You’re sitting in one more uninteresting university history course. As you open your mouth up large to yawn, the trainer completes telling the class what will certainly be reviewed today:
The record of golf.
All of a sudden, you sit directly in your chair at ideal interest. Your eyes are large open, as well as your pen is poised over your paper to start keeping in mind.
Everything began with a basic stick and also a rock. Man took these 2 items and also made a decision to produce a method to captivate himself. Besides, what else existed to do for enjoyable before the 15th century that didn’t entail beheadings as well as combating wars? Although the video game of golf started by male turning a stick towards a rock in order to push it right into a certain instructions, this was the way that several current sports video games started. Practically any kind of area or nation you could find a stick and a rock, you might locate golf, baseball, tennis, lacrosse, or hockey!
As you might presume, however, when a wonderful video game such as golf was designed, EVERYONE intended to declare that it was their country’s concept. As an example, the nation of Scotland declares that it developeded the game. However, so does Italy, China, England, France, Holland, Belgium, and also nations away in Asia. Gamings that appeared like golf in other countries consisted of ‘paganica’ in Italy. This was a game that included making use of a stick as well as a rock to strike a target. In Scotland, the very same video game was described as ‘shinty.’ In the nation of Laos, it was called ‘khi’, as well as in China it was called ‘ch’ui wan’, which equates into ‘defeating a sphere’.
Several of these video games were played prior to the year 300 B.C. – so to be able to identify exactly where it started would be almost impossible! Historians themselves have only one solution in order to who invented golf: They simply do not know! Golf might be just one of those video games that was so wonderful, therefore lots of people liked to try it, that it really had no beginning. It was birthed when the Planet was born, as well as it is global in its popularity!
Something that sways common belief to approve that the contemporary video game of golf started in Scotland is that the hole wased initially made use of here. And also today, as you know, without the golf hole, there is no golf. It is believed that rabbits, that often made their residences as well as play locations along the Scottish coastline inside these openings. After a while, some people began to have fun with their sticks and also rocks, aiming to obtain the rock into the bunny hole. This started the contemporary game of golf. It ended up being so popular in Scotland, that Kind James II prohibited it on Sundays to bring focus back on another sporting activity – archery.
Over the centuries, golf has become an increasing number of prominent around the globe. Although no one knows where the video game was absolutely birthed, all of us know one point – just about every person takes pleasure in playing it!
What enters your mind when you listen to the word baseball? For those of you who have been in a real baseball event would certainly it lead you to think about a big stadium, an open area, the warmth of the sunlight, the cheer of groups, the splitting of the bat as it hits the round, or the shout of the umpire of what choice he has for the groups?
For those of you that in anyhow have actually not experienced remaining in a baseball game but have seen it through sports channels or heard it on the radio or viewed it online, you may also have the exact same assumption of the game. For those who are not into baseball however could have had the opportunity to note a game or more, it could be apparent that the spectator sees 2 interplay versus each other, there is an existence of a pitcher, a batter, an umpire or umpire as well as individuals guarding the bases. If that viewer finds out the way of racking up then he could have most likely learned the essentials of the sporting activity.
In the context of an extensive check out the sporting activity itself, just a few people, minus the devoted baseball fans as well as gamers would certainly even care to comprehend that thought of it, where it originated from and also where it is most prominent at as a sport …
Baseball, which could be categorized as a game of bat and round and also which is also often identified as hard sphere to differentiate it from a comparable game called softball (a more compact version of the game) could be mapped back to accounts of being an evolved variation of the game called rounders, which was stated to have come from Terrific Britain and Ireland dating back to as very early as the 17th century. There are comparable accounts about the existence of the game yet the pioneering complete documentation of baseball in The United States and Canada was by Dr. Adam Ford in his modern summary of the video game that took place on June 4, 1838 in Beachville, Ontario. It was on June 19, 1846 in Hoboken, New Jersey that the initial game of baseball in U.S. history was officially tape-recorded with the New york city 9 beating the Knickerbockers in a 23-1 four innings video game.
Today, Baseball is recognized as the nationwide sporting activity of the USA. The sport likewise has actually dispersed its popularity, is being purchased and also played in the majority of the American areas, the Caribbean and East Asia.
If you are wondering what “dropping the gloves” mean in ice hockey, it refers to how players will “drop” their gloves on the ice before fighting, so they can give a beatdown with bare fists.
I know that ice hockey has a bad reputation for fighting, but it is much more than that.
Ice hockey is considered to be among one of the most fierce sports out there. While the number of hits that occur among the gamers have reduced throughout the years, there are still plenty of fights that remain to take place around on the ice. Many individuals will certainly inform you that is one of the reasons that they appreciate seeing it a lot. However, there is far more to the sporting activity.
For their participation in various penalties such as pushing, tripping, as well as various other type of disturbance throughout the video game gamers need to hang out in the penalty box. Typically this time duration is 2 mins for each infraction called by the referees nevertheless the amount of time can be as high as 4 mins.
The video game of ice hockey is extremely fast paced and full of action. As the gamers glide effortlessly throughout the ice in order to regulate the puck and also rating points, it gives the impression that this is a very easy sporting activity.
Nevertheless, that is rather far from the fact due to the fact that you have to develop outstanding skating abilities and you need to know the game of hockey in and out.
Appropriate safety tools must additionally be made use of for this sort of ice hockey since it is still a hazardous sporting activity. Most people that play ice hockey do not participate in the fierce actions, there are still plenty of risks. Obtaining fined a hockey stick or dropping could all be severe if you do not have the appropriate tools to secure yourself.
There are different motorcycle competitions like Motocross and also different trial events where variants of a large number of dirt bikes take on each other.
