Switzerland, the playground of the rich and famous, is officially called the “Swiss Confederation” is known for its beautiful mountains perfect for skiing, snowboarding and of course, mountaineering.
A haven for winter sports, Switzerland has been the “Mecca” for winter sports enthusiasts since the 19th century. In Switzerland, most of the people have a regular sports activity and one in four is an active member of a sports club.
Here are the most popular sports in Switzerland-
1. Ice Hockey: Switzerland has more than 1,160 ice hockey teams, which play a total of 16,000 matches each year. National League A games, in particular, are a major draw. The premier ice-hockey division, the National League A, has 12 teams that play 50 matches per season. The headquarters of the International Ice Hockey Federation is in Zurich.
2. Football (Soccer): Soccer has historically been a popular sport in Switzerland. The Swiss Football Association was formed in 1895 and was a founding member of FIFA in 1904. The national team has previously participated at eleven different FIFA World Cups (last in 2018) and four different UEFA European Championships.
3. Winter Sports: Switzerland has never had a winter like this before. Winter sports without any contests in the home of snow sports are few and far between. Natives and guests alike can look forward to exceptional sporting events with impressive and spectacular competitions.
4. Tennis: Tennis has become an increasingly popular sport, and Swiss players such as Martina Hingis, Roger Federer, and Stanislas Wawrinka have won multiple Grand Slams. Switzerland has always been known for its winter sports. But, recently, these sports have almost been supplanted by tennis thanks to the world-famous Swiss champion, Roger Federer.
5. Rugby: Like neighbouring Germany, Austria and France, Swiss rugby is actually amongst the oldest in the world. The earliest recorded match in Switzerland was in 1869, and Lausanne RFC can claim to be as old as Blackheath. There are at least thirty Swiss clubs at present.
6. Volleyball: Both domestic and international volleyball is hugely popular throughout Switzerland. The quality is not quite at the level of some of the European powerhouses but popularity does seem to be growing.
7. Basketball: Mies in Switzerland is home to the headquarters of FIBA, the world’s governing agency for international events. Unsurprisingly, the country is one of FIBA’s founding members and therefore has one of the world’s longest basketball traditions. The FIBA Basketball World Cup is a world tournament for men’s national teams held every four years.
8. Cycling: Cycling is incredibly popular in Switzerland where a number of important cycling races are held. Switzerland is often overlooked as a prime location for cycle-tourism, in spite of its amazing roads and reasonably nice weather.
9. Motor Sports: The Swiss government banned motorsport after the tragedy at Le Mans in 1955. In 2015 the Swiss government allowed a relaxation of the law, permitting head-to-head racing for electric vehicles only. In June 2018 Switzerland hosted its first motor race in 63 years when the first Zürich ePrix was held as a round of the all-electric Formula E championship.
10. Wrestling: Schwingen, also known as Swiss wrestling. Wrestling has become the popular sport for Swiss people. Every three years Switzerland gears up for a wrestling festival.