Whether you’re playing or watching, sports can be a dramatic experience. Depending on the nature of the sport, you can feel intense excitement or despair. For example, if you watch a world class athlete lose an important game, you can feel heartbroken. In the same way, when you watch a game between two teams that are closely matched, you can feel a passionate identification with one team.
Participation in sports can have a positive impact on mental health and character. Students develop self-confidence and independence through participation. They also learn to work as a team and improve their interpersonal skills.
Athletes train systematically to achieve their physical maximum. The focus on quantified achievement and prestige has led to the marketing of modern sports. This has been accompanied by the creation of various age classes and weight classes.
Sports play a key role in national identity formation. In the past, outsider groups used sports as a means to represent their nation. During the 20th century, nations began to recruit athletic talent from Africa. These nations had little resources to train these athletes. They were unable to compete on the world stage. They lost the best athletes to more powerful countries.
The Soviet Union began to emerge from its self-imposed sports isolation in 1952. It had a population of about 16 million. In the last half of the twentieth century, migrant labour became more intense. It included not only athletes, but also coaches and administrators.