Sport and recreation in the United States — страница 5

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and local participatory sports on a substantial scale go back only to the late 19th century. Schools and colleges began to encourage athletics as part of a balanced program emphasizing physical as well as mental vigor, and churches began to loosen strictures against leisure and physical pleasures. As work became more mechanized, more clerical, and less physical during the late 19th century, Americans became concerned with diet and exercise. With sedentary urban activities replacing rural life, Americans used sports and outdoor relaxation to balance lives that had become hurried and confined. Biking, tennis, and golf became popular for those who could afford them, while sandlot baseball and an early version of basketball became popular city activities. At the end of the 20th

century, Americans were taking part in individual sports of all kinds—jogging, bicycling, swimming, skiing, rock climbing, playing tennis, as well as more unusual sports such as bungee jumping, hang gliding, and wind surfing. During the whole history of the USA sport there was developing more and more.It attracted and even now attracts great numbers of the Americans of different ages, sexes and nationalities.As we can see, sport helps to prevent American teenagers from different pernicious habits and actions, to involve them in social work.Thanks to sport many people don’t suffer from various illneses and deseases. But althouth all that sounds so pleasant and encouraging, American sport has its disadvantages. Almoust all Americans believe that the impossible is possible. So

they always try to reach the top by all means and very often it leads to irretrievable consequences that may change the life not only of one person but the whole country. HE VARIETY OF AMERICAN SPORTS Professional sport The business of Sport Professional sports in the US comprise one of the largest business enterprises in the country. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent every year on everything from tickets to television contracts and players' salaries. The most popular team sports are football, basketball, and baseball. In recent years hockey has been increasing in popularity and some believe that if the National Hockey League (NHL) can rid itself of unnecessary fighting it will begin to challenge the other three in terms of spectator interest. The other great world team

sport, soccer, has had a difficult time in gaining a foothold. After a brief burst of success in the 1970s, professional soccer in the US has assumed a minor status in relation to the other major sports. Golf and tennis are the most popular individual professional sports. Businesses that aspire to national and international recognition are willing to spend tens of millions of dollars per year on sponsoring golf and tennis in order to have their names associated with these sports. It should be pointed out that only a few players at the top are able to achieve real wealth and fame and that many of the lesser players struggle hard to make ends meet. Boxing is a sport that has become increasingly controversial over the years as its dangers have become more and more apparent. It is

particularly disturbing to see one of the sport's greatest personalities, former heavy weight champion Muhammad Ali, struggle with the brain damage he has suffered from taking too many blows to the head. Nevertheless, the attraction of the sport appears to be irresistible to some, and efforts to make boxing safer or even to eliminate it altogether, have proven fruitless. Although the sports mentioned above receive the most attention from the news media, other sports such as car racing and horse racing are tremendously popular in the US. Motor sports are a whole world of their own. They include racing on oval tracks, both by stock cars, that is, cars driven on highways, and special Indy cars (named for the famous Indianapolis Speedway), sports car competitions, and quarter mile

sprints called drag races. In addition, there is all sorts of racing for motor cycles over dirt tracks, paved tracks, and obstacle courses with jumps. Just as in other sports, fans have their favorite drivers in motor sports who sometimes take on the status of folk heroes. The race car driver Richard Petty, who has recently retired is a good example of this. Most people are not aware that the sport with the largest number of spectators in the US is horse racing. This is largely because it is possible to gamble on horse races and there are so many different racing fixtures throughout the country. Other sports which are based on betting are harness racing, greyhound dog racing, and jai alai. Jai alai, pronounced "hi li," is a fast moving game from the Basque country of