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What is the Hardest Sport?

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For the past 50 years, the difficulty and skill gaps in certain sports have increased immensely. Many sports require substantial skill and dedication to become one of the most successful athletes in their respective sport.

Football, basketball, and soccer may be the most popular sports worldwide, but which sport is the most difficult to play?

From blocking an 80 mph slap-shot on the ice, to hitting a 100mph fastball, Baseball and hockey have seemed like the most challenging sports for decades. 

Although hockey and baseball are among the most popular sports globally, they are not even close to the most challenging sport—water polo. 

The amount of endurance and physicality involved in water polo is levels above any athletic sport worldwide. From treading water for 32 minutes straight, to blocking a 70 mph ball flying and bouncing off of the surface of the pool, nothing compares to the difficulty of water polo. 

“With all these big bodies banging into each other, all the crutching and grabbing under the water, you have to stay close, or you risk getting injured, “ said former New Zealand national player Russell McKinnon. 

McKinnon has set a record for most Olympic games as a water polo player, with six Olympic games participated in. McKinnon has also played over 70 Olympic water polo matches, which is a world record.

Water polo is usually not regarded as the most challenging sport because we only see this sport on national television once every four years.

With the Olympics in 2024, Water polo will run on NBC from July 16 to July 29; ten countries will compete with both mens and womens teams. 

Next year, Paris, France, will showcase the world’s most complex sport and the most premier athletes in the world.

Water polo is the most complex sport to learn, play, and achieve at the highest level without a doubt. 

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Riley Congdon, Sports Writer
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