Sunday, February 21, 2010

Olympic Team Sports: Pros vs. Amateurs

Congratulations to Team USA in tonights victory over Team Canada.  It was exciting and a great victory.  However, I can't help but think that sitting somewhere throughout the U.S. there are 30 young men in college who should have been on that ice today.

Don't get me wrong, I am pleased that we won and I am a huge hockey fan . . . but I firmly believe that the Olympics are to showcase the best AMATEUR talent and not professionals who get paid to play.

It is sad that the "Miracle on Ice" will most likely never happen again.  In an effort to maintain national dominance, we have sacraficed the heart and soul of the Olympic spirit. 

In most other Olympic competitions the athletes have real jobs when they are not training.  They are everyday Americans who happen to excel at a sport or competition and strive to be the very best at it.  But our team sports, and not just hockey, but basketball and baseball as well, we have taken that opportunity away from other amateur athletes and given it to those who already have so much.

It is my hope and desire, that someday, the Olympics will once again be about the "Olympic Spirit".  Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic Committee, and whom many consider to be the father of modern Olympic games, said in a statement,
"The important thing is not to win, but to take part", and viewed athletes who try their best but finish last as epitomising the "Olympic spirit".

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