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Sports teams, superstars, Champions, Olympics...

California has over twenty major professional sports franchises, far more than any other US state, hosted the Olympic Games 3 times - the Summer Games in Los Angeles in 1932, 1984, the Winter Games at Squaw Valley in 1960 - and other major international events, such as soccer's FIFA World Cup in 1994 and the prestigious America's Cup, a sailing regatta race in 1988, 1992 and 1995.

Legendary teams and superstars bring championship trophies to fans of California in many different sports.

  • The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most successful franchises in all sports with 17 titles. Home of famers, like Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and current stars, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol appear in front of celebrity guests at Staples Center. California is also home to other NBA teams, the talented Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings.
  • The San Francisco 49ers were the first major league professional sports franchise based in San Francisco, and one of the first professional sports teams based on the West Coast The team was the first NFL franchise to win five Super Bowls that included three Super Bowl MVP titles for Joe Montana. Other successful NFL franchises are the Oakland Raiders and their loyal followers of the Raider Nation, as well as Southern California's only pro-football team, the San Diego Chargers.
  • California became a hockey power when icon Wayne Gretzky joined the Los Angeles Kings in 1987. The popularity of Gretzky and the Kings also led to the NHL awarding another expansion teams to California. The San Jose Sharks brought hockey to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1991 and the Mighty Ducks to Anaheim in 1993. In their short history, the Mighty Ducks - now Anaheim Ducks - have made the playoffs seven times, winning hockey's prestigious trophy, the Stanley Cup in 2007.
  • Baseball has five major teams in California, sharing over twenty World Series titles. The Bay Area is home to the San Francisco Giants with five titles, the Oakland Athletics with nine, while Southern California has the Los Angeles Dodgers with six, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim with 1 title and the San Diego Padres.
  • Soccer - the most popular sport around the world - is also represented in California by MLS teams of Chivas USA, the Los Angeles Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes.
  • California has many respected collegiate sports programs. In particular, the athletic programs of the University of Southern California, University of California, Berkeley, UCLA and Stanford University are often nationally-ranked in the various sports. California is also home to the oldest college bowl game, the annual Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
  • Car racing offers three NASCAR races in California. INDY Car series competes every April on the streets of downtown Long Beach. Drag Racing Series holds three national events in California, two in Pomona and one in Sonoma.
  • Car racing offers three NASCAR races in California. INDY Car series competes every April on the streets of downtown Long Beach. Drag Racing Series holds three national events in California, two in Pomona and one in Sonoma.
  • Golfing in California is not only famous for courses like Pebble Beach, host of many U.S. Opens or PGA West in La Quinta, but can be enjoyed all year round at picturesque, world-class locations like Edgewood at Lake Tahoe, Riviera in Los Angeles, Sherwood of Thousand Oaks, Pelican Hill at Newport Beach, Torrey Pines in San Diego and much-much more...
  • America's Cup is the oldest active trophy in international sport since 1851. The prestigious sailing regatta race was held in San Diego in 1988, 1992 and 1995. The trophy was in Europe for a couple of years, but in 2010 the Golden Gate Yacht Club and BMW Oracle Racing team successfully returned it to the USA. The location of the next race will be San Francisco in the summer of 2013.

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