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Sports as Social Studies

Part 2: Geography and Economics

Sports feature every part of social studies in one way or another:

  • Geography: In order to compete against others in your sport, you as an athlete usually have to travel at least a little bit in order to make that competition happen. You are changing your geography when you do this, and your fans who follow you (either literally or figuratively) are also expanding their knowledge of geography. If you are a tennis fan, you learn what cities the Grand Slam tournaments are in (Melbourne, Paris, Wimbledon, and New York). Also, people who live in wintry climates (like Scandinavia) usually do better in winter sports. For example, Norwegians and Swedens usually do very well at the Winter Olympics.
  • Economics: Sports cost money, from the athletes, from the fans who watch them, and from the people who make those athletic contests possible. Many professional athletes make millions of dollars every year; others make only a few thousand. Amateur athletes don't get paid when they win, but somebody has to make places available to stage those amateur contests and the athletes have to spend money to travel to those contests.

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