Why can professional athletes compete in the olympics?

seems like basketball is the only olympic event (that ive seen) that allows professional athletes, why is that?
Update: i always thought that the Olympics was an event for those who did not pursue a career in their field (ie, Micheal Phelps) they are not professional athletes like Kobe Bryant is.... that is my question,,,you see this with basketball, but in the winter games, the ice skaters for example are not doing a tour of... show more i always thought that the Olympics was an event for those who did not pursue a career in their field (ie, Micheal Phelps) they are not professional athletes like Kobe Bryant is.... that is my question,,,you see this with basketball, but in the winter games, the ice skaters for example are not doing a tour of icecapades during thier off seasons...they are professional skaters making a living from thier sport...not endorsments from nike, wheaties whoever...
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