Letter — Olympic glory has been restored
February 26, 2003
I read the editorial opinion, Our View, printed Feb. 21 with conflicting reactions: first, amusement from a publically touted opinion based upon a gross error; and secondly, great disappointment from knowing that this erroneous opinion was penned by an individual whose career is journalism.
From my reading, the point of the article was to criticize the United States Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee for allowing the participation of professional athletes as competitors within the Games. The editor bases the chastisement upon the belief that the Ancient Olympic Games, founded in Olympia, Greece, circa 1200 BC, were athletic events held for the amateur athlete.
According to my reference authority, Encyclopaedia Britannica, “The competitors, including those who came from the Greek colonies, were amateur in the sense that the only prize was a wreath or garland. The athletes underwent a most rigorous period of supervised training, however, and eventually the contestants were true professionals. Not only were there substantial prizes for winning, but the Olympic champion also received adulation and unlimited benefits from his city. Athletes became full-time specialists — a trend that in the modern games has caused a long and bitter controversy over amateurism.”
In your editorial you stated, “It is unfortunate with the Olympics returning to Greece next year that we are unable to restore the Games to their original form when they were first played in Olympia.” Please, lay your Olympic concerns to rest and cheer up. Dear editor — you got your wish. The Games have been restored to their full glory. As the participants of the Ancient Games were professionals, so are their modern counterparts.
South Lake Tahoe
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