Around the mid-19th century, sports entities and clubs of all kinds became common, and were often connected to cultural associations. It was from the 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition that significant growth really occurred: this date is considered the beginning of fully regulated sport in Catalonia.
Major sporting events have been organised in Catalonia regularly since the earliest times: there are records of a rowing regatta in 1821, in Barcelona; the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (cycling tour), which has been held ninety-four times since 1911 and is one of the oldest races after the Tour de France (1903) and the Giro (1909); the classic 15 km Jean Bouin running race was created in 1920 and held ninety-one times until 2014; the Penya Rhin Grand Prix was held on an urban circuit eleven times from 1921 to 1954, and has since been replaced by the Circuit of Barcelona-Catalonia Grand Prix at Montmeló; the Conde de Godó Tennis Trophy is another classic, since 1953; in 1955 the Mediterranean Games were held in Barcelona, and have been awarded to Tarragona for 2017; in 1992 the 25th Olympic Games in Barcelona.
In the minds of the Catalan people the names of certain athletes will be forever remembered for representing their homeland around the world: Joaquim Blume (gymnastics), Miquel Poblet (cycling), Pep Samitier (football), An- dreu Gimeno (tennis), Antoni Amorós (gym- nastics), Pau i Marc Gasol (basketball) and many others.
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