The sport is the sum total of physical activities carried out in order to entertain those who practice or who is a spectator. It includes activities that engage and develop certain psychomotor skills, also carried out only for recreation or healthful.
The sport can be practiced individually or in groups (team sports), not-for competitive or competing against other athletes. In the latter case we speak of athletic competition, which is characterized not only by the competition by the adoption of detailed rules for practitioners.
The term sport has a long history, even, deriving from the Latin word deport that among its meanings also had to get out the door, that is, to reach out beyond the city walls to engage in sports activities. This term derived from the Provencal deportar, Spanish and French desporter deporte (entertainment, leisure); taken from the latter source in English of the fourteenth century, the term disport that only later, around the sixteenth century, was shortened in today’s sport. The word in Italian that is closest to the etymology French (disport) is “pleasure”, which means leisure, entertainment, recreation.
The dissemination of sport in almost all societies of the world today is the sign of the importance that sport has taken in those situations from the point of view of social, economic and political. Sport is an integral part of the culture of a society and develops in symbiosis with the changes that distinguish it. Consider only the wealth of traditions that traditional sporting disciplines bring to the cultures of the nations in which they are effected or the close links between sport and the media.
Leaving aside for a moment the factor of physical education, however, fundamental and recognized – in the modern age – at least from Jerome Mercuriali, and considering only the recreational aspect of the sport, it is evident that the practice of sport is widespread, especially at those social realities, culturally and economically, can use the means necessary to practice it.
Many sports require special equipment to be practiced, consisting of mechanical vehicles (such as for cycling, motor racing, motorcycling, sailing (sport) | sailing) or simple tools (like for baseball, fencing, the ‘hockey, the pole vault, the archery, golf), or require special facilities for the practice (such as for swimming or skating). Horse riding and horse racing are examples of sport practiced together with an animal, the horse as well as dog sports that involve it the combination of man-dog.
Other sports instead, such as stroke (sport) | run, do not require special equipment and are in abundance, even in the poorest countries. In these societies, the sport is often seen by the younger generation as a means to a possible economic and social redemption, are a clear example of the great African runners who for many years are now the rulers of the middle distance in athletics.
A conception, widespread especially in countries with more sporting traditions, is that sport should be considered as a means of transmission of universal values and a school of life which teaches us to fight for a just reward and that helps to socialization and respect between teammates and opponents. For this reason, physical education plays a pivotal role in educating already inside the school. But there are also opposing positions that they see in racing (perhaps accentuated by the element statement), in contrast exasperated individual, a dangerous signal that might tend to bring out the competitive spirit as a natural parameter of the relationship between human beings. Other positions, a bit ‘more critical in the antagonism ravvisano exasperated and pursuit of success by any means a perversion of values and sense of Christian life also fear that sport can become a “mirror for larks” used by authoritarian governments to distract, imbonire, shaping the minds besides the bodies. Many sports historians, including Antonino Fugardi, reminiscent in their books the creepy use of sport and the Olympic Games | Olimpiadiche was carried out by Hitler for propaganda purposes, both for training purposes.
By contrast, the importance of the sport in society and media, more and more frequently induces its mingling with politics to the point of using it as a springboard for instances of social claims (such as the Games of the XIX Olympiad | City Olympics Mexico) or as an instrument of dialogue between peoples.
The increasing development of the importance of sport in everyday life has had as an accessory consequence, the emergence of new branches of knowledge dedicated exclusively to the study of individual aspects of the sport. In particular, they had a lot of development sports medicine, sports economics, and sociology of sport.
Amateur and professional sport
We will begin by saying that in recreational sport the athlete exercises the sole purpose of improving their physical and psychological performance, without receiving any compensation in fact those who perform this type of sport it is only to meet the needs of recreational and training, using the free time. While athletes who practice at a professional level of compensation they receive for their performance. In addition, players are subject to strict rules, behavioral, and workout.
In addition to the emergence of new disciplines and specialties, in the course of the twentieth century has developed a fundamental division within the world of sport, tied purely economic aspect that revolves around the sporting events, the division between amateur and professional sport. Professional athletes are paid to carry out their activities and can be considered as entertainment workers in all respects. Usually, only the best athletes of every discipline can become professionals and what makes sporting events with the participation of professionals can boast of a higher level of performance than the standard amateur.
In the reality of Western countries, some professional sports attract the majority of practitioners, while minor activities collide with both visibility problems mediological mass, either by insufficient funding by potential sponsors. This results in a significant cost for the amatorialità amateur and often this results in logistical problems are difficult to overcome without the intervention of public authorities.
According to another view of the problem, professionalism and amateurism operate or should operate in synergy. The first, by the attention that the media and the sponsors focus on sports champions, enhances the spectacular features of the sport by helping to popularize and attract even to the active practice, a larger number of people. The second in terms of visibility and economic possibilities, reflecting benefits from the results of the other, providing new practitioners and possible new samples.
The event in which the dualism between professionalism and amateurism had the highest level of contrast was definitely the Olympics, the most important sporting event in the world. The Olympics are held every four years and is divided into summer and winter Olympics. On this occasion, the best athletes from all over the world, compete in various Olympic disciplines. On the occasion of the first editions of the modern Olympics, though, the races were only allowed amateur athletes, over the years, and under the pressure of public opinion and the sponsors, the rule has undergone various waivers and was eventually removed to allow professional athletes, usually the best of the various disciplines to participate in the Olympic competitions.
With this decision was placed a stone over the hypocrisy that for decades held in check the transparency of competitive sport, as also the alleged amateur and the Communist bloc and the Western ones, were training to become full-time with scholarly methods to obtain reimbursement of expenses, sometimes substantial, these modes risked almost relegate to a secondary level, the activities of study and work, both for the time and efforts for a social advantage. Also what was supposed to be their primary activity for their livelihood was revealed, for the most part, on balance, a career with the armed forces or the police, who, thanks to their sporting successes usufruiva of promotions almost automatic (athlete status ). Nothing to stop that from these career promotions, athletes could obtain, as a consequence, “earnings” socio-economic factors.
In the ideal Olympic defined with the famous maxim by Baron Pierre De Coubertin “The important thing is not to win but to take part,” can in any case be condensed those principles of loyalty, commitment and respect that should underlie the practice of sports at every level, be it amateur or professional athletes.