Sports History

The history of sports is the history of power, politics and progress. From ancient origins to groundbreaking firsts: Sometimes sports makes history, sometimes sports is history.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 17: Simone Biles of the United States performs on the beam during the Gymnastics Rio Gala on Day 12 of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games on August 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

8 Astounding Moments in Women’s Olympic Gymnastics

Women’s gymnastics has been an official sport in the Summer Olympics since 1928, when the first female Olympic gymnasts competed in Amsterdam. Since then, it has become one of the most popular sports in the international games. Here’s a look at some of the sport’s most famous ...read more

The Infamous 1956 Olympic Water Polo Match Known as ‘Blood in the Water’

‘Blood in the Water’: The Cold War Olympic Showdown Between Hungary and the USSR

There are two layers to every water polo match: the graceful athleticism above the water, and the rough play and cheap shots hidden beneath the surface. The 1956 Melbourne Olympics were a lot like a game of water polo. On the surface, they were billed as the “friendly games,” but ...read more

Members of the All-American Girl's Professional Baseball League's Rockford Peaches gather with their coach, Eddie Stumpf, during practice in May 1944.

How World War II Spurred a Decade of Women’s Pro Baseball

When the United States entered World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt made it clear that he thought Major League Baseball should continue. But as thousands of minor league players and over 500 major league players—including Joe DiMaggio—left their teams to serve in the military, ...read more

When Black American Athletes Raised Their Fists in the 1968 OlympicsDraft SharePreviewPublish

Why Black American Athletes Raised Their Fists at the 1968 Olympics

Wearing beads and scarves to oppose lynchings and black socks with no shoes to highlight poverty, African American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos took to the podium during the October 16, 1968, Olympic medal ceremony in Mexico City to receive their respective gold and ...read more