Bullfighting is a sport
Bullfighting is seen as a fine performance art rather than a competitive sport by its followers and performers. A Matador/a sees himself / herself as a performance artist rather than as an athlete.
Many contemporary tourists approach their first live bullfight thinking they are about to witness a sporting event. The translation from “toreo”/ “Corrida de Toros” to “bullfighting” is very misleading in this sense, hinting at an athletic confrontation between man and beast.
Viewing bullfighting through the prism of Anglo-Saxon culture with its rich athletic tradition and deep rooted sense of fair play though, is often the root for many of the misunderstandings about bullfighting. The death of the bull is preconceived and while the aesthetics of bullfighting display certain combative elements, the outcome of a bullfight is not judged on the damage the bull and the toreros inflict upon each other but by the aesthetic value of their movements and the emotions these conjure up within the spectators.
Bullfighting is written about in the cultural sections of newspapers and its top performers are awarded artistic honors, such as the Medal of Fine Arts as are performers from other artistic disciplines such as literature, film and music.