Sports in Argentina
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Argentina is a large country, with city folk, country folk, and everything in between, all with varying lifestyles and interests. It is also home to a generally mild climate, which allows for Argentines to practice a variety of different sports, each catering to its people’s different interests.
Undoubtedly, the most popular sport in Argentina is football. You would be hard-pressed to find an Argentine that didn’t at least know a lot about the sport, even if he or she wasn’t a fervent fan. Many Argentines, however, live and bleed football, are passionate about their team of choice and are avid match watchers, making it a priority to catch the latest game. This passion comes with good reason — Argentines are traditionally some of the most talented footballers in the world, and national pride swells to support them.
Though football is number one in popularity, Argentina’s official national sport is pato. See this Argentina Travel Guide for a more detailed explanation of this unique game. It has a long history within the country, and to this day remains a sport that is exclusive to Argentina, though it is not wildly popular.
Perhaps coming in second in popularity is tennis. This could be, again, because there are many successful and talented tennis players from Argentina. But whatever the reason, many people both follow and play the sport, and there are tennis clubs all over Buenos Aires to support the local love of the game. Many of them offer access to tourists, as well, for a fee.
Polo is another popular sport in Argentina, and it, too, has quite the history. It is yet another successful sport for Argentine athletes, and the local facilities for the sport are some of the best in the world. In fact, international tournaments are held in Buenos Aires annually, a spectacle not to be missed if in town between August and December. Polo lessons are also offered in the various fields in and out of town.
Many other sports are followed at a professional level, including basketball, rugby, field hockey, boxing, volleyball and golf. Generally, Argentines seem to prefer group/team sports, although boxing, golf and tennis still remain popular. Regardless, Argentina has historically produced a fair amount of very talented athletes.
Slightly differing from the sports that Argentines follow are those that they practice. Physical health is very important to most locals, especially in Buenos Aires, and while many people use gyms to get their exercise, many prefer to play sports. It is very common to see a pick-up game of football in any park on a sunny afternoon, or friends rollerblading down the pathways in the parks of Palermo.
While not so common in Buenos Aires, Argentina is also a great place to fish. It is a huge country with a multitude of lush lakes and rivers set into gorgeous landscapes, perfect for anglers to enjoy their sport. In fact, many people travel to Argentina just for this purpose, and fishing tours are a common way to see the country while catching some fish.
The Andes provide world-class skiing, as well, enjoyed by tourists and locals alike. During the winter months, skiing in Argentina is a great alternative, resorts are packed full of ski bunnies, all ready to get a taste of the season’s freshest powder. See this Argentina Travel Guide for more information on popular resorts.
Argentina is a rich, diverse country, as are its sports interests. It is possible to practice nearly any sport in this South American gem, and find like-minded people for a passionate conversation about your sport of choice.