Sports is becoming more popular among the inhabitants of France. Statistics indicate: now about ten million French people (men and women) do sports amateurishly and over thirteen million have a professional sports training! (That is, three out of four French people seek to stay in good physical condition).
If you compare the situation now and in the early 20th century – the progress is evident. At that time mainly the representatives of the French elite did sports. In addition, quite a long time, the sport was only a kind of «supplement» to the leisure activities of the male population. But, as we see, the situation has changed dramatically.
One of the most popular sports in the country is football. Rugby, fencing, tennis, motor sports, water sports, basketball, skiing, cycling, parkour, petanque and so on are also very loved by the French.
Many famous sportsmen champions are originally from France. Suffice it to mention the names Zinédine Zidane et Michel Platini who inscribed France in the history of world football.
The winter sports lovers will name Killy who became a triple Olympic champion in slalom, and tennis fans – the name of Jean René Lacoste, the winner of Wimbledon. The French boxer Carpentier, who 17 years old became a professional boxer already (and in 1911, the champion of Europe, the first in France) is not forgotten also.
The modern society is obliged to France with the revival of physical education in the world. After all, in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, the athletes stood high esteem and were awarded laurel wreaths, and in medieval Europe people did not even think about sports. (From ancient times it was believed that it was unseemly for the true Christian to take care of his «mortal» body).
The interest for sports in the community was «awoken» by the Frenchman, Pierre de Coubertin. He was a great lover of antiquity, and in 1892 proposed to resume the Olympic Games. And 2 years later, the International Olympic Committee was founded, which in 1896 held the first Olympic Games in modern history.
The athletes from thirteen countries participated in them. And in the following ones, which took place in Paris, the representatives of already 44 countries took part!