While it is common for children and young adults to take part in sports, the impact of these physical contests on character, socialization, and more is not well understood. While some people become lifelong athletes, others may not continue to play sports. Ultimately, the process of sports socialization is highly dependent on the individuals involved, as well as their motivations and preferences. But, regardless of the individual’s motivations and preferences, the benefits of sports participation are many.
The Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991 resulted in the end of its sports isolation. The communist societies of eastern Europe then began dominating the Olympic Games. East Germany, with a population of only 16 million people, bested the United States by 15 times. This was possible because East German sports teams used banned substances and applied scientific methods. While the Soviet Union was defeated by the West in both of these matches, the result helped the Eastern Bloc nations demonstrate their cultural and national identity.
The development of modern sports dates back to the late seventeenth century. During the Restoration, the concept of a sports record first emerged. Puritans tried to drive traditional pastimes underground, but organized games emerged as an alternative to their prohibition. Marylebone Cricket Club, founded in 1787, helped develop cricket and rationalized competition. After World War II, the U.S. began dominating the sport, which became a worldwide phenomenon.