Sports are activities that require physical exertion, mainly for the purpose of recreation, entertainment or health. These can be organised, voluntarily or competitively.
In the modern world, sports have become increasingly globalized. They are a means of representing nations and their identities, as well as promoting cultural traditions.
During the Cold War, there was an intense rivalry between the Soviet bloc and Western nations for international sporting glory. These struggles were reflected in the Olympics, the Football War, and other conflicts between nations that sought to promote or delegitimize national identity.
The modern sport of boxing, for example, was not only a form of athletic competition but also a social event. It drew upon a variety of traditional sports, including wrestling, running races, and gymnastic contests.
Today, however, most sports have moved beyond their aesthetic roots to a focus on quantified achievement. Athletes and trainers are trained to achieve their peak performance, which is measured in terms of a number of criteria.
Some sports have also been incorporated into business enterprises as an economic activity, such as horse racing and motorsports. These sports have a significant impact on society, especially when they are popular in large numbers.
Some studies have found that people who participate in sports are more likely to remain involved throughout their lives. This is largely due to the socialization that sports provide, particularly when children are encouraged to play them early on.