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Should Olympic Athletes Get Paid?

SodaHead Sports 2012/04/12 16:25:43
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Does anyone remember the time when every star NBA player wanted to represent their respective country in basketball at the Olympic Games? It's been a while since we've seen that kind of nationalism on a consistent basis, but we did get the "new" Dream Team in 2008. However, one high-profile member of the team thinks there should be some more incentive besides a gold medal, high-priced sponsorships, worldwide exposure and sports immortality. Well, he did anyway...

"It's a lot of things you do for the Olympics -- a lot of jerseys you sell," Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade recently said to the media during practice."...I do think guys should be compensated...The biggest thing is now you get no rest...It's something you want to do. But it's taxing on your body. You're not playing for the dollar. But it would be nice if you would get compensated."

Wade has since backtracked, tweeting that his American pride means more than money ever could. For NBA players, who have an average salary well into the six-figure range, should Olympic pay even be up for debate? Chances are if stars like Dwyane Wade don't want to play unless compensated, there are other players who will. Money is always great to have, but Olympic memories can last a lifetime.

dwyane wade
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  • RoxLight13 2012/08/02 20:56:39
    Yes
    RoxLight13
    +1
    These proud athletes compete for the gold! They do their best for us so we should pay them!
  • Liz Beckerman 2012/08/01 18:23:13
    Yes
    Liz Beckerman
    +1
    Of course they should get paid. This isn't about the athletes who get multi-million dollar sponserships, or the ones who play professionally. There are 26 sports in the summer olympics and 7 sports in the winter olympics. This includes sports such as badmiton, canoeing, kayaking, synchronized swimming, and a lot more. How many Olympic stars of these sports can you name? Probably not many. If you've never heard of them, they don't have sponsership deals. They aren't getting extra money.

    You might say, so what who cares? They should be playing for the love of the sport. Yes, the probably should. But, in addition to the love of the sport people need to be able to feed and clothe themselves. They may have families they need to feed, wives and husbands to support. The sad truth of the matter is you NEED money to live and train.

    That may be less of a problem in the United States where someone may be able to get a night job shift to barely cover their remaining expenses, but think about people in other less wealthy countries. They CAN'T afford to train for those remaining eleven months because when it comes down to it they need to spend 40 hours a week working a job. This is probably one of the main reasons that you have 300+ athletes from America and Europe and only 2 or 3 from ...
    Of course they should get paid. This isn't about the athletes who get multi-million dollar sponserships, or the ones who play professionally. There are 26 sports in the summer olympics and 7 sports in the winter olympics. This includes sports such as badmiton, canoeing, kayaking, synchronized swimming, and a lot more. How many Olympic stars of these sports can you name? Probably not many. If you've never heard of them, they don't have sponsership deals. They aren't getting extra money.

    You might say, so what who cares? They should be playing for the love of the sport. Yes, the probably should. But, in addition to the love of the sport people need to be able to feed and clothe themselves. They may have families they need to feed, wives and husbands to support. The sad truth of the matter is you NEED money to live and train.

