» What is Athletics?
Athletics is, in many ways, the embodiment of the Olympic motto, "Citius, Altius, Fortius", meaning faster, higher and stronger. Athletics was the original sport at the first Olympics back in 776 BC where the only event held was the stadium-length foot race or "stade".
Many athletic events have an ancient origin and were already conducted in competitive form by the ancient Greeks. Athletics was included in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and has been part of the program ever since, providing the backbone of the Olympics. Today, athletics remains one of the most popular Olympic sports. From the 100m dash to the 42.195km marathon, from the hammer throw to the high jump, it contains many of the Olympic Games' blue-ribbon events and many of the highest-profile competitors.
Today, the scope of athletics has broadened to not only encompass the sport of track and field but also make reference to cross-country, road running and mountain running.
- Track and Field, also commonly known as Athletics or track and field athletics, is a collection of sport events. The word is derived from the Greek word "athlos" meaning "contest". It is a collection of sport events, which can roughly be divided into running, jumping, and throwing.
- Cross Country Running is a sport in which individuals and teams of runners compete to complete a course over open or rough terrain. It differs from road running or track running principally in the course, which may include grass, mud, woodlands, or water.
- Road Running or road racing is the sport of running on a measured course over an established road (as opposed to track and cross country running). Road racing offers competitors a variety of challenges to overcome such as hills, sharp bends, varied pavement, inclement weather, and a large group to compete against or with. Road running is unique among athletic events because in many cases, first time amateurs are welcome to participate in the same event as members of running clubs and even current world-class champions.
- Mountain Running is the sport of running and racing, off road, over upland country where the gradient climb is a significant component of the difficulty. Mountain running is organized on the premise that contenders possess mountain navigational skills and carry adequate survival equipment as prescribed by the organizer.
Mountain running has common characteristics with cross country running, except that the course id runs over an established sequence of checkpoints. Courses are often longer, steeper, and can be unmarked when out on the hills. Some longer races can demand mountain navigational techniques and requires navigational skills in a wild, mountainous environment, particularly in determining and choosing between routes.
Currently, there are two seasons of play recognized in athletics. There is an indoor season, which runs during the winter/ spring and an outdoor season, which runs during the spring/ summer and fall months. The sports of track and field, road running and cross country are carried out in the outdoor season, with competitions falling on a variety of dates in the calendar months.
Only track and field has the distinction of having an indoor season of play, allowing for competitions in the winter months.