[Article 66]Sports fast facts

  • Fishing is the biggest participant sports in the world.
  • Football (soccer) is the most attended and watched (on TV) sport in the world.
  • The first AFL/NFL championship to be called a “Super Bowl” was Superbowl III; on January 12, 1969 the New York Jets beat the Baltimore Colts 16 – 7 at the Orange Bowl. Super Bowl I was held on January 15, 1967 in Los Angeles where the Green Bay Packers beat Kansas City Chiefs by 35 to 10.
  • The Dalas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers have the most Super Bowl appearances – 8 each.
  • The Pittsburgh Stellers have won the most Super Bowl titles – 6 championships. The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers each won 5 times.
  • Boxing became a legal sport in 1901.
  • More than 100 million people hold hunting licenses.
  • Jean Genevieve Garnerin was the first female parachutists, jumping from a hot air balloon in 1799.
  • In 1975, Junko Tabei from Japan became the first woman to reach the top of Everest.
  • The record for the most major league baseball career innings is held by Cy Young, with 7,356 innings.
  • The Major League Baseball teams use about 850,000 balls per season. Padded batting gloves have helped many of these balls to leave the stadium due to homeruns.
  • The first instance of global electronic communications took place in 1871 when news of the Derby winner was telegraphed from London to Calcutta in under 5 minutes.
  • In 1898, one of the first programs to be broadcasted on radio was a yacht race that took place in British waters.
  • Sports command the biggest television audiences, led by the summer Olympics, World Cup Football and Formula One racing.
  • Gymnasiums were introduced in 900BC and Greek athletes practiced in the nude to the accompaniment of music. They also performed naked at the Olympic Games.
  • The very first Olympic race, held in 776 BC, was won by Corubus, a chef.
  • The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece in 1896. There were 311 male but no female competitors.
  • In his time, Michael Schumacher was the highest paid sportsman, ahead of Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer. (Not including sponsorship endorsements.)
  • The high jump method of jumping head first and landing on the back is called the Fosbury Flop.
  • About 42,000 tennis balls are used in the plus-minus 650 matches in the Wimbledon Championship.
  • The longest tennis match took place at Wimbledon 2010 when John Isner of the United States beat Nicolas Mahut of France 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68 in a match that lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes, played over 3 days, June 22, 23 and 24.
  • A baseball ball has exactly 108 stitches, a cricket ball has between 65 and 70 stitches.
  • A soccer ball is made up of 32 leather panels, held together by 642 stitches.
  • Basketball and rugby balls are made from synthetic material. Earlier, pigs’ bladders were used as rugby balls.
  • The baseball home plate is 17 inches wide.
  • The very first motor car land speed record was set by Ferdinand Verbiest.
  • The record for the most NASCAR wins is held by Richard Petty: 200 wins (and 7 championships).
  • Sébastien Loeb won the World Rally Championship a record 9 times, taking the title every year between 2004 and 2012.
  • Golf the only sport played on the moon – on 6 February 1971 Alan Shepard hit a golf ball.
  • The Romans played a game resembling golf, using a stick to hit a feather-stuffed ball.
  • The word GOLF is not the abbreviation for “Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden.” It derives from an old German word “kolb,” meaning club.
  • Bill Klem served the most seasons as major league umpire – 37 years, starting in 1905. He also officiated 18 World Series.
  • The oldest continuous trophy in sports is the America’s Cup. It started in 1851, with Americans winning for a straight 132 years until Australia took the Cup in 1983.
  • Volleyball was invented by William George Morgan of Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1895.
  • A badminton shuttle easily travels 180 km/h (112 mph).
  • Ferenc Szisz from Romania, driving a Renault, won the first Formula One Grand Prix held at Le Mans, France in 1906.
  • Stéphane Peterhansel holds the record for most Dakar Rally wins; he won the motorcycle category (on a Yamaha) 6 times and has won the car category 5 times.
  • Competing in three Olympics, between 1956 and 1964, Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina won 18 medals (9 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze). She held the record for most Olympic medlas for 48 years until surpassed by American swimmer Michael Phelps; from 2004 until 2012 he won 22 medals (18 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze).



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