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Sports and outdoor games have always been important in Scottish culture. The temperate climate allows for the popularity of all-weather sports like football (what we in North America call soccer) and rugby, which dominate the national sporting consciousness. Scotland holds its own sporting competitions and has its own athletic governing bodies, such as the Scottish Football League, the Scottish Rugby Union, and Cricket Scotland. But while Scotland maintains independent representation at many international sporting events like the FIFA World Cup and the Cricket World Cup, Scottish teams are conspicuously absent from the Olympics.

The history of sport in the Western world owes much Scots and Scottish emigrants: some of their innovations have included golf, curling, the Highland Games, shinty (which is a predecessor of Canada's favourite sport, ice hockey), basketball and cycling.

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