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Athletics is an exclusive collection of sporting events that involve competitive running, jumping, throwing, and walking. Athletic events are most closely associated with the Olympics, but competition in these sports is held at the youth level, high school, college, and professional ranks all year round throughout the world.
The most common types of athletics competitions are track and field, road running, cross country running, and race walking. The simplicity of the competitions, and the lack of a need for expensive equipment, makes athletics one of the most commonly competed sports in the world. Athletics is mostly an individual sport, with the exception of relay races and competitions which combine athlete’s performances for a team score, such as cross country.
Organized athletics are traced back to the Ancient Olympic Games from 776 BC, and most modern events are conducted by the member clubs of the International Association of Athletics Federations. The athletics meeting forms the backbone of the modern Summer Olympics, and other leading international meetings include the IAAF World Championships and World Indoor Championships, and athletes with a physical disability compete at the Summer Paralympics and the IPC Athletics World Championships.

Athletics was included in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and has been part of the program ever since, providing the backbone of the Olympics. Today, athletics remains one of the most popular Olympic sports. From the 100m dash to the 42.195km marathon, from the hammer throw to the high jump, it contains many of the Olympic Games' blue-ribbon events and many of the highest-profile competitors.

Today, the scope of athletics has broadened to not only encompass the sport of track and field but also make reference to cross-country, road running and mountain…...

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