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SPORTS AND GAMES

The best way, how people can keep theirselves in good condition,
look healthy, feel very good, have enough energy to work or
study, is to practice some sports and games. Sport is also
certain symbol of peace and friendship among people of all
countries and nations. The Olympic games are some "holiday of
peace".
Sport gives people enjoyment, happiness, friendship, health,
popularity, the feeling of victory, possible money and power, but
on the other hand it may also be boring, cause sadness, sorrow,
injuries and, in some causes even death.
Sport is a very old activity. The physical activities that
held first place among primitive people were activities of
warlike nature and of hunting. In time of peace they were
practised as a dance and recreational pastimes. The ancient
Greeks admired the beauty of the human body and harmony of body,
and the Romans, principally a militaristic nation, who prefered
military and gladiatorial games and professional exhibitions. The
Middle Ages were famous for their tournaments with knights or
religious festivals occuring on the great feast days of the
church, which offered the people a certain amount of recreation.
Sports can be generally divided into indoor and outdoor sports.
Indoor sports can be practised all the year round (typical indoor
sport is gymnastic). Many of outdoor sports (athletics) depend on
weather and therefore can be practised mostly in summer. Typical
summer sports are athletics sports, cycling race, sailing,
yachting, water skiing, wind-surfing and swimming. Typical winter
sports are skiing, skating, snow-boarding and tobogganing. Skiers
can practise giant slalom, downhill race or ski jumps in ski
resorts, where there are good snow conditions. Figure skating and
speed skating are practised on skating-rinks. Snow-boarding
belongs to the new sports, and it is very popular among young
people. An atypical division of sport is into two major groups:
team and individual sports. Team sports (games) are those sports
in which at least two players are involved. The most popular
games are football, american football, basketball, volleyball,
rugby, cricket, golf, baseball, water polo and ice-hockey.
Some sports:

ICE-HOCKEY is a fast and wild game and very popular. There are
three twenty-minute periods. Every minute is full of action. Two
groups of 6 players hit the small flat puck across the ice with
their sticks. The aim of the game is to score as many goals as
possible.

FOOTBALL is one of the most favorite sports in the Slovakia. It
is played by two teams of 11 players and this game takes 90
minutes with a break in the middle of this time. The aim of this
game is to get the ball into opponent's net.

GOLF is a famous English and American outdoor game that isn't
very famous in our country. Golf is played by one, two or three
persons or two pairs. The object is to hit the ball into each of
the eighteen holes in as few strokes as possible.

SKIING events are divided into Nordic events and Alpine events.

Nordic events are:
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING is the sport of skiing for pleasure across
the country side, usually long distance running over various
terrain. A very popular activity is ski touring, as opposed to
downhill skiing.
SKI JUMPING is a competitive event in which individuals jump for
distance after skiing down along, sloping hill. The most common
distances in international competition are 70 m and 90 m from the
point of take-off to the nearest likely landing point.
BIATHLON combines cross-country skiing with shooting.

Alpine events are:
RACING DOWNHILL - the athlete seeks for the fastest direct route
down the slope.
SLALOM - race in which the skier must pass between pairs of poles
set in various combinations.

COMPETITIVE FIGURE SKATING consists of single skating for men and
women, pairs and there is ice dancing there too.

(The next Winter Olympic Games will be in Sydney - Australia)

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