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Pro athletes shouldn’t be allowed in the Olympics (Op-Ed)

With the Paris Summer Olympics of 2024 right around the corner, we’ll see our favorite Olympic athletes, or new ones, shine for the first time since 2022.

Or not, if a pro athlete decides to join and ruin it all.

According to infoplease.com, professional athletes have been allowed to compete in this worldwide event since 1986. Which pros can play, however, is to be determined by separate leagues and whatever team has the player in question.

Originally, the Olympics were a platform for amateur athletes to get their names out there. Those lucky enough to participate ate, slept, and breathed their sport. If they won, they got sponsorship and recognition. Simone Biles is just one example of an Olympic athlete, in this case, a gymnast, who worked tirelessly and reaped the benefits of doing so. Normal, amateur athletes being able to make it big because of the Olympics acted as a source of inspiration for other young athletes to continue chasing their dreams. Now, athletes with more money and fame than most can dream of can add an Olympic medal to their bragging rights and act as if it’s a fair competition. This is a roadblock for newcomers who aspire to use the Olympics as a jumping-off point if there ever was one.

The prize money for placing in the Olympics is also a fairly decent amount of cash. Pro athletes, however, get paid much more. While whether or not sports players get paid too much is a topic up for debate, what shouldn’t be up for debate is that people getting paid millions of dollars a year don’t need the prize money that comes with a gold, silver, or bronze Olympic medal.

For Olympic athletes, the journey to originally get in and compete in the competition is long and grueling. To rise above other qualifiers and prove one’s worth, only to go up against a professional, would not be fair. Professional athletes would, no doubt, mop the floor with other athletes during tryouts, not to mention the real games. The Olympic athletes deserve their moment, professional athletes already have enough attention and good fortune.  

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