Sport is a form of physical activity that involves two or more people competing against each other. It is usually governed by a set of rules and customs to ensure fair competition and consistent adjudication of the winner. In some cases, physical events determine the winner, while in others, judges score the elements of a sporting performance.
The world of sports is increasingly global. Transnational corporations are actively engaged in marketing every kind of product to the broadest audience possible. The result is that sports have become an industry that targets every imaginable consumer. In a globalized world, sports are not just sources of pleasure, but symbols of power, prestige, and distinction.
The development of modern sports and physical education can be traced to developments in the 18th and 19th centuries in Germany and Sweden. Johann Christoph Friedrich Guts Muths and Per Henrik Ling developed gymnastic exercise systems in Sweden and Germany, and they were adapted by school systems in Britain, the United States, and Japan. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, gymnastics took off in eastern Europe. In some areas, the sport became a way of life for repressed ethnic peoples, and gymnastic festivals were grand events filled with nationalistic fervor.
While sports have long been a part of human culture, they have different meanings in each culture. In most cases, they serve to foster social interaction, physical fitness, and community. Furthermore, they serve as a way to enhance a person’s self-esteem.