Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: athletics from Greenwood Dictionary of Education

Organized efforts to engage students in physical activity to foster learning about teamwork, sportsmanship, and competition; competitive sports/activities involving an individual or group of people, incorporating the physical skills of individuals. (dsm)


Summary Article: athletics from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Competitive track and field events consisting of running, throwing, and jumping disciplines. Running events range from sprint races (100 metres) and hurdles to cross-country running and the marathon (26 miles 385 yards). Jumping events are the high jump, long jump, triple jump, and pole vault. Throwing events are javelin, discus, shot put, and hammer throw. The worldwide governing body for the sport is the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

History Among the Greeks, vase paintings show that competitive athletics were established at least by 1600 BC (see Olympic Games). Greek and Roman athletes were well paid and sponsored. The philosopher Aristotle paid the expenses of a boxer contestant at Olympia, and chariot races were sponsored by the Greek city-states. Modern athletes are supposed to be unpaid amateurs. The concept of the unpaid amateur was popularized following the founding of the modern Olympic Games in 1896. Today, however, many athletes around the world are full-time, with their incomes coming from commercial or state sponsorship, as well as from appearance fees.

The governing body for athletics in the UK is the Amateur Athletics Association, which was founded in 1880.

Over the past few decades, there has been increasing controversy in the sport over the unlawful use of drugs, such as anabolic steroids and growth hormones.

weblinks

British Athletics Federation

International Amateur Athletics Federation

images

Gebrselassie, Haile

Greek athletics

Greene, Maurice

Jones, Marion

© RM, 2016. All rights reserved.

Related Credo Articles

Full text Article Athletics
Bloomsbury Thesaurus

I think we'll find in the next decade that women athletes will finally get the attention they deserve. Billie Jean King Nouns...

Full text Article athletics
The Macmillan Encyclopedia

Sports that involve running, walking, throwing, and jumping competitions. They are divided into track and field events. At international level...

Full text Article athletics
Philip's Encyclopedia

(track and field) Composite sport that includes running and hurdling events on the track, jumping and throwing field events, cross-country and...

See more from Credo