Sports are physical contests for the purpose of achieving goals.
They are a great source of entertainment and can be an important part of life. They also provide many employment opportunities for people and help them develop a healthy lifestyle.
Throughout history sports have reflected shifting power balances, both within and between cultures. These dynamics have had unintended consequences.
Europe and North America have been hegemonic in the global realm of sports, with their elites dominating sports structures, organizations, and ideologies. However, non-Western cultures have resisted and reinterpreted Western sports and maintained, fostered, and promoted on a global scale their own indigenous recreational pursuits.
The globalization of sports is a complex, multidirectional process that reflects the shifting eddies in the broader flows of people, technology, finance, images, and ideas that have shaped contemporary societies. These processes have been accompanied by a shift in the hegemonic status of Western countries, which are now viewed as less powerful than they once were.
Sports are often regarded as an expression of national identity, invoking the qualities of valour, grace, and steadfastness. This identification is often rooted in emotions, which can be influenced by a sense of cultural legacy and past glories or travesties.