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Professional Olympics?

Afternoon all,

Had a search through the forums but can't find an answer to this, apologies if it's been discussed before but here goes...

I always thought the Olympics were meant to be purely for amatuer sportsmen but we appear to be getting professional tennis players and basketball players (Kobe Bryant for example) taking part.

Has there been a change to the rules for these sports or is there no such thing as amatuer sport anymore?

Thanks for helping clear this up.

I was curious about this also so googled it a few days ago. Apparently the requirement to be amateur was dropped from the Olympic Charter a while ago and it is now up to the federations of each sport to decide on the professional / amateur status. This was partly due to the state sponsored (yet still amateur) athletes in the Eastern Bloc becoming vastly superior to the unfunded athletes in the west, as they could concentrate on the sport rather than having to hold down a job to help pay for it.

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