Throughout history, sports have been used to define and represent national identities. In the 20th century, sports also played a role in globalization. As a result, the international order has remained intact after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
During the 15th and 16th centuries, an important shift occurred in the semantics of sports. Rather than being competitions between people, ball games were more of a ritual performance. The elites of the time delighted in geometric patterns of movement.
After the emergence of modern sport in the late 17th century, athletes became quantified and trained to achieve the maximum possible physical performance. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, gymnastics dominated Eastern Europe. It was also adopted by school systems in Germany and Sweden. In the United States, James Naismith invented basketball.
As a result, athletics became a prestigious sign of national identity. In addition to representing the national identity of an individual or a nation, sports contribute to the creation of traditions and social identity. In noncore nations, regularly recurring sports festivals have been used to solidify and enhance identity.
As a result, the sport world has become a complex network of interdependencies. The more powerful nations provide stiffer competition, better training facilities, and financial rewards. However, many poorer nations have been unable to allocate the economic resources required for athletics. They have therefore been forced to turn to sports scientists from Western countries.
The rise of the sport has been influenced by the globalization of economies. Today, nearly all sports federations are located in the West.