The simplest and most used approach is viewing sports as Olympic and non-Olympic sports. People with various physical or mental impairments compete in Paralympic sports. There is a list of so-called recognised sports, which means sports recognised by the IOC. When focusing on particular cultures, nations, regions or countries, we can mention national sports. There is an increasing number of sports that are called extreme sports.

Figure 3: Summer Olympics Pictograms

The Olympic sport is defined by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as follows:
An Olympic sport must be widely practised by men in at least 75 countries and on four continents, and by women in at least 40 countries and on three continents.

A discipline is a branch of an Olympic sport including one or more events. For example, Aquatics is an Olympic sport comprising four Olympic disciplines: swimming, diving, water polo, and synchronised swimming. One of swimming events is 100m breaststroke.

The events programme for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games held in Beijing (China) will list 28 sports (35 Olympic disciplines), and the Olympics will stage 302 events (165 men’s events, 127 women’s events, and 10 mixed events), which is one more than in Athens 2004. Nine new events will be held (e.g. two events from the new cycling discipline of BMX, women will compete in 3000m steeplechase, both men and women will compete in swimming marathon over 10km), some former events will be removed and some replaced or alternated.

The 2006 Winter Olympics held in Turin (Italy) featured 84 medal events in 15 disciplines grouped over 7 sports. Events that made Olympic debut in Turin included Mass start biathlon, Team sprint cross-country skiing, Snowboard cross and Team pursuit speed skating.

So called demonstration sports or events, which used to be introduced at the Olympics in the past, have not been held at any Olympics since 1992.

The Summer Paralympic Games currently stage 20 sports including four unique sports designed only for the disabled.

The Winter Paralympics include 4 sports. Some rules of common sports are modified and adjusted for the needs of athletes with disabilities.

Figure 4: Summer Olympics Pictograms

(the number of events to be contested in each sport is indicated in brackets)

Figure 5: Winter Olympics Pictograms

15 disciplines grouped over 7 sports (Skiing, Skating, Ice Hockey, Bobsleigh, Luge, Curling, Snowboarding)
(the number of events to be contested in each discipline is indicated in brackets)



In order to promote the Olympic Movement, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) may recognise as International Sports Federations (IFS) international non-governmental organisations administering one or several sports at world level and encompassing organisations administering such sports at national level. The current list includes:
Air Sports, Bandy, Billiard Sports, Boules, Bowling, Bridge, Chess, Dance Sport, Golf, Karate, Korfball, Life Saving, Motorcycle Racing, Mountaineering and Climbing, Netball, Orienteering, Pelote Basque, Polo, Power-boating, Racquetball, Roller Sports, Rugby, Squash, Surfing, Sumo, Tug of War, Underwater Sports, Water Skiing, Wushu.


An extreme sport (also called action sport, adventure sport, or adventurous sport) is any sport featuring speed, height, danger, a high level of physical exertion, highly specialized gear, or spectacular stunts. “True” extreme sports are referred to as leisure or recreation activities where the most likely outcome of a mismanaged accident or mistake is death. Another characteristic of activities so labelled is the fact that they tend to be individual rather than team sports. Extreme sports can include both competitive and non-competitive activities.

Extreme sports include e.g. aggressive skating, BMX freestyle, bodyboarding, bossaball, bouldering, buildering, bungee jumping, canyoning, cave diving, drag racing, extreme skiing (Flying Kilometer, Ski Alpinism), freediving, freestyle motocross, hang gliding, ice climbing, mountain biking, kite surfing, mountaineering, parachuting, rally, rock climbing, scuba diving, skateboarding, skydiving, slamball, spearfishing, street luge, stunt pogo, wakeboarding, water skiing, whitewater rafting, zorbing, etc.

The event called the X Games is an annual multi-sport event with a focus on action sports. Competitors perform in many different categories and styles, trying to win medals as well as prize money. The competitions often feature never-before-seen tricks. There is also the X Fest – ultimate action sports and music festival, and other events.


A national sport is a sport or game that is considered to be a popularly intrinsic part of the culture of a country or nation. In American English the term “national pastime” is often used. Although there are no official parameters towards defining what a national sport is, there are some general characteristics that most national sports share:

In some countries, a sport or game can become the official national sport by mandate of the Government, such as with Canada and lacrosse in 1995. In other countries, where a sport or game has a very long history or tradition, and often its origin as well, such as with baseball in the USA or sumo wrestling in Japan, the sport or game is often considered a de facto official national sport (pastime).

