Take chess, for instance. Obviously, people compete at it. Obviously, artistic merit doesn't count—no panel of judges scores players on how prettily they move the pieces. But chess is a game, not a sport because it doesn't require anything physical. You don't even need to be human. Computers play it—better than we do.
Now about that notion of sport requiring some form of physical activity: this old ACF bulletin (from way back in 2001, in fact) has an interesting letter from one Jeremy Gilling. Says he:
Why not accept that all sports involve a combination of physical and intellectual effort, with marathon running (perhaps) at or near one end of the spectrum and chess at the other? You should also be aware that chess played at the elite level is physically exhausting. Physical fitness is rewarded by better results across the board.
I saw somewhere that practitioners of pole-dancing wanted it to be an Olympic sport. In that case, well, why not lap-dancing, or just go the whole way and declare sex to be an Olympic event. I'm really not sure where chess fits in though...
I believe blitz chess is a sport. There is a definite physicality associated with this type of chess. Speed of thought, and of body (arm), with good hand eye coordination are important for success.
If aesthetics don't count, what about gymnastics, figure-skating, diving etc? All Olympic sports, either summer or winter.
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