A Question of Sport
After all the years of build-up, the London Olympics are upon us! I'm not a sports fan but I always get caught up in these big international events. Needless to say I won't be taking much of an active part in the Games, so I thought I would play my part by taking a look at the history behind two sports' names.
My husband and daughter are very excited to have tickets to the fencing. As you've probably guessed, the word is connected to the notion of the fence. A fence was originally constructed to provide defence against attackers. So fencing referred to the act of fighting with swords to provide defence.
I was very disappointed when I realised that the wrestling in the Olympics would bear no resemblance to the Saturday afternoon extravaganza I watched on TV as a child. No wild, glittery costumes, crazy names and ridiculous prearranged scenes. It's all rather serious (and I don't have a clue what is going on during a bout). Wrestling comes from an Old Norse word meaning 'to bend or twist', so the sport seems to involve a lot of bending and twisting – and no name-calling…