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Sports and Exercise

Los deportes y el ejercicio


In Europe there is no doubt that Spanish football is at the top of its game.

After winning Euro 2008, 2010 saw Spain win the FIFA world cup and Atlético Madrid beat Internationale to win the UEFA super cup, even though it was Barcelona and Real Madrid who topped the 2009-2010 Spanish football league at 99 and 96 points respectively.

Spain also finished 15th in the medal tables of the 2008 Beijing summer olympic games, with a total of 18 medals, 5 of which were gold, 10 silver and 3 bronze.

There are community sports centres across Spain, with one per main neighbourhood in the cities which usually offer track and swimming pools as well as a number of exercise classes. However, please note that unless you have learned Spanish to a basic conversational level, you may struggle to get across what you want to do when arriving at the main office as English is not a language commonly spoken in sports centres.

Thankfully, there are certain Spanish summer camps where you can not only learn Spanish in Spain but also practice sports at the same time, with that excellence that Spanish sportmanship is being known for lately.

If however you go to a private gym whilst living in or travelling around Spain, you will find that along with a range of costs for membership, English does tend to be spoken - certainly to the extent of completing your membership and paying your fee. One of the national exclusive gym chains in Spain is the O2 Centro Wellness which has centres in Girona, Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Elche, Granada, Malaga, Seville and Huelva. Foreigners visiting Alicante will also find one.

In any case, and until the day comes, you can increase your Spanish vocabulary by reading the sports section below.

English WordSpanish WordPronunciation
gymel gimnasioel ghim-nasee-yoh
warm upel calentamientoel cal-ent-ammy-entoh
to stretchestiraress-tee-rahr
to be a memberser sociosehr so-thee-oh
locker roomslos vestuariosloss vess-too-aryose
lockerla taquillala tah-kee-yah
machineslas máquinaslass mah-keen-ahs
weightslas pesaslass pess-ahs
to runcorrercoh-rrehr
to walkandarandahr
to swimnadarnahdarr
to playjugarhoo-garr
badmintonel bádmintonel badd-mint-on
squashel squashel squash
rugbyel rugbyel roogbee
horse ridingla equitaciónla eh-kit-ah-thee-yonn
scuba divingel buceoel boo-theyoh
sailingla velala vel-lah
paddleballel pádelel paddel
golfel golfel golf
gymnasticsla gimnasiala ghim-nassee-ah
basketballel baloncestoel balon-thestoh
cricketel críquetel cricket
watersportslos deportes acuáticosloss de-port-es ah-quatickowes
cyclingel ciclismoel thee-clissmo
martial artslos artes marcialeslos artess mar-thee-arless
to fishpescarpess-car
hockeyel hockeyel hockey
to skiesquiares-keyar
volleyballel vóleibolel voll-ebol
to skatepatinarpah-tee-nar
lacrosseel lacrosseel lacrosse
the ruleslas normaslas norm-ass
goalkeeperel porteroel por-tairoh
refereeel árbitroel ar-bee-troh
triathlonel triatlónel tree-atlonn
marathonel maratónel marrah-tonn
golf clubslos palos de golflos pa-los de golf
racketla raquetala rah-ketta
ballla pelotala peh-lowta
ballla bolala bowler
ballel balónel bah-lonn

The Spanish word for ball depends on the sport being played at the time, although the main Spanish word for ball is pelota.