When an American visits Europe for the first time and is interested in the sport and wants to make up his mind about it, his expectations are clear. Just as there is a US national team at every Olympic Games, there is also a European national team. Every year, the European track and field champion is sought in 47 individual disciplines.
The same applies to swimming and all other Olympic sports. At the end of each year, the European champions and thus the best athletes in Europe are determined and these athletes represent the continent at the respective world championships of the international sports associations.
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The utopian idea of a European sport
The utopian idea of a European sport has to give way to a disillusionment. This can hardly be surpassed after the American has been there for a long time. For the vast majority of those who call themselves Europeans, the notions of the American are neither desirable nor reasonable. They don’t even have the character of a vision. However, it quickly became clear to the American that the Europeans themselves have no idea what Europe is. They don’t know what role they attribute to sport in Europe or want to attribute in the future. There is no sign of a common future-oriented sports policy on this continent.
European history about sports
No less confusing are the current manifestations of European sport, in which Europe as a geographical location plays a specific role. For the first time in European history, there were European Games in Baku in 2015, which have long been a matter of course for Asia (Asian Games), Africa (African Games), America (Pan American Games) or Oceania (Oceanic Games). However, the first games took place in Azerbaijan. It is a country that has not been considered part of Europe for very long. With these games it is not clear to this day what character they will have. The major European sports federations did not want these games and many had no intention of attending.
From an integration point of view, there were and are some sporting events in Europe that are much more European than the European Games, where nations compete against each other. This applies above all to the World Cup in athletics, in which a European selection has had to compare itself with the best athletes from Asia, the USA and Africa since 1977. This competition takes place every four years. However, he only found limited attention in Europe.