An intriguing fact to note is that dirt bikes have no number plates. Each year the US DMV hands out environment-friendly stickers specifically for motocross dirt bikes. Another essential reality to deal with is that dirt bikes are not permitted on city streets as they are only allowed to be ridden on off-road tracks.
Various Types of Dirt Bikes
Several of the bikes that you might see when it comes to dirt bikes are Yamaha YZ, Yamaha WR, Yamaha DT, Honda CRM, Honda CRX, Kawasaki KX, Kawasaki, KLR, and Suzuki RM, among many others, just look in any motocross magazine.
Though all these bikes have their very own distinctive features they have one point alike. They are light, strong, and have the capability to handle the roughest of tracks.
And rough it is! This isn’t taking a drive on a Sunday through the country side or sitting back watching your favorite football team score. No! This is in your face, adrenaline pumping, hard hitting fun!
The Structure of the Motorcycle
Off road dirt bikes are generally created of either a two-stroke engine or a 4-stroke engine. In a two stroke engine the mix of oil and also gas is stirred up in the cylinder, and also thus not only does the bike obtain powered up, yet the engine is additionally lubricated in one go. The four stroke dirt bike engine is like a smaller variation of the car engine where, the gas is stirred up yet the oil could additionally be utilized once more.
If you are looking for differences in between a healthy street bike as well as dirt bike then you have to look no further compared to the suspension of the dirt bike. They have a higher ground allowance and also not only this; they are much lighter too. Their tires are also different, and have deep footsteps in them, so regarding; offer them a far better amount of money of grip with, gravel, sand, dust or mud.
Moreover, the engine of the dirt bikes is additionally placed at a considerably greater level as compared to normal bikes, to secure it from different obstructions like rocks and so on. Likewise, the gas container set up in the mid-section provides it a far better balance.
Option of a Dirt Bike
There is a large amount of money of difference between just what you want and what you truly require. The one considerable specification that will figure out the kind of dirt bike that you intend to purchase is dependent on your very own capability. If you are a novice it would not be a good idea for you to buy a mean machine that you have actually seen speeding its way to delight in a Motocross Race.
The purpose of your purchase is additionally a vital factor of the kind of motorcycle that you acquisition. If your objective is to enjoy simply using with your buddies and also going out on route trips then, you absolutely do not wish to get a full blown racer dirt bike. On the other hand if you intend to purchase the bike, mainly for a racing purpose after that you need to undoubtedly obtain a real motorcycle racer.
Every person is really on a spending plan. No one wishes to acquire a dirt bike that is not within their methods. Additionally, if you get on a marginal spending plan and also could not find a dirt bike to suit your objective; after that it’s best that you reduce your demands a little as well as think about a middle-weight, a little used motorcycle.
There are times when a few of the best buys, in regards to dirt bikes, could end up being several of the most underrated bikes that are available out there. Whatever the bike you acquire, it is necessary that your objective is to have some enjoyable. Do not think past having an exciting time, using your bike!
A cool fall day, hot cocoa or coffee in hand, you will find football fans scattereed across the United States.
American football was said to be created from the prevalent European diversions of soccer and rugby (futbol). Be that as it may, not care for the sport of soccer, American football uses the hands more by utilizing the passing and getting of the ball instead of what soccer concentrates on the feet’s utilization by kicking the ball and not have the capacity to utilize hands by any stretch of the imagination.
In days of the past, America’s game of decision was baseball. Be that as it may, now, American football has rapidly developed more well known than baseball, and the fan bases are developing at a mind boggling rate.
Football is viewed as a “full physical game” because of the way that it is a to a great degree physical game where the players take a considerable measure of physical misuse while playing, and in addition the physical interest that it tackle the player’s body amid week by week hones. What’s more, due to the endless full body contact with restricting players and the ground, players must wear defensive hardware and apparatus to minimize wounds. Albeit, despite the fact that these safety measures are being taken, a player will and most time take some sort of harm subsequently making wounds an exceptionally basic thing in the game and, at times, have lead to the lamentable results that have finished vocations through surgeries or restoration.
You will find that the standard American football field is 120 yards in length and 160 feet wide. There are little stamps, called hash denote, that denote each yard and each ten yards. Toward the end of each side of the field (the first and last 10 yards), you will discover what is called an “end zone”. There at last zone, there will be a tall upright manufactured of two vertical yellow posts that are joined by one level yellow shaft.
The season of a standard diversion is an hour long and is partitioned into quarters that are 15-minutes each. Once the initial two quarters are played, there is a break called “halftime,” in the diversion. This allows both groups to meet up and talk about procedures on the plays and in addition how the diversion is advancing. On the off chance that progressions should be made to specific plays, this is an awesome time for it to be finished.
The entire object of the amusement is to score a bigger number of focuses than your adversary in the assigned an hour. Whichever group scores the most focuses before the diversion’s end, is announced the champ.
The way that a group scores will be either by taking care of business the ball into their adversary’s end zone for a 6-point touchdown, or they may score by kicking the ball between the yellow uprights (depicted above) for a 3-point field objective. The group can likewise score an additional point by kicking the ball into the uprights after a touchdown is scored.
On the field, every group will have eleven players at any one time with permitting substitutions that are allowed whenever.
More often than not, the two groups meet up with the arbitrators toward the start of an amusement and a coin in hurled noticeable all around to figure out which side will begin with the ball. The group that wins the coin hurl, picks how they might want to begin.
The hostile (the group that begins with the ball under lock and key) group will begin with the ball in the first place of the amusement. The group that is on offense will have four endeavors (“downs”) to move the ball ten yards. On the off chance that the hostile group is fruitful, the group will then get another arrangement of downs to attempt and move another ten yards.
