Aesthetic appreciation in sports is an understanding and love of the beautiful in sports. Dictionary.com defines the adjective "aesthetic" as indicating a sense of the beautiful.
Ask Vest Christiansen of the University of Aarhaus has written a scholarly article on the subject, defining sports as essentially aesthetic, while locating mythic and heroic themes in sports. Christiansen claims that the aesthetic of sports is created when athletes work hard to overcome bodily and mental limitations and achieve better results than rivals. According to Christiansen, the beauty and mythological power of sports challenges the criticism of sports as a distraction from more pressing matters.