Examples of national sports in English speaking countries and in other countries

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: In England football is the most popular sport followed by cricket and rugby. In Scotland the native sport is shinty, but football attracts much larger crowds, Scotland was the birthplace of golf and curling as well. In Wales it is traditionally rugby union, but football is played by more people and attracts much higher attendances.

United States of America: baseball has historically been considered America’s national pastime and a significant aspect of American culture. However, American football currently enjoys greater popularity nationwide than baseball, while basketball is played by a lot of people.

Canada: lacrosse and ice hockey are the official national sports. Among other very popular sports there is basketball, baseball, golf, tennis, female soccer, or curling.

Australia: Cricket is the traditional summer sport. Football and rugby are the most popular winter sports in different parts of the country.

New Zealand: rugby union is most widely performed and most closely linked to national pride, netball is a very popular female sport, cricket is the national summer sport, yachting and sailing are also popular.

Czech Republic: ice hockey and football (soccer) are considered national sports, football tennis originated in the Czech land, hiking, canoe touring, cycling and skiing are very popular pastimes.

Ireland: soccer, golf, India: field hockey, cricket, Japan: sumo wrestling, karate, judo, Belgium: cycling, Ethiopia and Kenya: athletics, Argentina and Brazil: soccer, Spain: soccer, bullfighting, the Netherlands: speed skating, cycling, China: table tennis, Finland: ice hockey, ski jumping, Norway: skiing, Austria: Alpine skiing, Norway: cross-country skiing, France: soccer, pétanque, Hawaii: surfing, windsurfing, Alaska: dog-sledging, etc.

National sport number one in majority of countries worldwide is football (soccer).


Different sports can be grouped according to the use of similar physical activity, technique, equipment, environment or sport facility, highly specialized gear, etc.

Track and Field Athletics:

Gymnastics: general gymnastics, artistic gymnastics (apparatus gymnastics), rhythmic gymnastics, acrobatics, trampoline


Aquatics: swimming, diving, synchronised swimming, water polo

Water sports:

Cycling sports: road cycling, track cycling, cyclo-cross, mountain biking, cyclo-trial, BMX, indoor cycling (artistic cycling, cycleball)

Ski sports: Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing (cross-country skiing, ski jumping, biathlon, Nordic combined), Freestyle skiing, Snowboarding

Sports on the ice: figure skating, speed skating, short track, ice hockey, curling, bobsleigh, luge, skeleton

Technical sports:

Combat sports and Martial Arts: wrestling, boxing, judo, karate, taekwondo, kung fu, aikido, fencing, sumo

Outdoor sports: skiing, snowboarding, cycling, canoeing, rafting, windsurfing, climbing, orienteering, hiking

Equestrian: horse racing/ the turf, steeplechase, chariot races, show jumping, dressage, military

Combined sports: Modern Pentathlon (shooting, fencing, swimming, show jumping, cross-country run), Triathlon (swimming, cycling, cross-country run), Biathlon (cross-country skiing, shooting), Nordic Combined (cross-country skiing, ski jumping), etc.

READING (Authentic text)

Active aerobics, sports, and recreational activities are physical activity categories at the second level of the physical activity pyramid. They are effective in promoting health benefits, as well as developing fitness and enhancing performance.

Figure 6: Physical Activity Pyramid

Active aerobics are placed at the second level of the physical activity pyramid because, next to lifestyle physical activities, they are among the most popular activities among adults. They are more vigorous than lifestyle physical activities, at the base of the pyramid, and this is why they are generally not performed as frequently as lifestyle physical activities. Aerobic activities, such as walking, swimming, exercising with machines, cycling and jogging, are among the top fifteen participation activities in the United States. For many of the aerobic activities, the ranks for males and females are quite similar. There are some differences, however. Aerobic exercise (dance) is sixth for females but not ranked for males, and golf is sixth for males but not ranked for females.

Active recreational activities and sports done at moderate to vigorous intensity are included in the second level of the pyramid. Experts classify activities such as hiking, boating, fishing, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities as recreational. Recreational activities performed in the target zone for building cardiovascular fitness are considered to be active recreational activities and are appropriately included in the second level of the pyramid. Camping is an example and is among the top fifteen participation activities. It is equally popular among males and females. Other examples of popular active recreational activities are backpacking, kayaking, and canoeing.

