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Thu Aug 2, 2012, 06:25 PM

I remember when the Olympic games were strictly for amateur athletes.

Pro athletes were barred.
When did that change?

Famous case : Jim Thorpe


James Francis "Jim" Thorpe (Sac and Fox (Sauk): Wa-Tho-Huk, translated to "Bright Path") (May 28, 1888 March 28, 1953) was an American athlete of mixed ancestry (Native American and Caucasian). Considered one of the most versatile athletes of modern sports, he won Olympic gold medals for the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon, played American football (collegiate and professional), and also played professional baseball and basketball.

He lost his Olympic titles after it was found he was paid for playing two seasons of semi-professional baseball before competing in the Olympics, thus violating the amateurism rules. In 1983, 30 years after his death, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) restored his Olympic medals.

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply I remember when the Olympic games were strictly for amateur athletes. (Original post)
trof Aug 2012 OP
Zoeisright Aug 2012 #1
sadbear Aug 2012 #8
Ilsa Aug 2012 #13
UnrepentantLiberal Aug 2012 #15
Lint Head Aug 2012 #2
arbusto_baboso Aug 2012 #3
Mutt22 Aug 2012 #4
trof Aug 2012 #5
Mutt22 Aug 2012 #7
Johonny Aug 2012 #9
hollysmom Aug 2012 #6
Angleae Aug 2012 #10
NoPasaran Aug 2012 #11
JonLP24 Aug 2012 #12
Great Caesars Ghost Aug 2012 #14

Response to trof (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 06:27 PM

1. 1986

Olympic committee voted to allow any athlete to enter. They said "all of the world's great male and female athletes". I think that's a shame. I don't watch basketball or tennis because it's filled with pros. That isn't interesting.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 07:45 PM

8. Tennis is especially uninteresting

They all just got done playing each other multiple times this summer.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:50 PM

13. I agree. And who wants to watch

a basketball game finishing with a score of 145+ to 76? It's no fun.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 3, 2012, 07:06 PM

15. They should have allowed them to be sponsored

 

but that's it. Having millionaire pros playing is ridiculous.

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Response to trof (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 06:33 PM

2. I'm aware of Jim Thorpe but don't actually remember him. Not that old.

He was definitely the greatest athlete.

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Response to trof (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 06:34 PM

3. I was having similar thoughts this morning.

Who exactly is paying the cash bonuses to the medal winners, and WHY? It makes an even bigger mockery of the olympics than they already were of themselves.

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Response to trof (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 06:45 PM

4. I always thought

it was mainly the American athletes that were amateur, most of the others used professionals.

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Response to Mutt22 (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 06:49 PM

5. Russians and Eastern bloc nations, mainly.

Chinese too, I guess.
Not "pro" as we know it, but promising kids whose lives were pretty much taken over by the state and trained for the games. Winning medals was/is a big propaganda deal.

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Response to trof (Reply #5)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 07:43 PM

7. I knew the Russians

used the Red Army Hockey team. They are getting ready to show a segment on American athletes who do not go to a traditional school and/or are home schooled in order to train for their sport on our local news.

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Response to Mutt22 (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 07:50 PM

9. Pretty much

The whole argument about the purity of amateur sports is lost on me. College basketball and football are "amateur" sports. If those sports are refreshing compared to the Olympics then I'm missing something.

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Response to trof (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 06:50 PM

6. When it was amatuers, it was mostly a good old boys club

Only those who could afford it played in the games. If it was really about only the best,people would not be entered by country and their national anthem would not be played.

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Response to trof (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 08:55 PM

10. Do you also remember that the "amateur-only" policy was solely to benefit the 1%?

Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern olympics, was a hardcore 1%er. He put that policy in so that the lower class couldn't afford to train enough to make the teams so that only the aristocrats could.

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Response to Angleae (Reply #10)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 09:25 PM

11. Yes, who can forget the US team's uniform in 1968?

Top hats and monocles, every one of them!

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Response to trof (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 09:31 PM

12. Amateur has largely been a myth

When the Olympics were first created, "Amateur" was a rich person w/ a lot of time on their hands. Poor did not have the time off or the money to be an "Amateur". That is still true, having only amateurs would largely feature those that can afford to be amateurs.

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Response to trof (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:21 PM

14. I'm sorry, but allowing pros in is such a bad idea.

 

1. Pros have NOTHING to prove.

2. It's more about ego than what the olympics REALLY stand for. Our basketball team is the worst in this because all they care about is more about triple doubles than just win the game.

3. Pro make bigger corporate olympic pawns than amateurs. Would you rather buy a box of Wheaties with Phelps on it or the Joe Schmo Public who won gold in team handball? I'll admit, it's very rare that an unknown darling becomes one.

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