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Handball Emerges as Top Extreme Olympic Sport

August 15th, 2012

The London Games gave many fringe sports the chance to shine over the past week, on the biggest stage of all. It was fantastic to see such passionate crowds viewing sports that they had never seen, or perhaps even heard of, before the Olympics.

One such sport that gained plenty of mainstream coverage and became a real stand out at The Games was Handball. Admittedly, I’d never played or seen the sport before the Olympics and had wrote it off as a bit of a boring sport. How wrong was I?

Handball1

The ball travels across the court, end-to-end, as fast as any basketball game I’ve seen and the skill involved when making dummy passes and taking shots was really impressive. These highly tuned skills, blended with the physical power for leaping high into the air to take a shot, or standing your ground when defending, result in a multi-faceted and enthralling sport.

I follwed the British men’s team whilst they were still involved in the competition and considering it was the first time a British team had entered a team into the Olympics, they more than held their own. I wasn’t on my own in watching the Great Britain boys, an estimated 1.5 million people tuned into BBC Three to watch them play against eventual winners, France. This can only bode well for the future legacy of the sport in the country.

The final of the men’s tournament was a captivating matchup between reigning Olympic champions, France and the much-fancied Swedish. The French were regarded as the flair team of the handball competition and the Swedes, the brute force. This Gold medal deciding match was a highly physical encounter and was a close scoring encounter right up to the final whistle.

Handball2

The final few minutes of the match could not have been more exciting. With France leading by 2 points, they had a player suspended for a defensive infringement and had to hold out for the Gold medal – all hands on deck! They managed to do it, and even get a break away goal for themselves; France won 22-21. Cue rapturous celebrations from not just the players but the brilliant crowd inside the arena too.

The Excitement surrounding sports such as handball, BMX and canoe slalom show that this country does have a passion for other sports, rather than just living for the football at the weekend. Let’s hope this Olympic legacy lives on.

If handball or any other sports have captured your imagination over the 2 week extravanganza of the Olympic games please get in touch to make sure you get yourself and prospective team insured.

Credit images to Flickr users Fimb & Bonnett.

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