Brazilian sports have a very strong heritage in the country. The majority of the population often follows and participates in various sports. Sports are considered a large part of the Brazilian culture rather than just being sporting events. Besides football (or futball) being the most popular, Brazil has various other sports that the country is very proud of. They have progressed and earned medals in swimming, sailing, athletics, and judo.
Brazil in the Olympics
Since Brazil has a typically tropical and subtropical climate, it does not usually compete in the Winter Olympics. The country made its first appearance in the Winter Games in 1992, and most recently participated in 2006. Despite their minimal participation in the Winter Olympics, Brazil has been competing in the Summer Olympics since 1920. Today, they come in at 33rd in the overall ranking of medals in the Summer Olympics.
Top Three Sports in Brazil
Futball is the most popular sport in Brazil. It is taken very seriously where anything less than a win is, essentially, considered worthless. Volleyball is the second most popular sport in Brazil. Brazil is also the most successful country in this sport. Their men's national volleyball team is currently the champion in the 2 major competitions (Volleyball World Cup and Volleyball World Championship). They currently rank #1 in the FIVB World Rankings. The women's national volleyball team is also ranked #1 in the FIVB World Rankings. They are the current Olympic champions in Volleyball. Brazilian athletes have also greatly succeeded worldwide in beach Volleyball.
Capoeira & Other Sports
Skateboarding is one of the most popular modern sports in Brazil. In 2003, there were an estimated 3,000,000 skateboarders in Brazil. Most of these skateboarders live in the state of So Paulo. The ratio of participants is about 90-percent male and 10-percent female. These mostly include individuals between 14 and 24 years old. These numbers are currently rising as the industrial economy improves. Many of the world's top skateboarders are Brazilian. These include Sandro Dias, Rodrigo Menezes, Felipe Gustavo, and Rodil Ferrugem.
The rugby union is a common sport in Brazil. In spite of its popularity, it is only played in 21 of Brazil's 26 states. The national rugby union team has yet to qualify for a Rugby World Cup. A domestic club competition, the Campeonato Brasileiro de Rugby, has been contested annually since 1964.
Another popular sport is Capoeira. This is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that involves by skillful movements. It has a very acrobatic element in some versions and is always played with music. This sport is considered culturally significant sport, developed in colonial times by slaves to secretly sharpen their fighting skills. Today, Capoeira is practiced internationally and is now popular in many computer games and movies.
Footvolley, created in the 1960s, is a mix of Football and Volleyball. This is a sport where the players must use their feet and head to get the ball over the net and into the opponent's court. It is one of the most popular beach sports in Brazil.