Groups might either toss the ball down the field to pick up yards to get every down or they can basically hand it off to another player to attempt to pick up yards by running down the field. A play (down) is over when the player with the ball is either handled (thumped down), comes up short on limits, or there is an inadequate pass. On the off chance that a that group is not fruitful in getting 10 yards (down) in their 4 endeavors, the contradicting group will then assume control on offense from that spot on the field. However, as a rule, if the group on the offense has utilized three of their endeavors and has not picked up the 10 yards, they will generally in all probability decide to punt the ball as far down the field as could be expected under the circumstances, so that the contradicting group begins their offense as far from their end zone as could be allowed.
Similarly as with most expert recreations, punishments are an immense piece of each football game. These punishments can incorporate things, for example, off-sides, individual fouls, deferrals of diversion, and pass obstructions. The arbitrators entirely implement the guidelines and are in charge of running a spotless diversion, controlling the clock, and guaranteeing the players’ security and additionally ensuring every one of the principles are taken after.
Punishments are a tremendous piece of this amusement on the grounds that a group that submits a punishment will lose yardage and/or downs. Having a punishment against your group could be a tremendous defining moment in the wrong bearing. To announce that a punishment has been submitted, the ref tosses a yellow punishment banner onto the field.
To figure out additional info about American Football – look at WikiPedia!
Muhammad Ali. Mike Tyson. Manny Pacquaio. Floyd Mayweather Jr. Rocky Balboa. These are some of the names that no doubt come to mind when you hear someone talk about boxing.
Initially referred to as ‘pugilism’ (or ‘fist fighting’, in layman’s terms), boxing is simply a two-person sport. The objective of the sport is to throw punches (normally while wearing gloves) at one another until one person is weakened and is knocked down.
There is evidence to show that boxing dates back all the way to 4000 BC in Egypt, where it first became popular. Due to the spread of Egyptian civilization, boxing became more and more widespread, and people from the Mediterranean region and the Middle East became aware of the sport. Back then, leather straps were used to bind boxers’ hands during a match.
The very first recorded boxing match, however, was in 1681 in Britain. The Duke of Albemarle used to conduct boxing games between his butcher and butler for his amusement.
It was not until 1743 when the very first set of boxing rules were created. Jack Boughton – also known as the ‘Father of Boxing’ – established the rules of boxing after he killed his opponent in a match in 1741.
In 1865, John Sholtho Douglass, the Eighth Marquess of Queensbury, further developed the rules into the ones that we use today. He was the one who required all boxers to wear gloves, and made sure a single round did not last more than three minutes.
Ever since then, boxing gained traction and was included in the Olympic Games for the very first time in 1904.
Boxing is more than just hitting your opponent repeatedly with your fists. Before you step onto the boxing ring, you need to make sure your boxing equipment is in check. Obviously, you need a pair of padded boxing gloves, a head guard to protect your head, and a mouthpiece to keep your teeth and gums safe.
Each session of boxing – or a ‘round’ of boxing – can last up to three minutes. The number of rounds per game depends on the game’s type of competition, and is usually determined at the start of the game. For example, there are only three rounds in an Olympic match. Professional competitions, on the other hand, can last up to twelve rounds.
A short break is allowed in between rounds. During this break, each boxer returns to his corner of the ring that was assigned to them, where he can get some water, advice from his coach, or whatever help he needs.
A boxer is declared the winner when he manages to ‘knock out’ his opponent, and said opponent is unable to get up until the referee has finished counting aloud to ten. However, if there are no ‘knock out’s, the judges will decide the winner based on how well each boxer has performed in each round. The scores achieved by each boxer are tallied, and the highest scorer comes out the winner.
In every sport, there are always a series of rules to be followed. Here are some of the rules of boxing:
A boxer must always be standing on his feet to deliver a punch.
Punches thrown by a boxer must always land above the waistline of his opponent.
A boxer is allowed to only punch his opponent. No other method of hitting is allowed.
Only the knuckle portion of the glove is permitted to make contact with the opponent.
A boxer is disallowed from punching his opponent’s back, kidneys, or back of the head.
If a boxer is hit with an accidental low-blow (a punch below the waist), he is given five minutes to recover. If unable to recover, he will be considered knocked-out.
The boxer’s head must always remain above his opponent’s waistline.
When a referee breaks up clinching boxers (where a boxer wraps his arms around his opponent’s to create a pause), both boxers must take a full step back before delivering a punch.
When a boxer is knocked down, his opponent is not allowed to hit the downed boxer anymore. He must go to a neutral corner of the ring while the referee counts to ten. The referee’s ten-count gives the downed boxer an opportunity to get back up.
After a knocked-down boxer gets back on his feet, the referee must determine if he is fit to continue. Otherwise, his opponent wins by way of ‘knock out’ (KO).
A boxer that slips or falls is not considered a knock-down. However, his opponent is still not permitted to hit the boxer that’s on the floor.
If a boxer commits an intentional foul and does not stop the fight, the referee has the right to take points away from the boxer.
If a boxer is hit with an intentional foul and is unable to continue fighting, the boxer that has committed the foul will be disqualified.
A boxer who has committed an unintentional foul will receive a warning from the referee. But if said boxer continues committing the foul, his points will be deducted.
If the occurrence of an unintentional foul results in the immediate end of the fight, there can be a ‘no-contest’ ruling or a declared winner.
A referee has the right to stop the fight at any time to protect a boxer from serious injury. The boxer will lose by ‘technical knockout’ (TKO).
Like Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), a boxer is classified according to his weight and will fight in his weight class. This is typically used in professional boxing.
(Note: The lower limit of a weight class is equal to the upper weight limit of the class above it.)
Muhammad Ali is a recognizable name in the world of boxing, and is commonly considered one of the greatest heavyweights of boxing. In his boxing career, he has won 56 times (37 KOs and 19 decisions), and lost only 5 times (4 decisions and 1 KO). He is not only an inspiration inside the ring, but outside of it, too; he fought for religious freedom, racial justice, and believed doing the right thing should always be superior to doing the convenient thing. He was given the title of ‘Sportsman of the Century’ by Sports Illustrated.
