in the end — to the best within us.      — Jesse Owens

Selected athlete

Yao Ming in a Huston Rockets jersey
Yao Ming in a Huston Rockets jersey
Yao Ming (born September 12, 1980 in Shanghai) is a retired Chinese professional basketball player who last played for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). At the time of his final season, he was the tallest active player in the NBA, at 2.29 m (7 ft 6 in). One of China's best-known athletes, Yao had sponsorships with several major companies.

Yao, who was born in Shanghai, started playing for the Shanghai Sharks as a teenager, and played on their senior team for five years in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), winning a championship in his final year. After negotiating with the CBA and the Sharks to secure his release, Yao was selected by the Houston Rockets as the first overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, becoming the first international player ever to be selected first overall without having previously played U.S. college basketball. Yao was selected to start for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game eight times, and was named to the All-NBA Team five times. He reached the NBA Playoffs four times, and the Rockets won a first-round series in the 2009 postseason, their first playoff series victory since 1997.

However, in his final six seasons, Yao missed 250 regular-season games due to foot and ankle injuries. He retired in 2011, citing his injuries. Shaquille O'Neal said Yao "was very agile. He could play inside, he could play outside, and if he didn't have those injuries he could've been up there in the top five centers to ever play the game."

Yao was nominated by a member of the Chinese media for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for his contributions to the game, but Yao felt it was too soon and requested that the Hall of Fame delay consideration of the nomination. His rookie year in the NBA was the subject of a documentary film, The Year of the Yao, and he co-wrote, along with NBA analyst Ric Bucher, an autobiography titled Yao: A Life in Two Worlds. (Full article...)

Selected team

The Maryland Terrapins football team in 2010
The Maryland Terrapins football team in 2010
The Maryland Terrapins football team represents the University of Maryland, College Park in the sport of American football. The Terrapins compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Since 1950, the Terrapins have played their home games at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Maryland. The team's official colors of red, white, black, and gold have been in use in some combination since the 1920s and are taken from the state flag, and the nickname of the "Terrapins" (often abbreviated as "Terps") was adopted in 1933 after a turtle species native to the state. Maryland shares storied rivalries with Virginia and West Virginia.

The program's achievements have included one NCAA-recognized national championships, nine ACC championships, two Southern Conference championships, eleven consensus All-Americans, several Hall of Fame inductees, and twenty-four bowl game appearances. Maryland possesses the third-most ACC championships with nine. Many former Terrapins players and coaches have gone on to careers in professional football including 15 first-round NFL Draft picks.

The first officially recognized football team was fielded in 1892, and excluding a brief hiatus in 1895, Maryland has competed in college football each season since. Harry C. "Curley" Byrd, a student-athlete at Maryland, became head football coach in 1911 and served in that role for two decades before he became the university president. The Terrapins had consistent on-field success between 1947 and 1955. Maryland then suffered a period of mediocrity, until 1972, when the program again rose to national prominence under coaches Jerry Claiborne and Bobby Ross. The football program underwent another period of lackluster performance beginning in 1986 and lasting until 2001, when Ralph Friedgen was hired as head coach and engineered a first-year turnaround that culminated in a conference championship. In the following years, the Terrapins made regular postseason appearances, but were unable to match the success of Friedgen's first season. (Full article...)

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