The Nika Riots against Justinian at an Ancient Roman Chariot Race

Justinian was dealing with the Persians over peace in the east at the end of the Iberian War and now he faced a potential crisis in his city. Introduction The Nika riots, Nika revolt, or Nika sedition took place against Emperor Justinian I in Constantinople over the course of a week in 532 AD. They were the most violent riots in the city’s history,[…]

A Brief History of Boxing since the Ancient World

Humans have fought in sport hand-to-hand combat since the dawn of human history, the earliest evidence dating to the ancient Near East. Introduction Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing protective gloves, throw punches at each other for a predetermined amount of time in a boxing ring. Amateur boxing is both[…]

Tournaments, Weapons, and Armor in Medieval Jousting

Jousting fell out of fashion by the end of the Middle Ages, but there were occasional revivals up to the 19th century. Introduction Jousts were, from the 13th to 16th century CE, a popular part of the European medieval tournament where knights showed off their martial skills by riding against one another with wooden lances[…]

The Development of Leisure Sports in Ancient China and Its Contemporary Sports Culture Value

Ancient Chinese golf / Creative Commons The traditional culture not only influences the life of modern people, but also promotes the sports undertakings in China. By Dr. Jianqiang Guo and Dr. Rong Li / 10.12.2017 School of Physical Education Changzhou University Abstract The traditional culture not only influences the life of modern people, but also promotes[…]

The Science of Sports

Flickr / Jaguar MENA, Creative Commons When you think about sports, do you consider the science behind it? Probably not. By Megan Ray Nichols / 06.01.2018 Air and gravity affect a football’s spin and precision of throw. A batter must strike a ball at “the sweet spot” and hone in on the pitcher’s throw, even[…]

The Uncertain Origins of the Modern Marathon

The modern marathon distance comes from the 1908 London Olympics. Shutterstock The story behind the marathon is more complicated than it seems. By Dr. James Kierstead / 08.27.2017 Lecturer in Classics Victoria University of Wellington Last November [2016], I ran my first marathon, the “Athens Authentic”. I did it mainly because I wanted to follow in the footsteps of the world’s[…]

John L. Sullivan Fights America

“John L. Sullivan, champion pugilist of the world” – an E.W. Kemble from 1883, the year that Sullivan began his tour of America / Library of Congress In 1883, the Irish-American heavy-weight boxing champion John L. Sullivan embarked on an unprecedented coast-to-coast tour of the United States offering a prize to any person who could[…]

Babe Ruth in a Kimono: How Baseball Diplomacy Fortified US-Japan Relations

Tokyoites watch Hideo Nomo pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers at Sony Plaza on June 30, 1995. Shizuo Kambayashi/AP Photo By Dr. Steven Wisensale / 03.27.2018 Professor of Public Policy University of Connecticut On Feb. 9, 2001, an American submarine, the USS Greenville, surfaced beneath the Ehime Maru, a Japanese ship filled with high school students[…]

Modern Architecture and the Olympic Spirit

Left: Yoyogi National Gymnasium; 2nd Gymnasium. Photo courtesy of Japan Sport Council. Right: Stadio Flaminio. Photo: Matteo Cirenei / The Getty Foundation’s Keeping It Modern initiative announces twelve new grants, including two for former Olympic buildings. By Alexandria Sivak / 07.31.2017 Senior Communications Specialist J. Paul Getty Trust In its quest to host an[…]

The First Olympic Protest

1908 postcard of the White City Stadium, the main arena built especially for the 1908 Olympics Rebecca Jenkins looks back to when London first hosted the Olympic Games and how a mix up with flags gave birth to the first Olympic protest. By Rebecca Jenkins Cultural Historian, Novelist, and Lecturer Research Fellow, York St. John[…]

Momentum isn’t Magic: Vindicating the ‘Hot Hand’ with the Mathematics of Streaks

When a player’s on fire, is it hot hands? / Shutterstock   By Dr. Joshua Miller and Dr. Adam Sanjurjo / 03.26.2017 Miller: Assistant Professor of Economics, Bocconi University Sanjurjo: Assistant Professor of Economics, Universidad de Alicante It’s NCAA basketball tournament season, known for its magical moments and the “March Madness” it can produce. Many[…]

The Life and Legacy of Muhammad Ali

A young Muhammad Ali / Creative Commons Edited by Dr. Andrew R.M. Smith / Jan.-Feb. 2017 Assistant Professor of Cultural Histroy Nichols College Before Mayweather vs. McGregor, There Was Ali vs. Inoki By Roberto José Andrade Franco PhD Candidate in History Southern Methodist University Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor has moved away from the absurd[…]

The Superbowl’s Evolution from Football Game to Entertainment Extravaganza

Fireworks go off before Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. Andrew Kelly/Reuters   By Dr. Peter M. Hopsickler and Dr. Mark Dyreson / 02.02.2017 Hopsickler: Associate Professor of Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University Dyreson: Professor of Kinesiology, Affiliate Professor of History, Pennsylvania State University In just 50 years, the Super Bowl[…]

The NFL Joins the Data Revolution in Sports

The NFL joins the Age of Metrics. / Shutterstock By Dr. Galen Clavio / 09.21.2016 Associate Professor of Sports Media, Director of the National Sports Journalism Center University of Indiana, Bloomington In some potentially game-changing news for the way we understand professional football, the National Football League began the 2016 preseason by placing tracking sensors[…]

Skateboarding to be Included in Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Brazilian pro skateboarder Luan Olivera performs a switch 360 flip at the Maloof Cup, a skateboarding competition in South Africa. Neftalie Williams, Author provided With skateboarding’s inclusion in Tokyo 2020, a once-marginalized subculture enters the spotlight By Neftalie Williams / 08.21.2016 Lecturer University of Southern California On Aug. 6, skateboarding was added to the list of[…]

The Olympics Go Medieval

Competitive sports were alive and well in the Middle Ages. Which would be Olympic sports? This curator imagines. By Elizabeth Morrison / 08.18.2016 With the Olympics being avidly watched over the past couple of weeks, there may be some curiosity about what elite sports were like in the time between the original Greek games and[…]

A Guide to the Ancient Olympics

Nike, goddess of victory, crowns the winner of a boxing match. Panathenaic prize amphora with lid (detail), 363–362 B.C., attributed to the Painter of the Wedding Procession. Terracotta, 35 1/4 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 93.AE.55. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program What really happened in the ancient games? Learn[…]

Since Ancient Greece, the Olympics and Bribery Have Gone Hand-in-Hand

A bronze statue, ‘The Boxer of Quirinal.’ Sometimes ancient Greek boxers would bribe their opponents. Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Nigel Crowther / 07.31.2016 Emeritus Professor of Classical Studies University of Western Ontario As a professor of classical studies, I’ve noticed some remarkable differences and similarities between the modern and ancient Olympic Games. The medals, the[…]

Does Practice Make an Olympian? Not By Itself.

Heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson. REUTERS/John Silber By Dr. Brooke Macnamara / 07.27.2016 Assistant Professor of Psychology Case Western Reserve University We’ve all heard that “practice makes perfect,” or at least that “perfect practice makes perfect.” Is this true? Some would unequivocally say “yes.” In 1993, psychologist K. Anders Ericsson and colleagues proposed the deliberate practice view,[…]