December 6, 2021

Most Popular Sport in Belgium

Sports have had a huge impact on Belgian residents. Belgium is home to the most popular sports personalities like Eddy Merckx, Kim Clijsters, and Justine Henin. More than 1.3 million Belgian residents participate actively in sporting activities.

By 2010, Belgium had more than 17000 sports clubs with an estimated 1.35 participants. Football and cycling are the two most followed sport in Belgium. Apart from football and cycling, other popular sporting activities in Belgium include swimming, athletics, Judo, and tennis.  

  • Soccer

Football is arguably the main sport in Belgium. It is The Belgium National team; there are many other professional football teams in the country. Belgian Pro League matches attract more than 25000 fans, and the league’s best clubs have emerged winners in one or more European Cup Finals. If you’re a sports betting enthusiast, all the top betting sites Belgium have all these games lined up for you to bet on. 

The Red Devils are credited among rare clubs that unite three Belgium regions into solidarity. If you didn’t witness the previous world cup – where Belgium won against the United States, it was the best event ever for the Belgians. Check out other Red Devils’ upcoming games here

The Red Flames is the national women’s team, and they gained popularity when they emerged and made it to the European Championships for the first time in 2020. Belgium also has many amateur clubs countrywide for kids and adults. “After a stunning performance in the European Cup finals, Russia, I expect the Red Devis to perform even better in the 2022 World Cup Qatar.” Kate Richardson

  1. Cycling

It is not easy to picture the life of an ordinary Belgian without a bicycle. A large number of people in Belgium cycle to grocery stores, schools, and places of work. Cycling is a national sport in Belgium. Not to mention those who cycle to the upcountry scenic cycle paths during the weekends. Other road users give cyclists in Belgium uttermost respect. Belgians go an extra mile lining up along the cycling paths to honor their favorite cyclist passing by pumping their fists on the air as it has become a culture.

The best-known cycle race is the Tour of Flanders; this race takes place every April on the first Sunday. A large number of Belgians line in cycling paths to cheer their favorite participant. Cycling is a popular recreational activity and competitive sport in Belgium.

Those who have less interest in cycling may not attend to witness the race but would rather watch the TV coverage; even though that may not sound good, cycling is a cultural activity.

Belgium’s latest cycling hero Philippe Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet finished top in the Tour of Flanders and 2016 Summer Olympics, respectively. 

  • Athletics

The Borlée family has emerged at the top when it comes to sprints in Belgium. The twin brothers Jonathan and Kevin ran 400m races, with Kevin winning gold in the European Championships and bronze in the World Championships. His younger brother Dylan is a 400m athlete and won silver in 2015 at the European level. All brothers participate in 400m relay teams, which have emerged at top positions and won medals at European and world levels.

Olivia Borlée, the eldest brother, participated in the 100 and 200m and broke the record for the 4x100m relay in Belgium, winning bronze in 2007 at the World Champions. He, together with his team members, also won silver in Beijing in 2008. Russians were guilty of doping and stripped of gold.

Brussels is the host of the AG Memorial Van Damme every summer of the year and is part of the IAAF Diamond League. At this time, the top athletic competitors emerge in large numbers for the sport.

Other athletic top events in the country include the Brussels Marathon & Half Marathon and the Antwerp 10 Miles & Marathon. The Dodentoch also enables those willing to run or walk 100km within 24 hours. West Flanders also has a sport version, not outdated by Antwerp province, known as the Nacht van Vlaanderen (Night of Flanders). Short walks and runs are also recognized and are part of this sport. 

Another popular athletic sport in Belgium is Judo. When did Judo become an Olympic sport in Belgium? The country has 13 medals, two gold, one silver, and ten bronze. Apart from running, Judo is another popular athletic sport in Belgium. 

  • Tennis

Apart from football, tennis remains the most-watched sport on Belgian TV. Tennis is one sport that is rarely played. Two-thirds of the Belgian population watch the sport on the screens annually. 

Belgian started adopting tennis in the 2000s when Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters took the top position of the sport; they were ranked number one overall with different points. Clijsters went out of the sports scenes in 2007 but returned in 2009, making headlines around the globe. Joining the US Open with a wild card emerging as the single top participant globally. 

  • Swimming

Belgium winning a silver medal in 100 meters back in the 2016 summer Olympics was a surprise since it was unexpected. This event became a motivating factor for many Belgians who wanted to take the sport professionally. Medallist Pieter Timmers proved to the Belgians that nothing is impossible, with several medals and national records bearing his name. 

On women swimming, Fanny Lecluyse is the top woman who has beaten all odds and won short course medals than any other woman in the last 20 years. Swimming is among the favorite sport in the country after walking and cycling for Belgians.

Conclusion

Sports has become an everyday way of life for Belgians. Football and cycling come out as the two most popular sports in Belgium. 

Numerous world-class sports personalities have come out of this country.   The government of Belgium has done a done good job in putting up world-class sporting facilities that have contributed to the popularity of sports in the country

 

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