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Thread: Pro Athletes in the Olympics

  1. #1
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    Default Pro Athletes in the Olympics

    Ok, so what do you all think about professional athletes being allowed to participate in the Olympics?

    Erica

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    It annoys me.

    tennis, softball, baseball, basketball, cycling- the $ these people are making in endorsements alone is annoying enough. Phelps is a great guy, I'm sure and I don't necessarily blame him for getting in while he can, but- enough already. And freaking Lance Armstrong has been on TV enough for two lifetimes. yes, 6 Tours if an incredible feat- but I am NOT going to buy a Subaru because of it.

    add on top of it- the basketball team has been barely able to function because it is comprised of a bunch of "stars" who don't know how to play as a team. the baseball team didn't even qualify for the games. I heard a great comment on NPR this weekend, one of the broadcasters said something to the effect of "oif you have a child that plays basketball, make them watch the US women's team, the Spanish, etc. because that's basketball. What our men's team is good at is showboating and that's pathetic."

    Jenn

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    re: Lance Armstrong and Subaru ads

    How obvious is that they shot the parts with him without knowing what the content of the rest of the ad would be? He says the corniest things that just do not fit with the rest of the ad. It's so cheesy.
    But if he likes Subarus, I'll bet I would too....

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    I think it depends on the sport and what other contries are doing.

    I don't have a problem with it despite what is happening now with the men's basketball team. I admit, I LOVE sports...some more than others and to be that physically talented AND work hard to get better is facinating to me. Some athletes don't work hard and it's somewhat shameful but it's their choice and ...whatever.

    The men's basketball team is an interesting problem. They aren't playing well despite having good players and an excellent coaching staff. Yet, they are playing teams who train together for years, have a teams with outside shooters (WHY don't we have any!), they know the international rules by heart, and basically play a different style of game than we are used to playing.

    The other teams are more prepared than we are which makes sense with how they are able to train. Further, the talent and awareness of basketball in general has cought up with the US so the games would be closer than ever regardless of the team we sent out on the court. So many players turned down invitations to represent the US in men's basketball which is disappointing. Yes the men are playing lousy but they are there representing our country when they could be home doing whatever they do in the off season like so many other NBA players are. I think the deck was stacked against them from the start and most people are happy they are failing.

    The Olympics are changing from when we were kids but not all of it is bad -- or even most of it. I think this is just a big transition year for the US and all of the bad press (some of it accurate for sure) we have gotten as a nation and as an Olymic team.
    Flynn

    Wife to post training CT surgeon; mother of three kids ages 11, 9, 5.

    "Things turn out the best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." John Wooden

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    Default get rid of the pros

    I think it's ridiculous that pro-athletes get to compete in the Olympics. There are a lot of talented non-pro athletes who are shut out simply because they aren't pros. The pros make so much money from their sport that sometimes I think that it's the money that drives them to play. (Show me the money!) What I mean is that it seems as if they're out there to earn more money than to perfect their sport. And that's what I think of the Olympics...athletes who live and breathe their sport, train super hard for the ultimate chance of an Olympic medal. I would guess to say that the an Olympic medal would mean much more to a college student athlete than a pro basketball player that has won the NBA finals a few times.

    Can you tell that I am anti pros in the Olympics?


    -Melanie

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    I don't mind professionals in the Olympic Games. I agree with Flynn in regards to Olympic Basketball -- i.e. it's not simply about our NBA players coasting. So far, the highlight of the games for me was the women's marathon. To me, that race embodied everything that the Olympics Games are supposed to represent. Of course, as a middle of the pack marathoner myself, I suppose I'm biased.

    Did you see how intense all of the athletes were? All of them were professionals; they receive sponsorships, appearance money at major marathon venues, and purses when they place at those marathons. Yet, none of them would think about bypassing the games or taking their participation in them lightly. Without that financial support, it is highly unlikely that any could afford to devote the time to train at a world-class level.

    As far as overexposure of athletes, well that's what happens on broadcast television in the United States. Though I've never lived abroad, I have friends from other countries who lament the way we cover the Olympics here in the United States. Specifically, they tire of the melodrama we infuse into the mini "biographies" of the athletes' lives. Apparently, other countries simply cover more of the games without all of the stories.

    At times, I would have to agree that the "stories" get old. However, there is always the remote to change the channel. Also, though his face is everywhere, I personally have enjoyed the coverage of Michael Phelps. To me, he embodies the Olympic spirit in that he appears to be genuinely unselfish and modest given his extraordinary talent. He seems to be a refreshing foil to some of his team members like Gary Hall, Jr. who is terribly arrogant. After the video clip of his interview where he basically said he's God's gift, coupled with that ridiculous Rocky-esque stars and stripes silk robe he wore on the pool deck, I have to admit I was hoping he wouldn't capture the gold.

    To me, the saddest part of amateur and professional sports these days is the prevalence of doping. I also found it quite sad and ironic that the homecoming to Greece was tainted with so many doping violations of the host country.

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    Where do you exactly draw the line regarding who is a "pro-athlete". Seems like there are a lot of athletes whose sport is their job and they do win large purses at their respective events but they aren't as much of a public figure as the pro-basketball figures. It would seem odd not to send an elite marathon runner to the Olympics to represent our country, so I guess the same should apply to basketball or other sports. It does seem different though, but I'm not sure other than the money they make and their huge endorsements and popularity, what exactly makes it different.
    Awake is the new sleep!


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