Active sports can also be included in level 2 of the pyramid because they are vigorous. Basketball is the only active sport in the top fifteen participation activities. It is typically anaerobic and intermittent. Other aerobic sports include racquetball, tennis, soccer, and hockey. When done consistently with the FIT formula for cardiovascular fitness, these sports can provide benefits similar to those of active aerobics. Swimming and cycling are popular activities that can be considered sports. However, most people do these activities noncompetitively, so they are considered as active aerobics in this book.

Sports such as golf, bowling, and billiards/pool are aerobic but are light to moderate in intensity. For this reason, they are classified as lifestyle physical activities.

Table 1: Most Popular Participation Activities
(Source: National Sporting Goods Association)

Activity Rank Male Female
Walking 1 2 1
Swimming 2 3 2
Camping 3 4 4
Fishing 4 1 10
Exercising with machines 5 8 3
Bowling 6 7 5
Cycling 7 5 7
Billiards/Pool 8 9 8
Basketball 9 10 14
Golf 10 6 -
Hiking 11 13 9
Jogging 12 14 11
Aerobics (dance) 13 - 6
Boating 14 15 12
Resistance training 15 12 15
Hunting - 11 -
Rollerblading - - 13


CORBIN, CH., CORBIN, W., WELK, G., WELK, K.: Concepts of Physical Fitness. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, 2004. ISBN 0-07-284374-8
Listening comprehension

Olympic Games

Prosím, stáhněte si nejnovější Javu a Flash


  1. Who could compete at the Olympics?
  2. What about the women? Did they take part at the ancient Olympic Games?
  3. How were the athletes trained?
  4. What prizes did Olympic victors get?
  5. Were there any penalties for cheating?
  6. Where did the marathon come from?
  7. What does the Olympic spirit mean today?


apparatus nářadí
adjust přizpůsobit, seřídit
aerials akrobatické skoky na lyžích (disciplina)
aerobatics letecká akrobacie
air sports letecké sporty
approach přístup; rozběh
aquatics plavecké sporty
archery lukostřelba
artistic cycling krasojízda
bobsleigh boby
boccia sport pro postižené – obdoba hry Petángue
canoe touring vodní turistika
chariot races závody klusáků
climbing lezení
combat sports úpolové sporty
combat boj, zápas
cross-country skiing běh na lyžích
crowd diváci, dav
cycleball kolová (sport)
disability postižení
diving 1  skoky do vody, potápění
dog-sledging psí spřežení (závody)
downhill race závod ve sjezdu (na lyžích)
dressage drezura
equestrian jezdectví
event  1  událost, závod, disciplina
exertion vynaložení sil, úsilí
feature  rys, uvádět, hrát důležitou roli
fencing šerm
figure skating krasobruslení
flat water canoeing rychlostní kanoistika
focus on zaměřit se na
football tennis nohejbal
gear výstroj, výzbroj, vybavení, potřeby
giant slalom obří slalom
goalball hra pro nevidomé sportovce
half-pipe U rampa (snowboardová disciplina)
handball házená
hang-gliding létání na rogalovém křídle
horse racing dostihy
hurdles překážky (v atletice)
ice dancing tance na ledě
ice sledge hockey lední hokej pro postižené sedící na spec. saních
impairment postižení, defekt
indoor cycling sálová cyklistika
life saving záchranářství
luge, skeleton saně (olympijské discipliny)
military vojenský; jezdecká disciplina
moguls jízda v boulích (disciplina akrobatického lyžování))
mountaineering horolezectví
orienteering orientační běh
outcome výstup, výsledek
pole vault skok o tyči
power-boating závody motorových člunů
powerlifting vzpírání v leže pro postižené
prize money cena ve formě peněz
pursuit stíhací závod
recognise uznat
relay štafeta
road cycling silniční cyklistika
rowing veslování
sailing jachtink
scuba diving přístrojové potápění
sculling skulérské veslování
shooting střelba
shot put vrh koulí
show jumping parkůr
sled, sledge saně
speed skating rychlobruslení
stage s  etapa, v  uvádět
steeplechase běh přes překážky (v atletice a v jezdectví)
track cycling dráhová cyklistika
turf dostihy
stunt akrobatický prvek, trik
synchronised swimming akvabely; synchronisované plavání
underwater sports sporty pod vodou
weightlifting vzpírání
wheelchair vozíček (pro postižené)
whitewater canoeing kanoistika na divoké vodě
wrestling zápas (sport)

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