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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several outdoor sports and activities boomed during the pandemic as people sought safer, more socially-distant alternatives.

By the numbers: What began with a cycling boom has since expanded to golf courses, tennis courts, hiking trails and beyond.

  • Golf saw a 27% year-over-year increase in rounds played in the U.S. from June to December.
  • Tennis saw a 22% increase in the number of people who reported playing at least once, while pickleball saw similar growth.
  • Outdoors: 8.1 million more Americans hiked in 2020 than in 2019, 7.9 million more went camping and 3.4 million more went freshwater fishing, per AP.
  • Disc golf: 50 million rounds of disc golf were played worldwide in 2020, roughly doubling 2019's total. 50% of new players played at least five rounds their first month, per UDisc, a scorekeeping app.
"The pandemic skipped us ahead about three years in our growth curve."
Josh Lichti, CEO of UDisc

Looking ahead: Most booms will go bust as the country reopens and people get their lives back. But don't be surprised if some of these activities sustain momentum, particularly as summer approaches.

Go deeper: The pandemic drove people to tennis and golf. Will they keep playing? (NYT)

Go deeper

DOJ sues American Airlines, JetBlue to block "unprecedented" alliance

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Justice Department on Tuesday sued American Airlines and JetBlue to block an "unprecedented series of agreements" that will consolidate the two airlines' operations in Boston and New York City.

Why it matters: The civil antitrust complaint alleges that the planned Northeast Alliance (NEA) "will cause hundreds of millions of dollars in harm to air passengers across the country through higher fares and reduced choice," the DOJ said in a release.

FBI: Body identified as Gabby Petito, death ruled a homicide

A memorial dedicated to Gabby Petito near City Hall in North Port, Fla. Photo: Octavio Jones/Getty Images

A body found in Teton County, Wyoming, on Sunday was confirmed to be the remains of missing 22-year-old blogger Gabby Petito, the FBI announced Tuesday.

Driving the news: The death was ruled a homicide by the Teton County coroner's office, the FBI said. The cause of death has not been determined.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

China vows end to building coal-fired power plants abroad

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Mary Altaffer/Pool/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping told the UN General Assembly Tuesday that his country "will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad" and plans to boost support for clean energy in developing nations.

Why it matters: The pledge, if maintained, would mark a breakthrough in efforts to transition global power away from the most carbon-emitting fuel.