♥ Blue asked in SportsOther - Sports · 1 decade ago

A question about Olympians and professional sports players....

I'm unsure about this but I thought an Olympian had to be a non professional sports player or someone that doesn't make a living playing their sport. I saw Lebron, Kobe and Jason Kidd( all of them make me want to puke) at the opening ceremony. Why? How come the best college or unsigned basketball players aren't playing? Anybody know?

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  • Ashley
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Originally, professional athletes weren't allowed to compete in the Olympics. It was felt that professional athletes, who trained for a living, had an unfair advantage over the amateur athletes, who had to fund their own training and had less time to train because they held regular jobs.

    However, with the rise of Communism in the 1960-70s, it became apparent that the non-professional rule was no longer fair. Athletes from those countries were fully funded by their governments; they didn't hold regular jobs, and they trained long hours every day. Essentially, they were professional athletes, although they were officially considered amatuers.

    In 1986, the IOC voted to allow professional athletes to compete in certain sports. It was left up to the International Federations of each sport to decide whether to allow professionals to compete in their sport at the Olympics. The 1988 games in Seoul were the first games to include professional athletes. At the 2004 games, the only sport that did not allow professionals was boxing.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i think anyone can go to the olympics, whether their professionals or not

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