Can only "amateurs" participate in the olympics?
If yes, how come players from the NHL are playing in the US hockey team?
- 3 years agoFavorite Answer
No, professionals can take part.
The orginal idea was that the Olympics would be amateur, but by the 1970s all countries were abusing this. Soviet athletes were given officer's rank in the Red Army but never served a day, they just got paid to practice full time, the same for other athletes from behind the Iron Curtain. In the Free World, corporate sponsorship and fake 'spokesperson' position were used to accomplish the same thing.
Recognizing that amateurism had become a farce, the IOC voted to remove the amateur requirement in 1986. They then made each sport's international federation responsible for determining who was eligible to participate in their sports.
Since then each of the sports in the Olympics has gradually gone professional except for boxing. NHL players began participating in 1998.
- 3 years ago
The Olympics stopped being amateur years ago. Any sports getting added better be prepared to send their "best" to the Olympics (golf sent touring professionals to Rio, and rugby (sevens) did the same). While several of the top-ranked men withdrew over zika virus concerns, all the women showed up and both tournaments were well received (it likely stays in the Olympic programme).
Let's compare other team sports in the Olympic programme: Basketball uses professionals. Handball uses professionals from the top European leagues. Soccer, while an age group tournament (u-23) uses professionals. Baseball got bounced because they didn't send MLB players over.
So the NHL is in no way different from other team sports. I've said for 15 years if you want to make the Olympic hockey tournament an age-group event (say U-25 with two overage players per team) you could do that. The NHL provides most of the players for the Olympic hockey tournament, with the KHL and some of the other European leagues providing the rest. None are amateurs.
- JamesLv 63 years ago
The Olympics as a whole have not been amateur for decades. Beginning in the 80's, each sport were allowed to apply their own eligibility criteria, most of which allowed some participation of pro athletes. In 1986, the IOC voted to allow all athletes to participate in the Olympics beginning in 1988.
- DeanoLv 73 years ago
It used to be only amateur atheletes could compete. It was in the seventies and eighties that the western countries started to push for change. Eastern Bloc atheletes were sanctioned by the state as either military personnel or some other govt job. They paid them fir work, but all they did was train and practice. Around the early nineties it got changed.