Sports is all about thrill, adventure and unity. Its a bet, an adventure of unknown results that nations fall to die play against other nations. Regardless of the results, it excites you, makes you come up with traditions and even unites you on one platform. All aside, it keeps a hidden secret behind it that we are going to reveal today – It unites you as a Nation. You won’t find examples of nations getting united on wars and elections, but you will see that sports literary unites you as a nation. We present you today 10 of such nations, ranked by the adversity and fame of particular sport in the Country. Starting-off from number 10.
10- USA on Baseball
Baseball is known as America’s favorite past time or as described by philosopher Morris Raphael Cohen; America’s National Religion. Millions of people follow and attend the baseball leagues every year. Every person in the crowd brings their own baseball glove for catching a home run from their team. “Take me out to the ball game” is a seventh-innings ritual where the crowd stretch out and sing the chorus together. The ‘wave’ is a collective action of baseball fans at the stadium. In today’s world where people cannot be trusted with your money, you can buy eatables from vendors at the game by just passing your money down the row and then the purchase is passed down to you. A common tradition at the base ball game is that the opponents’ team is booed by the people as the score card comes on the screen. A father-son afternoon is known to be well spent at a baseball game. All these little things make them united in a single baseball arena.
9- China on Table Tennis
China has an overwhelming dominance in this game since 1990s with 16-20 Gold Medals. Chinese are obsessed with table tennis. They start practicing out very young and very aggressively. There is no room for a bad player because there is always another person hungry to be given a chance. They do not stop until they excel at the game. Chinese sports spirit follow the six principles of “Motherland paramount, devotion and dedication, scientific factualism, obeying discipline and laws, solidification and friendship and spirits of struggle.” Given this much importance by the officials and government naturally make its people united on one platform.
8- Brazil on Football
Football holds special significance for Brazilians. Football was introduced at a time of social exclusion, violence and racism in Brazil where more than 50 million people live below the poverty line. However, football has broken the lines between the elite and poor, becoming a way of expressing their positive attitude towards life. Over 10,000 Brazilians have passion to play football professionally. Youngsters play football on the streets and indoor fields, people miss work to view national team play, and employers set up places for employees to watch, even politicians take advantage of the world cup year, the same year when general elections are held.
7- Indonesia on Badminton
Badminton is the most successful sport in Indonesia. They hold several Olympic gold medals to their credit. Indonesians used to link physical fitness to tribal practices. It all changed during colonial Dutch East Indian time giving rise to modern concept of sports. During Sukarno Period, sports were used as a means for uniting people, establishing national pride and promotion. Badminton is a sport in which virtually all Indonesians take part as a means to reinforce a sense of worth in the world. This sport has the capacity to bring together the diverse Indonesian population. This is particularly due to the non-existence of national inter-club competition which could give rise to rivalries. Indonesian crowd reserve their anger for opposition teams in international matches.
6- Japan on Judo
Judo, a mix of wrestling and mental control, was originated in Japan. Judo is considered as a way of education to teach important values of life such as how to bow, how to talk respectfully and how to be humble. This game has become worldwide popular practiced by over five million people. With so much variety in players, Japan can only produce a true Judoka (one who plays Judo) who understands the beauty of Judo. This game is important to Japanese as a means of education for their children. Special schools for learning this sports has been set up and added as a programme in schools, colleges and universities. Japanese are united in keeping the true Judo alive when it is being tarnsihed by other versions developed by other nations.
5- Russia on Chess
Chess is popular in Russia, mainly because chess is a part of Russian curriculum for over forty years now. Children are encouraged to play chess from an early age to enhance their problem solving and reasoning skills. Also, many of its leaders and thinkers are passionate chess player. Chess is considered a symbol for Russia since chess players were deeply valued for strategic planning during wars. Deep roots of chess in politics of Russia makes it a unified force for both its government and people.
4- Bhutan on Archery
The national sport of Bhutan is Archery. Bhutanese consider it as a tourist attraction. It’s more of a tradition than a sport. It is played throughout the year on different occasions in different region. Festive occasions are planned for archery competitions in every village. Special bamboo bows and arrows are made which are used for a target at a distance of 145 meters. People are very competitive at archery matches. They engage in verbal fights in which “Where the vulture flies, my stone shall fly, there to collide” is a famous line to say in order to humiliate the opponent and promise him of a reset of score. The sport is also surrounded by superstitions e.g. hiring astrologers to select team members, calculating time and place of competition. This sport has cultural, religious and social importance in Bhutan.
3- Spain on BullFighting
This game is considered animal cruelty by people around the world but in Spain it’s an iconic traditional sport. Bullfighting season begins in spring and continues till autumn. To Spanish people it’s a culturally important event which dates back to worshipping and sacrificing bulls. After the killing stage of three stage bull fight, the audience gives a standing ovation to the matador throwing roses and hats in the arena. The crowd also cheers when the dead bull is dragged around the ring. Facing allegations from animal activists, Spanish people are still united in defending this sport. Even the government exempts bullfighting in national laws against cruelty.
2- Canada on Ice Hockey
Canadians maybe divided on politics and languages, but they seem to be united in one game; Ice Hockey. They follow this game religiously. For generations the Canadians have listened to commentary on radios have now moved towards high-definition televisions. Canadian fans pressurize and expect their players to win the gold medal. Fans gather around at home and at pubs to watch the national games. The importance of hockey can be realized from a 5$ Canadian bill. It portrays children playing Ice Hockey in a snowy winter morning. Canadian Novelist John Macfarlane described it as “the dance of life, an affirmation that despite the deathly chill of winter we are alive.”
1- Pakistan on Cricket
Cricket in Pakistan is extremely popular. If you feel pin drop silence and see empty roads then know that Pakistanis are busy watching a cricket match. It is followed among people from all walks of life. It has a major effect of country’s economy with stock exchange rising and falling during major cricket tournaments. Even elections are won and lost based on the sentiments of people about a cricket match. The thrill of unity is so adverse that often a day when Pakistan is playing cricket is declared as national holiday across the Country.