The role of mass media in sports has become increasingly important. Not only do media organizations help to promote and commercialize sports, but they also serve as important tools in the process of sports development. They can also generate interest among spectators and sponsors. In the United States alone, over a half-billion television viewers watch the Olympic Games each year.
The origins of sports are not fully understood, but children have always included them in their play. As people grew older, sports became more structured and specialized into autotelic physical contests. Prehistoric art depicts hunters pursuing their prey with glee. It is thought that these early civilizations made hunting a goal in itself. In addition, there was a societal shift from the practice of hunting as a means of survival to a goal that was ultimately achieved.
The development of sports has been influenced by the globalization of economies and politics. As a result, sports have become more popular around the world. Although the former Soviet bloc dominated the sporting world, today it is the U.S. that dominates in many countries. As a result, sports such as basketball and volleyball have become worldwide sports.
In the twentieth century, sports also grew as a social phenomenon, and became a form of “patriot games.” These games were used to define national identities, and they were often used as a way to create a sense of nationalism. Similarly, women started to compete in some sports. As a result, the development of sport as a social movement has influenced the development of national identities and relationships.