One of the earliest pieces of evidence for sports is a 4,000-year-old painting in an ancient Egyptian burial chamber that depicts a montage of wrestling moves.
The increase in muscle mass as a result of bodybuilding is known to science as muscle hypertrophy.
It has been more than 50 years since male runner Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute-mile barrier, but a woman has yet to accomplish that feat. Russian Svetlana Masterkova has come the closest, running a mile in 4:12.56 in 1996.
Recent findings have suggested that the rules of modern basketball were influenced by a game called “Duck on a Rock,” played by children in medieval times. It involved the guarding of a large stone from a barrage of smaller stones thrown by other players trying to knock the large stone off its pedestal.
Fishing goes back to at least the late Stone Age. Isotopic analysis of the 40,000-year-old remains of China’s Tianyuan Man revealed evidence that his diet included freshwater fish.
Possibly the largest playing field in the history of sports, goals in the ancient Native American games of lacrosse were sometimes several miles apart.
In the weightless environment of space, muscles atrophy and bones weaken, thus astronauts are required to exercise two hours a day on treadmills and ergometers.
One of the earliest exercise machines was called the “Gymnasticon” and was invented in 1796 by medical electricity expert Francis Lowndes. It greatly resembled the modern exercise bike, utilizing flywheels and foot pedals to manipulate the body’s joints.
The first car race was supposed to be held on April 28, 1887, in a 2 km course from Neuilly Bridge to the Bois de Boulogne in the Parisian suburbs. Only one car showed up—a creation of French engineer Georges Bouton and nobleman Albert,
the Comte de Dion.
The first horse race in North America took place on a track built on the Hempstead Plains in 1665. It was supervised by Richard Nicolls, the first British colonial governor of New York.
Boccia is a sport designed specifically for those in wheelchairs. The goal: Propel leather balls toward a target ball using the hands, feet or if one’s disability prevents the use of limbs, a ramp or other device attached to the wheelchair.
It is surprising that heat stroke wasn’t a bane of baseball players in summer from the 1840s to the 1960s—the period when most baseball uniforms were 100% wool flannel.
The 10 events in a modern decathlon—Day 1: 100 meter sprint, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400 meter sprint. Day 2: 110 meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, 1,500 meter run.