Some of the sports played in Costa Rica include soccer, Tico-style bullfighting, water sports, Olympic sports, basketball and rugby. Like many other nations in Central America, soccer is considered the national sport.
Most schools in Costa Rica have soccer teams. At the professional level, there are many local and provincial soccer teams. Internationally, Costa Rica has had success in the sport and participated in the World Cup in 1990, 2002, 2006 and 2014. In the 2014 World Cup, Costa Rica advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to the Netherlands. The national team has also been successful in other tournaments, including the Central American Soccer Union Nations Cup.
Other sports that Costa Rica has competed in internationally include rugby and basketball.
Costa Rica has competed in all Summer Olympics since 1956. While they have been successful in soccer, the nation won its first gold medal in 1996 thanks to swimmer Claudia Poll Ahrens' performance in the 200-meter freestyle.
Another sport that is popular in the country is Tico-style bullfighting. This is a more-humane form of bullfighting in which no blood is drawn from the bull. As opposed to a single matador in the ring, many individuals jump into and out of the ring, allowing the bull to give chase.
Costa Rica's geographic makeup also lends itself to less organized sports, such as surfing and scuba diving.