World Cup Fever

The World Cup has a rich history for being the international tournament for football (soccer for those in the U.S.) all around the world. Today, and in recent years, this event has been seen globally by over half the world’s population. What a turnout! However, the extreme popularity didn’t seem likely in the first years of the tournament. 

After the 1928 Olympics ended in Amsterdam, football was taken off the list of competing sports, since the popularity for the sport was so low in the United States, who would be hosting the 1932 Olympics. Since the sport was played by every major country in the world, this was an upsetting decision for many fans. Unsettled by this decision like many others, one man by the name of Jules Rimet decided to construct an independent tournament solely for football outside of the Olympics. This is what we know today as the World Cup.  

Deciding on which country would host this historic first tournament was an easy decision for coordinators. Uruguay had in previous years won the tournament for football in both the 1924 Olympics in France and the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam. It was decided the last team to win the Olympic version of the tourney would be the perfect stage to introduce the next phase in football.  

With all the planning and time spent on coordinating this, only 13 countries chose to participate. Most consisted of South American countries, as well as the U.S. and Mexico. Four countries from Europe made the trip to Uruguay to represent their countries: Belgium, France, Romania, and Yugoslavia.  

On July 13, 1930, the first games of the first World Cup kicked off with France leading Mexico (4-1) and the U.S.A beating Belgium (3-1). In the final game on July 30th, 1930, Uruguay defeated Argentina (4-2) to not only be the first host country but the first champions of the World Cup. That year the U.S took third in the semifinals, and to this day, that is the best we have ever done in the tournament’s history.  

In later years, the event gained popularity, even more so after the brief suspension from 1942- 1946 for the duration of WW2. Today, Russia hosts the 2018 World Cup, and 32 teams in total have qualified for this year. It is no wonder the world is abuzz with excitement to cheer on for their home teams. The 2018 victor will be decided on July 15th at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. What lies in store for 2022 in terms of location is still up for debate potentially between Qatar and England to host.  

Check back next week for part 2 of this blog series, where we’ll be going over the training methods utilized by these professional athletes to maintain endurance and stamina. Be sure to follow us on social media to see more content like this, on Facebook @Anytime Fitness-Lake Geneva, WI and on Instagram @AnytimeLG. 

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