Sports in Denmark
Active lifestyles are important to Danes. Their national sport is soccer and other popular sports are cycling and golf. Sports are important at both the professional and non-professional levels; all levels of schooling in Denmark promote sport teams. Plus, all cities and most towns have local sports clubs. Parken Stadium is Denmark’s national stadium and is located in Copenhagen.
Danish soccer (football) is the most played and most attended sport in the country. There are over 300,000 soccer players and over 1600 soccer clubs within the country. The national soccer team is very accomplished. From 1984 to 2004 they qualified for the European Championships (UEFA), and in 1992, they won the UEFA Championship. The team’s other accomplishments include the winning of the Confederations Cup in 1995 and making it to the quarterfinals in the 1998 World Cup. Within Denmark, the top soccer league is The Danish Superliga, which has twelve teams.
The most famous Danish cyclist is Thorvald Ellegaard. During his active years during the late 1800s and early 1900s, Ellegaard won the world professional sprint six times, as well as three European titles and 24 titles in Denmark. Denmark has produced many other top cyclists. Bjarne Riis won the Tour de France in 1996 and Carlos Sastre won the Tour in 2008. Team Saxo Bank is the best cycling team in Denmark and has world-renowned team members like Matti Breschel and Bo Hamburger. The Danish cyclists have come under fire in the past few years due to steroid use allegations. Eventually, Bjarne Riis, Bo Hamburger and Jesper Skibby confessed to using steroids.
Over the past few decades, golf has become more and more popular in Denmark. There are now more than 180 golf courses and over 30 mini-golf courses in the country. Golf is mostly played by older generations in Denmark, with the largest demographic being over 24 years of age. Pro golf is dominated by Thomas Bjorn, along with Anders Hansen and Steen Tinning. On the lady’s circuit, Iben Tinning is undisputedly Denmark’s best lady golf player.