Boxing is a prestigious sport with an ancient history, its roots dating back to ancient Egypt around 3000BC, and was adopted by the Greeks in the late 7th century. In those days, boxers fought without ropes, corners or rounds, with boxers who proved their endurance and courage being highly regarded in Greek society.
It’s believed that Scandinavians were the first to develop the ice skate. Archaeological records found in the region have documented primitive forms of ice skates which used animal bones attached to the boot to function as the blades.
Tennis is a game that most of us would have encountered at some point in our lives. It’s a sport in which two opposing players, or a pair of players use rackets to hit a ball over a net. Points are awarded when your opponent fails to return the ball within a defined set of boundaries.
For some, surfing is a serious sport, for others, just a way to relax and unwind on the beach. There’s always been a certain mystique around surfing and when you start to dig a little deeper you discover that surfing has a rich and deep history that dates back thousands of years.
Karate is a modernized version of an ancient Chinese art known as Kung Fu, however the martial art greatly advanced in Okinawa around the late 17th century, when a ban of weapons was imposed on the Japanese samurai. The Japanese word “karate” means “empty handed” and it is an apt description for this martial art as training by early masters had to be done in secret as weapons could no longer be carried on the island. Self-defense had shifted to being based on empty handed techniques. Watching Tom Cruise’s movie, The Last samurai helps explain the forces behind the demise of the samurai and what led to the ban.
While it might seem that Skateboarding is a fairly modern action sport, skateboarding has now been around for quite a while. While the origin of the first skateboard has never been proven, the appearance of skateboards seemed to spontaneously show up on Californian streets in the early 1950s. Just one day a multitude of wooden boards with roller skate wheels slapped on the bottom appeared with the pioneers deciding it was more fun to surf concrete than waves.
While it’s agreed that the modern game of football started in England in the 12th century, similar games were played by cultures around the world well before that.
Even the cheetah, the most perfectly crafted running machine on earth, can only run about 1.5 miles before overheating. Yet today’s fastest Olympic marathoners could only be beaten by a handful of earths animals in that long distance. Today however, running has been embraced by humans all over the world, some for fun, some for fitness and others to push the limits of the human body’s capabilities.
What began so many years ago as a way of transport in Egypt and other parts of Europe has become one of the great competitive sports in human history. As a sport, the origins date back to the 17th century in England from the Oxford-Cambridge university boat races. Today, rowers compete against each other individually or in teams in races all around the world.
In a city that seems eternally on time where tradition meets technology, they are as good as ready for the biggest Olympic Games yet.