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Thread: 2014 Sochi Olympics

  1. #226
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: 2014 Sochi Olympics

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingspoint View Post
    Boxing only uses amateurs in the Olympics. Always has and the Olympics haven't suffered because of it.

    Nobody has come up with a reasonable explanation as to why professionals of any sport should be allowed to compete in the Olympics.
    Boxing is just about the only Olympic competition that uses amateurs in a big money professional sport, largely because it's a highly individual sport controlled by shady promoters and shadier alphabet soup organizations, and even if you could negotiate all that treachery to stage some sort of national championship there's no way pro fighters would do it for anything less than a mega-purse (nor should they given the risk they take every time they step into the ring).

    And while the overall Olympics haven't suffered because of amateur boxers, Olympic boxing is terrible. The quality is in the toilet (largely due to a scoring system that rewards you for slapping your opponent) and a slew of controversial decisions forced yet a new set of changes to Olympic boxing. NBC relegated it to CNBC where no one watched it.
    Last edited by M2; 02-25-2014 at 05:02 PM.
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    IslandRed (02-26-2014)

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  4. #227
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: 2014 Sochi Olympics

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingspoint View Post
    Boxing only uses amateurs in the Olympics. Always has and the Olympics haven't suffered because of it.

    Nobody has come up with a reasonable explanation as to why professionals of any sport should be allowed to compete in the Olympics.
    One thing to remember when people started playing organized sports, obviously there weren't any real professionals around. The amateur then was quite different than the amateurs we know today. They were of the upper class and had enough money from family wealth or their profession that they could do these sports in their spare time. Yes, they played sports because they loved it (the root of the word amateur) but they could afford to.

    Professional golf and tennis - especially tennis - took so long to become accepted because they were country club sports. The professionals were seen as lower class individuals and weren't gentlemen. Up until the late 60s, professionals couldn't play in Grand Slam tennis events.

    If people would like to see the Olympics as purely for amateurs, that's fine. But while they aren't making any money directly from performing, the really good ones - especially in figure skating and track and field - get paid in endorsements and appearance fees. Look at college basketball players. AAU players get sponsored all the time by shoe and clothing companies. Even among the Olympic sports, only the non-marquee sports have true amateurs participating.

    The media and the politicians have made the Olympics a sort of world championships and if you don't get gold, you are a loser.
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    M2 (02-25-2014)

  6. #228
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    Re: 2014 Sochi Olympics

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post

    If people would like to see the Olympics as purely for amateurs, that's fine. But while they aren't making any money directly from performing, the really good ones - especially in figure skating and track and field - get paid in endorsements and appearance fees. Look at college basketball players. AAU players get sponsored all the time by shoe and clothing companies. Even among the Olympic sports, only the non-marquee sports have true amateurs participating.
    My girlfriend's son was given all the shoes he wanted from NIKE for free from the age of 12, and all he did was skateboard.

    It's very difficult to get to any level of a sport without having received some sort of compensation in return.

  7. #229
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    Re: 2014 Sochi Olympics

    Amateur athelete fetishism is a bit like lamenting "career politicians". Romantic notions that have rarely been true.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

  8. #230
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: 2014 Sochi Olympics

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingspoint View Post
    Nobody has come up with a reasonable explanation as to why professionals of any sport should be allowed to compete in the Olympics.
    My explanation is simple: I believe the Olympics should be a competition of the world's best athletes, and in today's world the best athletes are almost always professionals -- at least, in any sport that people will pay to watch. If you prefer a different model, I respect that, but I find nothing unreasonable about that stance.

    Anyway, the all-professionals-welcome rule is 25 years old (any restrictions like with boxing are imposed by the sport federations and not the IOC), so we ought to be used to it by now.
    Not all who wander are lost

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    M2 (02-25-2014)

  10. #231
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: 2014 Sochi Olympics

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandRed View Post
    My explanation is simple: I believe the Olympics should be a competition of the world's best athletes, and in today's world the best athletes are almost always professionals -- at least, in any sport that people will pay to watch. If you prefer a different model, I respect that, but I find nothing unreasonable about that stance.

    Anyway, the all-professionals-welcome rule is 25 years old (any restrictions like with boxing are imposed by the sport federations and not the IOC), so we ought to be used to it by now.
    I'm not looking to keep all professionals out of the Olympics but I would like to see the NHL and NBA folks stay out

  11. #232
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: 2014 Sochi Olympics

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Excellent points. One of the best things the Olympics has done in the past couple of decades is it's stopped acting like NCAA.
    Come to think of it, "stop acting like the NCAA" is good advice when applied to any number of issues. But that's another thread for another time.
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