Another boxer worth mentioning is Mike Tyson. He was the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. When he was 20, he won the WBC, WBF, and IBA heavyweight titles, being the youngest boxer to have ever won those titles. He had been in the ring 58 times; won 50 times (44 of them by KO), lost 6 times, and had 2 no-contests.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is a five-division world champion. He has eleven world titles under his belt and has won the lineal championship in four different weight classes. He is undefeated as a professional and has won Ring Magazine’s Fighter of the Year award twice, the Best Fighter ESPY Award six times, and Boxing Writers Association of America’s Fighter of the Year award twice. He has fought 48 times (26 by KO) and has no losses.
Manny Pacquiao (fondly referred to as Pac-Man by his fans) is the first and only eight-division world champion. This Filipino fighter has attained ten world titles, and was the first to win the lineal championship in four different weight classes. So far, he has been in a total of 65 fights; won 57 of them (38 by KO), lost 6 times, and had 2 draws. The Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), World Boxing Council (WBC), and World Boxing Organization (WBO) named him ‘Fighter of the Decade’ for the 2000s. In addition to that, he has also been named ‘Fighter of the Year’ by The Ring and BWAA, and has also won Best Fighter ESPY Award twice.
Boxing is considered one of the world’s oldest sports. Since the rules relatively easy to comprehend, the sport can be enjoyed by almost anyone from any age group. Seeing two boxers go at it with one another in the ring not only gives us a rush of adrenaline, but also satisfies our primal urge to fight.
In 1871, during a time when physical exertion was considered crass, ‘ungentlemanly’, and best left to the hoi polloi, a German baron named Carl von Drais invented an equipment that would be used to transport a person from place to place. Initially named the ‘velocipede’, it was basically two wagon wheels connected by a wooden plank, with a simple device attached to steer the front wheel. Since there were no pedals, the velocipede enabled people to only ‘run’ from one point to another.
The velocipede evolved as time went by, but no one was able to create a design that enabled a person to move faster than his ‘running’ speed. It therefore came as a breakthrough in the 1860s, when the Michaux Company in Paris added pedals and lever arms to the evolved velocipede. Thus, the ‘modern’ bicycle was born.
From then on, bicycles went through so many changes – from the high-wheeled ‘penny farthings’ to the ones with equally-sized wheels that you see today.
The first recorded bicycle race was held on June 1868, in England. Since then, cycling races became so popular that in 1893, a world championship race was organized, and the sport was added to the Olympic Games three years later. However, it was not until four years later that the competition synonymous with cycling began.
The Tour de France was, strangely, created not to promote the sport of cycling, but to increase the sales of L’Auto newspaper. To the dismay of its rival, Le Velo, it worked. The very first Tour de France had about 60 cyclists riding approximately 1,553 miles over 19 days. Unfortunately, the race was rife with poor sportsmanship and cheating. As time passed, the route of the Tour changed. In 2010, the Tour had cyclists ride a total of 2,263 miles, passing 20 different stages and a time trial.
Lance Armstrong is certainly not an unfamiliar name when it comes to road bike races. From 1997 to 2005, he emerged as the winner of the Tour de France yearly without fail. However, he was accused of doping on more than one occasion. It was not until January 2013 that he finally came clean about his drug usage. He was immediately stripped of his championship titles.
Despite the Tour’s known controversies, it still remains the most recognized cycling competition. In 1951, there was a Tour of Britain, and it was not long until other Tours followed.
Of course, the Tour is just the tip of the iceberg. While the Tour falls under road bike racing, there are several other types of bicycle races, such as cyclo-cross, mountain bike racing, track cycling, BMX, and cycle speedway.
Cyclo-cross involves cyclists racing multiple laps in a closed circuit, such as an open land or a park. All the riders start together, and they have to traverse paved and off-road terrain. Sometimes, competitors even have to get off their bikes to overcome obstacles and barriers such as hills or stairs. These races are typically held during September to February, which means the cyclists have to ride through unfavorable weather conditions; however, this is one of the ways that makes cyclo-cross unique.
The current men’s world champion for cyclo-cross is Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel. At 20 years of age, he did not just win the 2015 Cyclo-Cross World Championships, but also the Junior Road Race World Championships, and the Junior Cyclo-Cross World Championships twice. He is the first person to have scored that many championships.
Also known as MTB or ATB racing, mountain bike racing involves cyclists to ride an off-road terrain. It is further categorized into cross-country, short track cross-country, ultra-endurance racing, downhill, dual slalom, four-cross, super D, enduro, and observed trials. Notable MTB racing events include the cross-country event at the Summer Olympics, the World Championships and the World Cup organized by the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale).
While the other cycling competitions need the riders to travel through the outdoors, track cycling requires its participants to ride around a velodrome. Since it is held indoors, spectators are able to watch the entire race from start to finish. Track cycling is divided into two main events: the Main Sprint Events and the Main Endurance Events. The Main Sprint Events consist of sprint, team sprint, keirin, and track time trial, while the Main Endurance Events include individual pursuit, team pursuit, scratch race, points race, Madison, omnium, handicap, and miss and out.
A well-known track cyclist is Victoria Pendleton. She has nine world titles under her belt, and once represented England and Great Britain in international competition. She used to be an Olympic, European, and Commonwealth champion. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she attained a gold medal in keirin, and a silver medal in the sprint.
Another known form of competitive cycling is BMX, or bicycle motocross. Like most other cycling races, cyclists must ride through an off-road, single-lap race track purposely built for the event. Up to 8 cyclists can participate, and the route they have to take are made up of a number of jumps and rollers before they reach the finish line.
