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Professional Athletes in the Olympics

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In the beginning of the modern Olympic games, athletes were required to be amateurs. That requirement extended beyond the sport they competed in and included any form of payment for athletic performance. Jim Thorpe’s performance in the 1912 Olympics exemplified this rule. However, as time went on, nations began suspecting one another of seeding the games with state professionals or other less-than-amateur entries. The United States truly bit the professional athlete bullet with the 1992 Dream Team that effectively changed the face of Olympic basketball. Now, nearly every athlete of dominance has some form of professional affiliation or monetary sponsorship and the games are inundated with advertisements and endorsements.

Are the Olympics better for having the best athletes or cheapened by the marketing associated with them?

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Even stranger... by Occams

Prior to WWII there were many Olympic events that were not remotely related to sport, such as : poetry; sculpture, and even town planning. These were removed because the Olympic committee considered that the contestants probably did these things for a living and it was against the amateur spirit. It was thought then that only sport had a hope of remaining pure.

The founder of the Modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, competed in poetry.

The torch relay is not a Greek tradition, but was introduced by the Nazis for the 1936 Olympics under the inspiration of Dr Goebells, Propaganda Minister and extreme racist. Why do they still do it?

An Qlympic gold medal is 98% silver by weight. After al,l we couldn’t really expect them to waste real gold on people who do so little to earn it! it would cost the IOC or host country a couple of $million to give them all real gold medals.

Australia is still disqualifying some of its best sportsmen due to concerns about professionalism.

Any competitor who is taking performance enhancing drugs, whether detected or not, is: not a competitor; did not compete; did not win anything; their medals should be removed and returned with an abject apology to those who did compete and really won them.

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