Beautiful Switzerland is home to various sports and some of the top athletes in the world. This article offers an insight into some of the most popular sports in the country, so the next time someone mentions Switzerland, you are not reminded of the Swiss Alps or Swiss chocolate only.
Football In Switzerland
First up, we have football, the most popular sport in the world. It is popular as a participatory and spectator sport, and the Swiss love to watch football matches. It is known that around 10,000 matches are held across the country every weekend. The country is also home to the head offices of the major football federations, with FIFA in Zurich and UEFA in Nyon. Zurich is also home to the FIFA World Football Museum.
The Swiss national football team Nati is highly regarded and supported by ardent fans. The team has been a part of the FIFA World Cup a total of 11 times and for the twelfth time in 2022. It has participated in the UEFA European Championships five times.
Although most Swiss are die-hard football fans, the country has not landed an international title. Besides the national team, Switzerland has two main football leagues, the Swiss Challenge One, and the Swiss Super League. The most prominent club is the Grasshopper Club Zurich.
Skiing In Switzerland
The next sport on our list is not surprising, considering Switzerland’s landscape and geographical features. Winter sports are widely popular in the country due to the Swiss climate and landscape. In fact, when you think of skiing, the first thing that comes to mind is the Swiss Alps.
Switzerland’s ski resorts are some of the most frequently visited skiing destinations worldwide. The most popular skiing regions include the Zermatt, St. Mortiz, Verbier, Davos, and Arosa, among others.
The Swiss love to ski and a significant percentage of the locals indulge in the activity on a regular basis, having the highest percentage among the European nations. Skiing athletes from Switzerland have stood out on the international front, winning 57 medals in the Olympics.
Mountaineering is also very popular in Switzerland, and mountaineers from around the world come to conquer the high Swiss summits.
Tennis In Switzerland
A list of the most popular sport in Switzerland cannot be complete without the mention of tennis. It is, after all, the birthplace and home to the tennis legend of Roger Federer, who dominated world tennis for many years and kept his fans enthralled with his performance at world events. He was the world no. 1 for 310 consecutive weeks and won 103 ATP singles titles. Federer has recently announced his retirement from tennis after a phenomenal career. Other popular players include Martina Hingis and Stan Wawrinka.
Switzerland is also home to the International Tennis Federation, which is based in Basel. The rise in popularity of tennis in Switzerland in recent decades can be attributed to the massive talent that has emerged from the country during this time.
It is not only enjoyed as a spectator sport but also a popular participatory sport, as Swiss like to play tennis for fun. One of the most popular tournaments is the Indoor tournament held in Basel every year.
Next on our list is a traditional sport called Schwingen. Most outsiders are not aware of what the sport is all about. It is a form of local Alpine wrestling and is regarded as the country’s national sport by many.
The earliest traces of Schwingen being played formally in the country can be found in the wrestling festivals held in the early part of the 19th century. Schwingen is a battle between two wrestlers who fight in a circle fashioned out of sawdust. The wrestler who gets the others back first on the ground wins the fight.
The Swiss traditions are deeply reflected in the game as the players treat each other with respect and dignity, and the winner of the match wipes the sawdust off from the back of the player who loses. Despite being an old sport, the popularity of Schwingen continues to increase.
Ice Hockey In Switzerland
Swiss are huge ice hockey fans. The National League has been Europe’s most-attended ice hockey league since 2017. Most Swiss are ardent fans and support at least one of the 13 teams in the National League.
The national ice hockey team has also performed well in the past and currently ranks 7th in the IIHF world ranking. The team won two silver medals in the World Ice Hockey Championships in 2013 and 2018.