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Sports Crazy

Australians love their sports.

Some of their favourite team sports are cricket, Australian Rules Football, Rugby League, Rugby Union, netball, soccer and field hockey. All these sports are played at both the local and the national level.

Horseracing is extremely popular in Australia. The annual Melbourne Cup is called "the race that stops a nation" for good reason. Work at offices and factories is stopped for a few minutes on the first Tuesday afternoon of every November while the race is run. Also in Melbourne is the Boxing Day cricket match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the "MCG."

Australia's climate has created a nation of people who love outdoor activities. Many Australians play golf and tennis. Water sports are very popular, including swimming, surfing, scuba diving, fishing, and sailing.

Australian's are very proud of their 1983 America's Cup win. The Australia II beat the American yacht Liberty to become the first boat in 132 years to take the cup from the United States.

Australian's also take their love of sport very seriously. The Australian Institute of Sport was established in 1981 to train talented athletes in their sports and Australia has competed in every modern Olympics and Commonwealth Games.

Life's a beach in Australia

With more than four-fifths of Australians living within 50 km of the sea, it is not surprising that the beach plays an important role in Australian life. It's so important that Australian kids are said to know how to swim before they can walk. In fact it is compulsory for every Australian child to learn to swim. Surfing is very popular with both residents and the many tourists who flock to Australia to test its waves. Because of the beach culture and the sunny weather in Australia, Australian's lead the statistics for skin cancer.

Real Surf -- Australia's Leading Daily Surf Report

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