BMX became part of the Summer Olympics in 2008. Maris Strombergs from Latvia scored a gold medal in the men’s event, while Anne-Caroline Chausson made France proud in her winning the gold in the women’s event.
Cycle speedway entails cyclists to ride around a short, oval dirt track, which range from 70 to 90 meters long. There are ordinarily four riders on brake-less bikes, going head-to-head with one another.
In order to participate in competitive cycling, you, of course, need to own a bicycle. However, different types of cycling events call for different types of bicycles.
For road cycling competitions such as the Tour, road bikes are typically used. The quality of a road bike is judged based on its weight and stiffness. These two factors determine how efficient the transfer of energy is from the cyclist’s pedal strokes to the wheels of the bike. The handlebars are mostly placed lower than the saddle, forcing cyclists to bend over into a more aerodynamic position, thus enabling them to move faster against the wind.
Cyclo-cross bikes are quite similar to road bikes. The main distinctions lie in the shape of the bike’s frame, and the size of the tires. The tires are bigger to accommodate for the change of terrain during cyclo-cross racing.
When it comes to MTB racing, special bikes known as mountain bikes are utilized. These bikes are designed specifically for rough terrains. Unlike a regular bike, the mountain bike has suspensions on its frame and fork, bigger knobby tires, sturdier wheels, stronger brakes, and lower gear ratios to enable the cyclist to ride through slippery slopes.
Track bicycles are built to race in a velodrome. Therefore, they have only one gear and do not possess freewheels or brakes. The tires are slim and are filled with high air pressure in order to minimize the friction on the surface of the velodrome.
BMX bikes are pretty similar to mountain bikes. A BMXbike can be easily identified by its typical 20-inch knobby tires, durable yet lightweight frame, and having a single gear. Due to its one and only gear, BMX cyclists can pedal in several directions. Hence, cyclists are able to perform stunts, tricks, and jumps with ease.
Like BMXbikes and track bikes, cycle speedway bikes are generally lightweight with a single gear. As I’ve mentioned before, a cycle speedway bike also has no brakes, but it does come with a free wheel.
You don’t really require special attire in order to enjoy cycling as a sport, but if you plan to spend hours on the bike for an extended period of time, you do need to don some cycling apparel.
Commonly, cyclists use skintight spandex shorts with padding in them. They may look strange, but they do offer comfort and function for the cyclist. The padding helps to minimize injury in the crotch area from sitting on a hard saddle for a prolonged period. The tight spandex allow cyclists to pedal with a full range of motion and helps reduce wind resistance.
Bike jerseys are not without their disadvantages too. They are usually created with form-fitting, sweat-wicking fabrics that enables cyclists to ride with comfort.
Of course, you cannot call yourself a cyclist unless you have a pair of cycling shoes. These shoes have cleats on them that fit onto the pedals, so you won’t have to worry about your feet sliding off the pedal while you’re cycling. They also have stiff soles to help the cyclists generate more power over the pedal.
Whether you cycle for fun or for sport, it is quite clear that riding a bike is something that anyone can do anywhere, at any time. As a fan of cycling myself, I can tell you that there is nothing quite as good as feeling the freedom of the wind on your face, and the adrenaline rush as you go handlebar to handlebar with your rival. The sore legs you experience the next day is all worth it.
A year ago, I was watching The Expendables 3 and feeling, honestly, a little bored, when a woman with a red dress entered the scene. She had long, blonde hair, and was wearing a pair of glasses. Aside from the fact that she was built a little bigger – and, should I say, more buff – than the average female Hollywood star, she looked quite ordinary. Sylvester Stallone and the other guy (they were in the scene with her) introduced the interesting lady as Luna.
What really caught my attention was what happened less than a minute later. A few people started fighting nearby, so Luna excused herself from the two gentlemen she was with, and headed towards the hubbub. Cracking her knuckles as she walked, and with a playful smirk on her face, she soon reached the troublemakers, grabbed one by the hair, and started throwing punches here and there.
Needless to say, I was wowed.
Of all the female action stars I’ve ever seen, in all of the movies I’ve ever watched, that lady was purely a badass.
Upon reaching home, I started doing a little reading on the mysterious and thrilling character. She was Ronda Rousey, and American Mixed Martial Artist. And that was how I came to know the sport.
If you Google the term ‘mixed martial arts’, it is accurately defined as ‘an extreme combat sport in which contestants are permitted to use the fighting techniques of wrestling and boxing but also those of martial arts such as kickboxing, judo and karate’. In short, you can fight in whichever (legal) way you like in order to win. No gloves, no helmets, no weapons – just your bare hands, your guts, and your will to win.
Mixed Martial Arts – or simply MMA for short – originated in ancient Greece. It was even featured in the Olympics back then, though under a different name. At that time, this sport was referred to as pankration, from the Greek words pan and kratos, which meant ‘all powers’. Competitors in pankration engage in hand-to-hand combat, and they enter the ring with only two rules in mind: no biting or eye gouging was allowed. The sport rose in popularity, and champions of the sport emerge as heroes and even became subjects of legends.
Thanks to Alexander the Great, pankration soon spread to India. See, Alexander the Great had a tendency to enlist athletes as his soldiers. He believed that the athletes could be useful for him, due to their stamina and combat skills. A Buddhist monk, who was also in India at the time, picked up bits and pieces of pankration and brought it back with him to China. As word began to spread about the sport, people around the globe started creating their own styles and versions of pankration, thus leading to the birth of several martial arts techniques – each with its own characteristic – such as judo, karate, kung fu, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
As martial increased in popularity, the concept of mixed-style competitions did as well. This was due to one expert in a martial arts style challenging an expert in another martial arts style, just to see which style was better. These competitions occurred for several decades around the world, until it reached the United States, where it became immensely popular.
