The history of Sports in London
From Tournaments and Jousts to UEFA Champions League and the Olympic Games – The History of Sports in London stretches from the Middle Ages to Modern times. It is said that UK was the birthplace of modern sports, because UK played a very important role in creating the shape of some of the sports just as the world knows it today.
The practicing of sports was very popular at the royal courts and in London, as the capital of royalty, due to the fact that they had more leisure time than most people and the financial means to organize festive festivals and tournaments. The common people were spectators and they were allowed to play at the “upper class” challenges only at special occasions.
However, the sports were, as they are today, loved and practiced by everyone. It is said that the people from the Middle Ages have had many holidays, an estimation of eight weeks in every year, besides Sunday. Mostly, the sports they were practicing were based on the fighting skills of men (considered as a practice to fight for their King/Queen): archery, daggers, swords, axes. At that time, hunting was very popular, especially for the nobles. In time, the list of popular sports also included Stoolball – an ancestor of Cricket, Skittles – an ancestor of modern bowling, Horseshoes – throwing horseshoes at a target and Game Ball – football game.
As London was, in the past, the capital of the most exciting Royal festivities, and later on until today, the place of memorable moments which will readily come to the mind of the sport’s lovers: 1966 World Cup, the 2003 Rugby World Cup, the 2012 Olympics and the 2005 and 2010 Ashes success in cricket.
Soccer in London
In 2013, London hosted the UEFA Champions League’s final on Wembley Stadium, HA9. Stamford Bridge (Chelsea Stadium) and the Emirates (Arsenal Stadium) are two of the best known stadiums in London. Both of the teams are playing between the best opponents in Europe.
Tennis in London
If the question is asked, most of the people will tell you that the sport’s icon in London is Wimbledon. The single Grand Slam on grass count for ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Tournament and WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) Tournament is held in London every summer of every year. The event gathers tourists and English men ready to support their favourite. In 2013, the national supporters had the chance to see their compatriot, Andy Murray, taking the Wimbledon “crown” in the men single tournament.
Athletics is another English passion, and one of the national sports that has raised memorable athletes to the heroes’ pantheon. During the last years, Paula Radcliffe, the marathon queen, has joined this group as one of the greatest English athletes of all times.
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