Many sports are popular in Russia. They are hockey, soccer, weightlifting, track-and-field, tennis, basketball, volleyball, boxing, figure-skating, cross-country skiing, swimming, shooting, and many others. All these sports have their strong supporters. Sporting activities are a part of daily life in Russia. Most Russians who grow up in the North, grow with outdoor winter sports and activities, such as skiing and skating.
Skating is a wide-spread activity. There are many skating rinks in the cities. People also skate on natural ice surfaces, such as frozen canals, lakes, ponds, and rivers. People of almost any age can enjoy ice skating as healthful and relaxing exercise. Skating is an important competitive sport as well as a popular form of recreation. Athletes compete in two kinds of ice skating – figure skating and speed skating. Figure-skaters perform leaps, spins, and other graceful movements, usually to music. Speed-skaters compete in races of various distances. Many young people and adults also play hockey, a fast, rugged sport.
Skiing is an extremely popular form of entertainment in Russia, especially in the North. It is also a major competitive sport. Cross – country skiing is the most popular form of skiing in this country. Cross-country skiing is hiking on skis over snow covered ground that is flat or slightly hilly. This activity is easy to learn, but it requires much physical endurance.
Bobsledding has become very popular today. It is a fast, dangerous winter sport in which teams of two or four men ride down a steep, icy course in steel and fiberglass sleds.
Fishing is extremely popular in all parts of Russia. People of all ages enjoy fishing in streams, rivers, lakes, bays, and oceans for many kinds offish. People who fish for sport are called «anglers». They enjoy the challenge of hooking and landing fish. Many anglers try to catch certain species offish. Some fish are especially prized for their beauty. Others are unusually strong or fast and fight hard to escape. Some species are considered crafty game that must be outwitted in order to catch them.
Soccer is the most popular sport in Russia. Beginning at the age of 12, children are selected and trained by the various teams. Russia’s national soccer team competes annually for three major championships – the Cup Winker’s Cup, the European Cup, and the Union of European Football Associations Cup. Soccer’s most famous international competition, the World Cup, is held every four years.
All water sports and activities are very popular, including swimming, diving, sailing, water skiing, canoeing.
Chess is an especially popular pastime, and millions of people in Russia begin to play the game when they are very young. Players from Russia often win international chess tournaments. Anatoly Karpov and Gary Kasparov, the two latest world chess champions, came from this country.
Russian people are enthusiastic sports fans, and Russian athletes have won the respect of the world for their skill. Sports training for the children begins in nursery school and kindergarten and continues throughout school. There are also special sports camps and clubs for children and adults.
The former Soviet Union, which relied heavily on Russian athletes, has won more medals than any other team in all but two summer Olympic Games since 1956. At the 1992 Barcelona Olympics the United Team, which represented the former Soviet Republics, won 45 gold medals. Russian skiers, balloonists, and figure skaters are the best at winter sports.
Rusian sport is also famous for its hooligans and doping scandals, nothing to be proud of!
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