Those taking part in these competitions soon realized that, in order to come out as a champion, they could not rely on only one type of fighting technique. So, they began learning other fighting styles to get an edge in the competition. From that point on, the competitive sport that is Mixed Martial Arts was born.
The rules of MMA may differ from one fighting organization to another. However, there are some basics that remain unchanged.
First and foremost, you are required to fight in your own weight class. If you weigh 100 lbs., you will not be facing a giant of 200 lbs.
In general, the weight classifications for men are as follows:
Range of weight
Up to 125 lbs.
Over 125 lbs. to 135 lbs.
Over 135 lbs. to 145 lbs.
Over 145 lbs. to 155 lbs.
Over 155 lbs. to 170 lbs.
Over 170 lbs. to 185 lbs.
Over 185 lbs. to 205 lbs.
Over 205 lbs. to 265 lbs.
No weight limit
These are the weight classifications for the women:
Range of weight
There are, of course, more than one way to win the competition.
A fighter may win by:
Submission. This occurs when you manage to force your opponent to concede defeat. This is also known as ‘tapping out’.
Knockout (KO). When you successfully strike your opponent till he/she loses consciousness, you have achieved a knockout.
Technical submission. When your opponent is caught in a submission hold, and is unable to concede defeat on his/her own, and the referee has to step in to stop the fight.
Technical knockout (TKO). Also known as ‘referee stoppage’, this occurs when the referee has to step in because your opponent seems unlikely able to defend his/herself, or is getting a dangerous amount of damage from your strikes.
Judge’s decision. If the fight lasts all rounds, the three judges must decide who will come out the winner.
If you make more than 3 fouls, or if you foul your opponent to the point that he/she is unable to continue the fight, you are immediately disqualified.
No contest. This happens when you or your opponent is accidentally injured early in the fight and cannot continue any longer, and the judges are unable to decide the winner due to the insufficient number of rounds.
Although fights can be more fun to watch as they get more aggressive, some movements or actions are considered fouls. Fighters can find themselves penalized if they do any one of the following:
Spitting at the opponent
Downward-pointing elbow strikes
Strikes directly to the spine
Strikes directly to the back of the head
Strikes to the throat
Heel kicks to the kidney
Clawing, pinching, or twisting the flesh
Kicking the head when the opponent is on the ground
Kneeing the head when the opponent is on the ground
Stomping when the opponent is on the ground
Swearing or abusive language
Attacking an opponent in between rounds
Intentionally throwing the opponent out of the fighting area
Flagrant disregard of the referee’s instructions
Spiking an opponent’s head or neck
For over a decade, MMA has been growing traction as a sport. Of course, the sport would be nothing if there weren’t any exceptional fighters to root for.
As I’ve mentioned in the beginning, Ronda Rousey is pretty renowned. Her acting chops aside, she presently holds the title of the first and current UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion and the last Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion. In addition to that, she was the first US woman to win an Olympic medal in Judo during the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.
Cristiane Justino is another force to be reckoned with. This Brazilian fighter is previously Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Champion, and the current Invicta FC World Featherweight Champion. Before being discovered for her fighting skills, Cristiane was formerly a national-level team handball player in Brazil.
Another badass female fighter worth mentioning is Cat Zingano, who was the first woman to win a UFC fight by technical knockout. Zingano first fell in love with combat sports when she joined wrestling at 12 years old. As she grew older, she discovered Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a fighting technique she continues to use in her MMA fights.
Georges St-Pierre is often cited as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. He has won the Welterweight Champion of the UFC two times, and the Interim Welterweight Champion of the UFC once. His fighting style is a mixture of kyokushin, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling, boxing, and Muay Thai. He recently announced that he is taking some time off from fighting, though he is not counting out the possibility for return.
Another person who is frequently called one of the greatest MMA fighters is Anderson da Silva. He was the former UFC Middleweight Champion, but he still holds the title of the longest defense streak in UFC history. His striking ability is considered one of the best in MMA.
Russian-born Fedor Emelianenko has won MMA Pride Fighting Championships, FIAS World Combat Sambo Championship, and a bronze medal in the Russian Judo Federation National Championship. Out of a total of 39 fights in his career, he has only managed to lose 4 – 3 by knockout, and 1 by submission.
With the rise in popularity of MMA, there is no doubt that in the years to come, more and more fighters would emerge. Small and local MMA gyms are even starting to open, promising to train amateurs the basics of combat. And it is not unclear why people love MMA – the adrenaline rush we get from watching our favorite fighters duke it out in the cage is just priceless.
I was introduced to basketball at a very young age. My brother, who is 7 years my senior, worshipped Michael Jordan. He would put up posters of Jordan all over the house, drop hints about how happy he would be if someone would give him the latest Air Jordans for his birthday, and gush about his idol’s latest achievement. Day and night he would prattle on and on about how he would someday play for the NBA, and finally my father, possibly tired of my brother’s relentless ramblings, bought a basketball hoop and attached it to the wall atop our garage.
I was probably 5 back then, and watching my brother come home from school daily and practice shooting orange balls into the hoop set pretty high off the ground (I was very short as a child) gave me a rough idea of the sport.
The game of basketball was created by Dr. James Naismith, who was a Presbyterian minister, and a physical education teacher at the YMCA International Training School (now known as Springfield College) in the United States. One day, he was tasked to prepare an indoor game that was to be an ‘athletic distraction’ for the students at the School for Christian Workers. He tried and failed to modify outdoor games such as soccer and lacrosse to be played indoors. Then, he remembered a game played during his youth called ‘duck-on-a-rock’, which involved players to knock a ‘duck’ – which was placed on top of a large rock – by throwing smaller rocks at it. The game required accuracy and concentration, and so Dr. Naismith decided it would be a perfect fit for the students.
