| || Standing in the heart of the Bronx, a poor area of New York City, Yankee Stadium has a meticulously maintained grass lawn. This famous ballpark, home to the New York Yankees, holds 55,000 spectators at baseball games. The national pastime was born in the United States just before 1850 and was soon professionalized. Practiced by more than 150 million players worldwide, which makes it the second most practiced sport after volley-ball (180 million players), baseball was first included in the Olympic Games in 1992. This universal sporting event took place in Beijing, China, in 2008, with athletes from 204 countries participating in 38 disciplines, and a total of 958 medals awarded. Although the 2008 Olympics once more brought together almost all the countries of the world, in the name of sports performance research, it did not erase the political disparities between them, regarding especially the trouble in Tibet, respect of environmental norms and the issue of media censorship in China. In late August 2008, the NGO Reporters Sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders) called on the International Olympic Committee for "respect for free expression to become one of the criteria when selecting cities to host the games".
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