The United States is a big sporting country with some of the best athletes in the world originating from there. It is a serious industry and rakes in billions of dollars a year in revenue in all forms. The following sports are among the most popular in the United States some of which extend beyond their shores as well.
The Kentucky Derby
First held in 1875 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, the Kentucky Derby has become one of the most famous and popular horse races in the world. It is the oldest thoroughbred horserace in the United States and this epic dirt track race goes for a distance of 2000 meters and offers a total prize purse of US$3,000,000. The first race was won by thoroughbred Aristides and several champions have won over the years including Affirmed in 1978, Secretariat in 1973, Gallant fox in 1930, Medina Spirit in 2021, Omaha in 1935, and Sir Barton in 1919.
Without a doubt, this is the most popular sport in the United States. Also known as Gridiron in Australia and New Zealand, it was first formally played in 1869 where it was derived from rugby, which originated in England. On average over 67,000 people in the United States turn out to the stadiums to watch the sport each week, with millions more watching in the US and around the world. William Walter “Pudge” Heffelfinger is considered to be the first professional athlete to play American football, having been paid to play in 1892. Since then, The sport has produced some big-name professional stars including Tom Brady, Joe Montana, and Brett Favre. The NFL (National Football League) is the main corporation of the sport in the United States with 32 teams taking part in the competition.
Invented by a Canadian in Massachusetts in 1891, the game of basketball has become one of the most popular sports in the United States and is played all around the world. No matter where you go, basketball will undoubtedly know the names of legendary players like Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Where each season culminates is known as the playoffs. The stakes are high and there is plenty of NBA playoffs betting going on in different forms around the country. The sport is viewed by millions of people weekly around the world and has been the theme of many successful movies including Space Jam in 1996, The Basketball Diaries in 1995, and White Men Can’t Jump in 1992.
The sport of boxing has been around for thousands of years across many countries. It was particularly popular in ancient Greece, Sumeria, and India and the United States is no different. Nowadays, the best boxers in the world come from the US and include legends such as Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Sonny Liston, Rocky Marciano, Mike Tyson, and Floyd Mayweather. Heavyweight boxing is one the most popular of all the divisions and the current world champion is the UK’s Tyson Fury while the current Super Champion is Oleksandr Usyk. The sport has been a favorite in the US for many years with venues such as Madison Square Garden being packed out when a match is held there.
These are just a few of the sports that have become extremely popular in the US over the years and with this list, it is clear that the USA is most definitely a sporting nation.