Dr. Naismith’s version of basketball differed greatly from the game that we know and love today. Originally, the game was played with a soccer ball, and participants of the game had to throw it into two peach baskets that still had their bottoms. The baskets were placed approximately 10 feet off the ground, and each time a score was made, players had to poke the basket with a long rod to get the ball out. Back then, the court was half the size of the courts today, and dribbling was disallowed.
The game was well-received, and it soon became an instant hit. In 1936, for the very first time, basketball was included in the Olympic Games.
Like all sports and games, basketball has its unique set of rules. First, let us cover the basics.
Basketball is a team sport. There are two teams in every game, and five players in every team. Basketball coaches also bring along five additional players in case anyone on the playing team gets injured or banned from resuming the game.
Each player is assigned his own role in the game. This role is usually established based on the player’s height. The tallest in the team plays the role of the ‘center’. The ones of medium height play the ‘forwards’ (‘small forward’ or ‘power forward’), and the shortest play the ‘guards’ (‘point guard’ or ‘shooting guard’).
The team that has the ball is referred to as the ‘offensive team’, while the other is called the ‘defensive team’.
Scores are awarded when a player manages to throw a ball into and through the basket. Different scores are awarded depending on where the shooter was when he made the shot. If he was outside the three-point line, the team would be awarded 3 points. If not, the shot would be worth 2 points. If a player shoots from the free throw line, his team would only be awarded 1 point.
There are, of course, several things to take note of to ensure one’s team does not make a ‘foul’. There are the ways to categorize a ‘foul’:
Personal foul. Any type of illegal physical contact is considered a personal foul. This can include any type of the following:
Illegal pick/screen – when a player intentionally sticks out a limb and makes physical contact with a player from the opposing team to block the path of the opposing team’s player
Personal fouls are awarded penalties in the form of free throws.
This happens when a player is pushed or ran over by a player from the opposing team. The ball is given to the team to which the foul was committed.
This occurs when a player from the team did not position himself in time to prevent his opponent from throwing the ball, thus making illegal personal contact.
Flagrant foul. A flagrant foul is violent contact with a player from the opposing team.
Intentional foul. An intentional foul is when a player makes physical contact with his opponent without a clear effort to steal the ball.
Technical foul. When a player (or even the coach of the team) uses foul language, obscenities, impolite gestures, or even argue, a technical foul has been committed.
If a player has committed 5 fouls, then he can no longer be part of the game and must leave the court immediately.
Basketball players should also know not to break the rules of the game, otherwise they would be committing a violation. These are some examples:
Walking/Traveling. The action of taking more than 2 step without dribbling the ball is called walking or traveling. This is not allowed in the game.
Carrying/Palming. This occurs when a player resumes dribbling after letting the ball lie in one or both hands. Players must also keep his hands atop the ball at all times.
Double dribble. A player that momentarily stops dribbling the ball before doing so again, or dribbling the ball with both hands, has committed a double dribble violation. It is similar to carrying/palming.
Held ball. A held ball is when players of opposing teams have their hands firmly on the ball. The referee then must determine to which team the ball belongs.
A defensive player is allowed to block the ball while it is making its way to the basket, and doing so is known as ‘goaltending’. However, an offensive player is prohibited from doing so.
Backcourt violation. When the offensive team has made its way across the mid-court line with the ball, they are not allowed to go back across the line (while they still have the ball). Otherwise, they would be committing a backcourt violation.
Time restrictions. Players are generally allowed to hold the ball for five seconds before having to pass it on to their teammates.
Of course, basketball would be nothing without its superstars popularizing the game.
As I’ve mentioned in the beginning, Michael Jordan – or MJ for short – is a celebrated basketball player. He played for 15 seasons in the NBA (National Basketball Association). From 1984 to 1993 and from 1995 to 1998, he played for the Chicago Bulls, before joining the Washington Wizards from 2001 to 2003. He has won the NBA championships six times, the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award six times (thus setting a record), the NBA Most Valuable Player Award five times, and was an NBA All-Star fourteen times. And these are just a few examples. Michael Jordan may be retired, but his legacy still lives on.
Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson Jr. is another basketball superstar. He was point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers and played in the NBA for 13 seasons. He managed to secure the NBA championships five times, the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award and the NBA Most Valuable Player award three times respectively, and became an NBA All-Star twelve times. Like Jordan, he is retired.
Kobe Bryant is also a household name, who is presently playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. So far, he has won the NBA championships five times, won the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player twice, the NBA Most Valuable Player once, and is a seventeen-time NBA All-Star.
Basketball is not a game created for the males. There are top female basketball players as well.
Maya Moore plays forward for the Minnesota Lynx. At 26 years of age, she has already won numerous awards and accolades. For example, in 2014, she won the WNBA (Women’s National basketball Association) Most Valuable Player award. She is a four-time WNBA All-Star, and won the WNBA All-Star Game MVP just this year.
Another female basketball player worth mentioning is Candace Parker (sister of former basketball player Anthony Parker). Like Maya Moore, she plays the position of forward. She has played for the Los Angeles Sparks since 2008. She was a two-time WNBA MVP, and a three-time WNBA All-Star, to say the least.
Without my brother’s nonstop ramblings about basketball and the antics of Bugs Bunny and gang in the hit movie Space Jam, I would probably never understand the appeal of the game. I would still probably think of it as a bunch of tall men or women fighting over an orange ball with a snakeskin-like texture. Now that I am able to understand the game a little better, I can see why basketball is one of the world’s most-played sport.
I remember the first time I plunged into a swimming pool. I was probably 8 or 9 years old, and I was well aware of how overweight I was. I feared that if I were to go inside the clear, blue, funny-smelling water, I would definitely die in it. And I thought that being chubby would drag me down to the bottom faster.
