Sports have a deep cultural and psychological significance. As a result, emotions are an essential component of the experience. They reflect the athletes’ self-evaluation of their performances and their perception of the evaluations of others. These feelings can be experienced before, during, and after a performance. In addition, there are many rules and subcultures surrounding sport that help athletes and fans manage their feelings. For example, appropriate behavior may be required during the national anthem or during the postgame celebration of a team victory.
Sports have become popular as global cultural symbols. In the early 20th century, sports coverage began to take over the daily press. Even the august New York Times produced sports sections spanning multiple pages. Eventually, newspapers dedicated to sports coverage emerged in many countries, including France. L’Equipe is one such publication, tracing its origins to the early 20th century.
While no one knows exactly when sport first began, we do know that children have included it in their play. As adults, sports began to take on a more serious role as autotelic physical contests. Prehistoric art depicts hunters chasing prey with abandon. These ancestors considered sport to be an art form, and ancient cultures eventually became obsessed with competing and observing it.
Many activities are considered sports, including golf, cheerleading, fishing, dancing, and motor sports. Almost every culture has its own definition of what constitutes a sport. Some activities are borderline or debatable, but for the most part, sports are defined as “physical contests between humans.” Whether an activity is a sport or not, it is important to know what it is.