In 1980 the United States defeated the Soviet Union in a game of hockey that came to be known as the greatest moment in sports history. The team was compromised of all amateur players. Since then rules have changed and now the use of professional athletes is allowed in Olympic competition. It is my belief that the use of professional athletes in Olympic competition ruins the pride and glory of the games.
Prior to 1952 only amateur athletes were allowed in the Olympic Games, both winter and summer. Then the Soviet Union and its 14 Communist allies entered the games. They trained 8 hours a day, 365 days a year. They won most of the gold, silver and bronze during the 1970s and 1980s. None of these athletes were amateur, and yet they were allowed to compete in the Olympics because the communist athletes were not definable as “pros” It was unfair, so in 1986 the International Olympic Committee changed its rule book to allow "all the world's great male and female ...view middle of the document...
Using amateur athletes makes for a fairer contest. Allthough the U.S. team failed to win gold in 2004 in Athens, they dominated the sport for long enough, taking hopes away from others.
Since the NHL players came to the olympic games, all competition has just been nhl teams vs nhl teams for the most part. It is no longer international competion but just a bunch of nhl players pitted against each other again.
Since the U.S. Hockey team won gold in Lake Placid in 1980, the mens hockey team has not won gold again despite the teams being made up of all NHL players.
In 1998 in Nagano an unknown number of players on the U.S. men's hockey team caused about $1,000 worth of damage to their rooms at the Olympic athlete's village about 10 hours after they were eliminated from the Olympic tournament. Chairs were broken, and two apartments were damaged by activated fire extinguishers. (Washingtonpost.com). This just showed a poor display of sportsmanship and was a disgrace to the United States at the Olympics.
Not that many teams dominate like the mens basketball team and not all other teams destroy hotel rooms after losing, but there are other reasons professional athletes should not be used, such as what it is they are playing for. They don’t really care if they win or not, because they play for money, not pride. Amatuers aren’t worried about money, they play for their pride of the sport and for the chance to play for their country.
Professional athletes who make millions of dollars a year tend not to get as much out of the Olympic experience. They fly in just before their event, stay in the most expensive hotel, and fly back home after their event is over. They miss the Olympic village, the interaction with other athletes, and sometimes even the ceremonies.
This can be the opportunity of a lifetime for a lot of amatuer athletes, where as profressionals are allready on big time teams and don’t care about playing in the olympics because they’re not getting paid.
John Lucas, the official lecturer of the Olympic committee once said…..“The perfect Olympic spirit is a meld of international solidarity and friendship, fair play and sportsmanship at all times... even in stressful competition, and personal pride and love of one's nation.