My best friend was already inside the swimming pool, urging me to come in. She told me that she would keep me safe, and would not let anything happen to me. Reassured, I dipped my toe into the pool. The cold water stung at me, and I removed my toe from the water. I could see my best friend getting impatient. I took a deep breath, silenced all the thoughts and fears rushing through my head, and jumped in.
It was, to say the least, surprisingly refreshing. As my feet landed at the bottom of the pool, I instinctively propelled myself back up to the surface. At the top, I gasped for air and my hands quickly searched for something to hold on to. My best friend took my hand and laughed at me.
Over time, as my confidence grew and my anxiety melted away, my best friend taught me the basics of swimming.
There is, of course, more to swimming than just playing around in the pool.
Since swimming is a day-to-day skill, it comes as no surprise that it dates back to the Stone Age. According to cave paintings, the primitive man used to swim in order to cross rivers and lakes. Swimming has even been mentioned in Greek mythology. However, swimming was not recognized as an organized sport until the 19th century.
The very first indoor swimming pool became open to the public in 1828 in England. Then, in 1837, the National Swimming Society started organizing swimming competitions. Back then, the swimmers generally used the breaststroke (or something similar to it) to swim. In 1844, two Native Americans participated in one of the swimming competitions and introduced a new style of swimming to the English crowd. An English swimmer named Sir John Arthur Trudgen took note of the Native Americans’ unique swimming style and developed it into what we know today as the trudgen or the racing stroke – regarded as one of the most powerful strokes to use today.
Swimming was first introduced in the Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens. The Olympic events were freestyle in the beginning, until the backstroke was added in 1900. In 1912, women’s swimming was added to the Games.
During the 1940s, breaststroke swimmers found out that they were able to speed up if they bring both arms over their heads. This was immediately prohibited in breaststroke swimming, but this practice created the butterfly stroke (which would later be included in the Olympic Games in 1956). Today, four major strokes are mainly used in competitive swimming – freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly.
The rules of competitive swimming are pretty simple and straightforward. In the Olympics, the pool must measure 50 meters long, 25 meters wide, and 2 meters deep. The pool is divided into ten lanes labelled zero to nine or one to ten; the first and the last lanes are usually left empty in the semi-finals and finals. Each lane must be 2.5 meters wide. There are electronic timer pads positioned underwater to record the swimmers’ times.
There are a number of officials that preside over Olympic swimming. There is one referee to manage the entire procedure. There are four stroke judges to look for abnormalities in the strokes used by the swimmers. There are two race-start officials, two lead-turn officials, and two turn inspectors to make sure each swimmer touches the wall and turns correctly.
Competitive swimmers normally equip themselves with goggles, swimming caps, and swimsuits. However, certain types of swimsuits are banned from the Olympics. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, some swimmers wore polyurethane and neoprene suits that helped them win the races and even broke records. These suits were found to repel water and helped bodies stay afloat. Now, only suits made mainly from woven fabric were allowed. Men’s suits were only allowed to reach from the waist to the knees; women’s suits could extend from the chest to the knees.
According to FINA (Fédération internationale de natation) – the governing body of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming, and open water swimming – competitive swimmers are prohibited from certain actions. They are not allowed to pull on the lane line to drive themselves forward. They cannot walk along the bottom of the pool while the race is in progress. Any floatation or propulsion devices are disallowed, therefore swim fins, webbed gloves, or hand paddles cannot be used. Of course, swimmers must finish in the same lane in which they began.
You can’t think of Olympic swimming without thinking of Michael Phelps. This 30-year-old American has won a total of 22 medals, 18 of which are gold. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he obtained 8 gold medals, thus breaking the record of the most first-place finishes at any single Olympic Games. His many feats and achievements both inside and outside the Olympics has earned him the Swimming World magazine’s Swimmer of the Year Award seven times, the American Swimmer of the Year Award nine times, and the FINA Swimmer of the Year Award. Sports Illustrated magazine even named him the Sportsman of the Year in 2008.
Like Michael Phelps, Australian Ian Thorpe is another well-known swimmer from the Olympics. So far, he has won 5 Olympic gold medals, and was the most successful athlete in the 2000 Summer Olympics (having won three gold and two silver medals). He was the first person to win Swimming World’s Swimmer of the Year award four times, and was Australian Swimmer of the Year for four years. He was also presented with Medal of the Order of Australia for service to sport in 2001.
Mark Spitz – also known as ‘Mark the Shark’ – is considered the greatest swimmer in history. He has 9 Olympic gold medals. In the 1972 Munich Olympics (where he won 7 gold medals), he broke world records in all seven events he participated in. During his career as a competitive swimmer, he set 35 new world records. Swimming World named him Swimmer of the Year three times.
Eight-time Olympic gold medallist Jennifer Elisabeth Thompson is another decorated Olympic athlete. She has a total of twelve medals which she won in 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympics. In 1993 and 1998, she was named USA Swimming’s Swimmer of the Year, Swimming World’s Female World Swimmer of the Year in 1998, Women’s Sports Foundation’s Athlete of the Year in 2000, and the Female American Swimmer of the Year in 1993, 1998 and 1999. Sports Illustrated ranked her as the 62nd Greatest Female Athlete of All Time in 1999.
The first woman to win six gold medals at a single Olympic games is Kristin Otto from Germany, which she did in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. She also managed to set world records in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke, and 100m butterfly events. Swimming World named awarded her Female World Swimmer of the Year three times.
Swimming may not look like a tough sport, but athletes who do compete in it need to be in physically fit condition. Swimming not only trains one’s cardiovascular fitness, but also one’s strength. Believe me, wading in water takes up a lot of power.