Sport in Mexico is an important part of Mexican culture. Although football is the country’s most popular sport Mexicans are also big fans of other more strange and traditional sports. Basketball and Baseball are growing in popularity thanks to the nation’s proximity to the United States, even the sport of American football is catching on.
World famous for its theatricality and ornately decorated masks, Mexican masked wrestling is characterized by over the top moves, holds and grapples and is especially well known for its daring high-flying manoeuvres, many of which having been adopted by the American WWE. Lucha libre wrestlers are known as luchadores. The wearing of masks has developed special significance, and matches are sometimes contested in which the loser must permanently remove his mask, which is a wager with a high degree of weight attached.
The national sport of Mexico dates back to the 16th century and consists of a series of Mexican equestrian events. It is often a competitive rodeo and was developed from animal husbandry practices used in old Mexico. The modern version of the Charreada developed after the Mexican Revolution when charro traditions were disappearing. The sports participants wear traditional charro clothing, which includes a closely fitted suit, boots and chaps as well as the famous traditional wide brim sombrero.
Spanish colonization brought many Spanish traditions to Mexico including the sport made most famous in that country. The sport has become one of the most popular in the nation for the past 400 years. A modern bullfighting show includes a variety of Mexican rodeo events and is often part of the Charreria events.
To emphasise the popularity of the sport Mexico City hosts the world’s biggest bull fighting ring the Plaza Mexico. The opening of which is celebrated annually with a special bullfight called the ‘Corrida de Aniversario’.