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Portal:Sports

Introduction

Sport in childhood. Association football, shown above, is a team sport which also provides opportunities to nurture physical fitness and social interaction skills.

Sport includes all forms of competitive physical activity or games which, through casual or organised participation, at least in part aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, and in some cases, entertainment for spectators. Hundreds of sports exist, from those between single contestants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals. In certain sports such as racing, many contestants may compete, simultaneously or consecutively, with one winner; in others, the contest (a match) is between two sides, each attempting to exceed the other. Some sports allow a "tie" or "draw", in which there is no single winner; others provide tie-breaking methods to ensure one winner and one loser. A number of contests may be arranged in a tournament producing a champion. Many sports leagues make an annual champion by arranging games in a regular sports season, followed in some cases by playoffs.

Sport is generally recognised as system of activities which are based in physical athleticism or physical dexterity, with the largest major competitions such as the Olympic Games admitting only sports meeting this definition, and other organisations such as the Council of Europe using definitions precluding activities without a physical element from classification as sports. However, a number of competitive, but non-physical, activities claim recognition as mind sports. The International Olympic Committee (through ARISF) recognises both chess and bridge as bona fide sports, and SportAccord, the international sports federation association, recognises five non-physical sports: bridge, chess, draughts (checkers), Go and xiangqi, and limits the number of mind games which can be admitted as sports.

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Program cover from the game between the Jets and Raiders
The Heidi Game or Heidi Bowl was an American football game played on November 17, 1968. The home team, the Oakland Raiders, defeated the New York Jets, 43–32. The game is remembered for its exciting finish, as Oakland scored two touchdowns in the final minute to overcome a 32–29 New York lead. The Heidi Game obtained its name because the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) controversially broke away from the game with the Jets still winning to air the television film Heidi at 7 p.m. in the Eastern Time Zone.

In the late 1960s, few professional football games took longer than two and a half hours to play, and the Jets–Raiders three-hour television time slot was thought to be adequate. A high-scoring contest, together with a number of injuries and penalties for the two bitter American Football League rivals, caused the game to run long. NBC executives had ordered that Heidi must begin on time, but given the exciting game, they decided to postpone the start of the film and continue football coverage. As 7 p.m. approached, many members of the public called NBC to inquire about the schedule, to complain or opine, jamming NBC's switchboards. As NBC executives were trying to call the same switchboards to implement their decision, the change could not be communicated, and Heidi began as scheduled. The movie preempted the final moments of the game in the eastern half of the country, to the outrage of viewers who missed two Oakland touchdowns that turned the game around.

The Heidi Game led to a change in the way professional football is shown on network television; games are shown to their conclusion before evening programming begins. Special telephones were also installed, with a connection to a different telephone exchange from other network phones. In 1997, the Heidi Game was voted the most memorable regular season game in pro football history.

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Ricardo Dominguez throws an uppercut on Rafael Ortiz
Credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo/Wayne Short; editing by Shawnc

Ricardo Dominguez, left, throws an uppercut on Rafael Ortiz in a boxing match

Selected athlete

Jacques Plante in 1948 with the Citadelles Québec Hockey Team
Joseph Jacques Omer Plante (January 17, 1929 – February 27, 1986) was a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender. During a career lasting from 1947–1975, he was considered to be one of the most important innovators in hockey. He played for the Montreal Canadiens from 1953 to 1963; during his tenure, the team won the Stanley Cup six times, including five consecutive wins.

Plante retired in 1965 but was persuaded to return to the National Hockey League to play for the expansion St. Louis Blues in 1968. He was later traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1970 and to the Boston Bruins in 1973. He joined the World Hockey Association as coach and general manager for the Quebec Nordiques in 1973–74. He then played goal for the Edmonton Oilers in 1974–75, ending his professional career with that team. Plante also wrote extensively on hockey. He wrote hockey columns starting early in his career and was published in La Voix de Shawinigan, Le Samedi, and Sport Magazine. He alienated local reporters by writing a column for the local paper during his time as coach of the Quebec Nordiques. His seminal work, Goaltending, was published in 1972 in English, with the French edition (entitled Devant le filet) published in 1973. His reputation as a teacher spread, and he traveled to Sweden in 1972 at the invitation of the Swedish Hockey Federation, teaching the top goaltenders in the country and their coaches and trainers.

Plante was the first NHL goaltender to wear a goaltender mask in regulation play on a regular basis. He developed and tested many versions of the mask (including the forerunner of today's mask/helmet combination) with the assistance of other experts. Plante was the first NHL goaltender to regularly play the puck outside his crease in support of his team's defencemen, and he often instructed his teammates from behind the play.

Plante was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1978, was chosen as the goaltender of the Canadiens' "dream team" in 1985, and was inducted into the Quebec Sports Pantheon in 1994. The Montreal Canadiens retired Plante's jersey, #1, the following year.

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Selected team

Liverpool players before a Europa League qualifying match
Liverpool Football Club is an English Premier League football club based in Liverpool. The club has won eighteen League titles, seven FA Cups and a record eight League Cups. Liverpool has won more European titles than any other English club, having won five European Cups, three UEFA Cups and three UEFA Super Cups. Liverpool has long-standing rivalries with neighbours Everton and with Manchester United. The club's anthem is "You'll Never Walk Alone".

Liverpool was founded in 1892 and joined the Football League the following year. The club has played at Anfield since its formation. Liverpool reached its first FA Cup Final in 1914, losing 1–0 to Burnley It won consecutive League championships in 1922 and 1923, but did not win another trophy until the 1946–47 season, when the club won the First Division for a fifth time. The club was relegated to the Second Division in the 1953–54 season. The club was promoted back into the First Division in 1962 and won it in 1964, for the first time in 17 years. In 1965, the club won its first FA Cup. In 1966, the club won the First Division but lost to Borussia Dortmund in the European Cup Winners' Cup final. Liverpool won both the League and the UEFA Cup during the 1972–73 season, and the FA Cup again a year later. The most successful period in Liverpool's history was the 1970s and '80s when Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley led the club to eleven league titles and seven European trophies.

The club's supporters have been involved in two major tragedies. The first was the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985 in which charging Liverpool fans caused a wall to collapse, killing 39 Juventus supporters. In the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives in a crush against perimeter fencing. The incident remains the worst stadium-related disaster in British history and one of the world's worst football disasters.

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Alexander Ovechkin in 2008
You can't just stand and say to yourself, 'OK, right now I'm the best. That's it. No more working.' If you're a good player you have to be working harder and harder. This is not just my goal, it's my team goal. We can improve more and we can probably be even better than last year. My dream is to be the best.     

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Athletes march during the opening ceremony of the 2011 Southeast Asian Games

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