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Sports & Recreation

Participation in sports and sporting events evolved as a principle aspect of leisure time activity in ancient Greece. The emphasis was on the athlete as competitor; winners of the Olympic Games were considered heroes and accorded honors commensurate with that status. Spectator sports attained a pinnacle of brutal and gory carnage in ancient Rome, where The Games went on for weeks with hundreds of animals and men slaughtered. While the Roman throngs had their heroes, the emphasis was more on the spectacle — sport as entertainment. Today the evolution of sports has taken another great stride — sport as business. Spectator sports and sports personalities have risen to the top rung of the entertainment industry. Nearly everyone today — worldwide — enjoys watching some form of sporting event. Sports betting alone accounts for $100-plus billion dollars in revenues per annum.

There is yet another profound transformation taking place within the sporting environment — sport as true recreation. In the past, the primary focus of sport was its competitive nature. If you were an active sporting participant, you engaged in your chosen sport for the sake of competing against an opponent. When you were not directly competing, you were training to compete. Today, a combination of health consciousness, more leisure time and a desire to relax and improve one’s lifestyle has led to the use of sport as a means by which people can enjoy their environment while improving quality of life. Sports such as bicycling, skiing and scuba diving — to name but a few — while capable of being channeled into competitive forums, evolved for reasons unrelated to any competitive goal and are enjoyed today largely for their recreational value.

Authored by Kenneth L. Anderson.  Original article published 15 July 2003.

Ten Spider Sports & Recreation provides sports and recreation resources and information for your use and enjoyment. View the Sports & Recreation SiteMap below for a complete list of our sports and recreation topics.


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