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Switzerland Sports

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Switzerland Sports

Skiing and mountaineering are much practiced by Swiss people and foreigners, the highest summits attract mountaineers from around the world. The Haute Route trekking or the Patrouille des Glaciers race have international reputation.

Like many European nations the Swiss are big fans of football (Soccer) and the national team or 'Nati' is widely supported. Switzerland's most well known football clubs include Grasshoppers Zurich, Servette FC and FC Basel. Switzerland was also the joint venue with Austria in the Euro 2008 football tournament, although the Swiss team dropped out before the Quarter Finals. More successful was the Swiss Beach Soccer Team. In the Euro Beach Soccer Cup 2008 they became runner-up. They lost the final against Spain. Dejan Stankovic was Euro Beach Soccer League Best Player in 2007.

Many Swiss also follow ice hockey and support one of the 12 clubs in the league A. In 2006, supporters in the PostFinance Arena set a new European record for average attendance, with an average of 15,994 in 22 home games. Switzerland will host the 2009 IIHF World Championships for the 10th time.

Over the last few years several Swiss tennis players, like Roger Federer and Martina Hingis, have been multiple Grand Slam singles champions. One of the world's best current ice skaters is Swiss Stéphane Lambiel. Switzerland is also the home of the successful sailing team Alinghi.

Curling has been a very popular winter sport for more than 30 years. The Swiss teams have won 3 World Men's Curling Championships and 2 Women's titles. The Swiss men's team skipped by Dominic Andres won a gold medal at 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics.

Golf is a growing sport with more than 35 courses available. Andre Bossert is currently enjoying success on the European Professional Tour.

Other sports where the Swiss have been successful include fencing (Marcel Fischer), cycling (Fabian Cancellara), whitewater slalom (Ronnie Dürrenmatt – canoe, Mathias Röthenmund – kayak), ice hockey (Swiss National League), beach volleyball (Sascha Heyer, Markus Egger, Paul and Martin Laciga), and skiing (Bernhard Russi, Pirmin Zurbriggen, Didier Cuche).

Motorsport racecourses/events were banned in Switzerland following the 1955 Le Mans disaster with exception to events such as Hillclimbing. However, this ban was overturned in June 2007.

Even though racing has been banned in Switzerland, the country has produced successful racing drivers such as Clay Regazzoni, Jo Siffert and successful World Touring Car Championship driver Alain Menu.

High profile drivers from Formula 1 and World Rally Championship such as Michael Schumacher, Nick Heidfeld,Kimi Räikkönen, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Sébastien Loeb all have a residence in Switzerland, albeit mainly for tax purposes.

Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia

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