When played in a competitive form, golf and cheerleading are categorized as sports. Other activities, such as dancing and fishing, are also considered sports. While not directly related to the Olympic Games, sport involves competition and structured activity. Some sports, such as motorsports and equestrian, require physical exertion and skill. Other activities, such as horse racing, are pastimes, but are still categorized as sports. In addition to physical exertion, sports can improve a person’s overall fitness and ability to perform future related activities.
Sports are extremely popular and have a unique influence on American society. They teach people important values such as fair play and justice. They are social glue and contribute to racial and ethnic integration. Throughout history, sports have served as a common bond between individuals. Many early American presidents emphasized the importance of physical activity, especially running and swimming. Even today, physical activity and participation in sports are encouraged as part of the nation’s fitness program.
While no one can pinpoint when sports began, we know that children have been involved in sports from the earliest civilizations. Prehistoric art depicts hunters chasing their prey with joy. This rich iconographic and literary evidence suggests that hunting became an end in itself for some ancient civilizations. Even modern-day soccer, golf, and other motorised sports have their roots in ancient civilizations. So, when did they begin? Perhaps they were the same thing, but varying degrees of competition.