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.
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).