Sport, in its widest sense, covers any physical activity engaged in by humans that seeks to entertain, challenge or exercise their skills in competitive or organised competitions or events. A typical sport is determined by its objective, which may be to win, maintain or obtain a prize, to achieve a set objective, to preserve or advance an idea, or to exercise social learning or social interaction. A sport can also be a series of physical activities, such as running, cycling, table tennis, swimming, and rugby, or a combination of different physical activities. In some instances, a single event, like the Olympic games, is the defining event of a competition; other times, the competition will see participants compete within a wider spectrum of sporting disciplines. Sports can take many forms, from horse riding to weightlifting, tennis to golf, rowing to swimming.
Professional sport is governed by governing bodies such as the International Olympic committee, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, the National Federation for Sports Medicine, and the United States Olympic Committee. In addition to governing bodies, there are voluntary organizations that are focused on ensuring a universally acceptable set of standards for participation in sport and physical activity. These organizations include the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the National Hockey League, the Professional Golfers Association, the Professional Tennis Association, and the US Open Tennis Association. There are also professional and aspiring athletes that focus on becoming professional athletes by participating in organized sports competitions and tournaments.
The history of sport and sports can be traced back to ancient Greece, when athletic competitions were used to prove a man’s manliness and skill to his fellow men. Later, the Romans began the first recorded sporting events, and over the centuries the games and physical activity grew into a global phenomenon. Today, there are dozens of international sports competitions, amateur and professional sports, athletic competitions, and athletic events that take place in North America, Asia, and Europe. Some of these games include the decathlon, track and field, swimming, fencing, and athletics from other parts of the world.