Sport has a powerful influence on the way we understand ourselves and our surroundings. It provides a means for the creation of traditions, identities, and national pride. It also has a unique ability to evoke diverse emotions in the audience. Inherently dramatic, sports can be understood by all, even by those without an interest in the sport. The discourses promoting sports often captivate ordinary citizens, allowing them to become emotionally invested in the game’s outcomes. In some cases, national team fortunes can even be used to define nationhood. For example, in 1930, Uruguay became the first team to win the World Cup in football. Meanwhile, Wales’ rugby union closely reflects the nation’s values.
All cultures have their own definition of what constitutes “sports”. However, the most common definitions of sports are those that clarify the relationship between sports and play. While play is purposeless, it has a goal, and it is voluntary. Unlike work, sports do not involve professional athletes. As a result, there are many forms of sports, including professional sport, and amateur sport, which is not a true sport.
In the 20th century, the popularity of sports grew. The mass media began to devote significant space to sports coverage. Even the august New York Times published sports sections. This showed how great the public’s appetite for sport news was. As a result, daily sports newspapers began to crop up in many countries. One of the oldest, L’Equipe in Paris, dates back to the early twentieth century.