Sport plays a significant role in the life of Belgian people. Kingdom has around 17000 different clubs with almost 1,35 million people, making up 13% of Belgian people.
The most popular sports in Belgium
The most popular sport in Belgium is, by far, football. It has been played ever since the end of the 19th century and being professionally handled since 1895 by the Royal Belgian Football Association. There are around 50 football stadiums able to hold at least 5000 people and 95 professional football clubs playing on them. Usually, a club has the right to the regular use of specific stadiums.
Sports facilities in Belgium
Belgium has a massive amount of sporting facilities, such as stadiums, gyms, halls and arenas open for players of all kinds: from beginners to professionals. The most famous and the biggest one is the Antwerp Olympic Stadium built for the Summer Olympic Games in 1920. It was, however, rebuilt into a football stadium right after the Olympics and contains no trace of its original usage. King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels is also a place worth our attention, as it holds many sports events.
Sporting events hosted by Belgium
Multiple sporting events have been hosted by Belgium, including some of the most famous events in the world. It hosted two EUFA European (Euro) Football Championship – in 1972 and 2000 (co-hosted with the Netherlands) and UCI World Road Championships in 2021. The first event hosted by Belgium was the Summer Olympic Games, held in Antwerp in 1920. It was also the biggest and the most important one in Belgian history, by far.
Belgium at Olympics
Speaking of Olympics, Summer Olympic Games hosted in Belgian were a big deal back then. It was the first Olympics held after ending World War I, and people were hoping that they’ll finally bring peace among the nations. Belgium sent 336 competitors (326 men, 10 women) to compete in 23 sports. Overall, they managed to win 14 gold medals, 11 silver and 11 bronze, totalling 36 medals collected altogether.