    That may be less of a problem in the United States where someone may be able to get a night job shift to barely cover their remaining expenses, but think about people in other less wealthy countries. They CAN'T afford to train for those remaining eleven months because when it comes down to it they need to spend 40 hours a week working a job. This is probably one of the main reasons that you have 300+ athletes from America and Europe and only 2 or 3 from other poorer countries. Those athletes can't afford to spend the same amound of time training as the ones in the US, Britian, and China can. Does this seem fair? Rather, giving olympic athletes money would give them the means to be able to support themselves so they can devote their time to training. That isn't lessening what the games are about. You can't train that hard for that long and not love what you're doing, you're leveling the playing field. It might be hard to accept that message from a star NBA player, but in the long run it's benefiting more than just him.
    (more)
  • Marshal... Liz Bec... 2012/08/02 01:49:14
    Marshall Maxwell
    My thoughts exactly!
  • cjt11203 2012/05/12 01:58:46
    No
    cjt11203
    it was originally an amatuer event
  • Marshall Maxwell 2012/04/26 16:49:00
    Yes
    Marshall Maxwell
    People are just thinking about basketball players and not all athletes as a combine. Although basketball players make a lot of money, the other competitors don't. In regards to amateurs competing and not professionals, Well the US tried that a long time ago. Didn't work out because after the season was over professional players would go back to their countries and compete in the olympics. How much money is made off the Olympics from Tv deals, sponsorship, endorsements. Where does this money goes if the athletes aren't getting paid. Is that fair? Not all of the athletes are rich. You ask a lot from a person to leave his job and family for the entire summer and not get monetary compensation. Not all athletes get sponsorship after they win because who wants to sponsor a javelin thrower. Not many. We want to have the best of the best compete for our country and give them just a pat on the back for their years of hard work and say job well done. That's not enough.
  • Shep720 2012/04/21 03:26:11
    No
    Shep720
    it seems like they usually do it as a personal goal/achievement. i guess with how much time they spend preparing they don't always have time for much else,,,but many get huge commercial endorsements anyway
  • Tina 2012/04/21 00:04:13
    Yes
    Tina
    they work hard
  • stevie.luplow 2012/04/15 19:36:38
    No
    stevie.luplow
    The olympics are supposed to be about the love of the sport, not money!
  • Bootstrap Bill 2012/04/15 14:56:59
    Yes
    Bootstrap Bill
    I think they should be paid a modest salary. It costs a lot to prepare for the Olympics and the money has to come from somewhere. This is their job. They should get paid for it.
  • JGF 2012/04/15 12:58:01
    No
    JGF
    The Olympics have always been about amateur athletics.

    But of course in our "modern" world nothing gets done unless someone makes a profit from it. And as soon as anyone makes a profit, everyone else involved wants a piece of it.

    "...there should be some more incentive besides a gold medal, high-priced sponsorships, worldwide exposure and sports immortality..."
    Fine. Give this musclehead a pocketfull of cash ...and take away the medal, sponsorships, exposure, and "immortality". Remove his name and likeness from all records and let him fade from memory as a wealthy has-been.
  • Jan Nel 2012/04/15 09:44:27
    No
    Jan Nel
    No, only despots want to be paid.
  • Andrew 2012/04/15 04:52:39
    No
    Andrew
    what for?
  • Tre 2012/04/15 02:01:39
    Yes
    Tre
    Yes they should because they r selling jerseys and tickets for that crap. They deserve the proceeds.
  • the judgebigdogeagle-~PWCM~JLA 2012/04/15 01:30:01
    No
    the judgebigdogeagle-~PWCM~JLA
    It suppose to show case amatuer athelitcs
  • MS PRUD 2012/04/15 00:35:13
    No
    MS PRUD
    If they do not want to play to represent America then they should stay HOME. They should not even ask for payment - sounds like money grubbers.
  • brittany 2012/04/14 20:19:19
    No
    brittany
    if you are asked to be in the olympics then that means that you are a good professional athlete which also means that you're already making MILLIONS. get over it.
  • princess nobody 2012/04/14 17:09:38
    Yes
    princess nobody
    But just enough for their hard work... nothing more than 1,000
  • John T. 2012/04/14 17:03:46
    No
    John T.
    No they should not. They are supposed to be armature athletes. With that said, It seems that this is one of the few countries that do not reimburse our athletes.
  • Chris Babinsky 2012/04/14 16:45:35
    Yes
    Chris Babinsky
    I mean no because they go there for a different reason
  • mk, Smartass Oracle 2012/04/14 16:21:20
  • Dave 007 2012/04/14 11:56:30
    No
    Dave 007
    +1
    Those greedy NBA bastards. Even if they got paid, they would still end up broke.
  • gaylehelen 2012/04/14 11:01:32
    No
    gaylehelen
    +1
    The Olympic competitions are for "amateurs", not professional athletes. It would change the entire concept of the competition if professionals were allowed to compete in every competition.
    I do understand the logic behind letting our basketball players being pros, since they are the "best" for the competition, but it doesn't mean I agree with it. If there was an exception for this sport, why not others? Well, I don't think they ever should have let the pros compete in basketball. Once you make one exception you open the floodgates to have all professionals and that just destroys the entire idea behind the concept of the Olympics.
  • Barbie 2012/04/14 10:01:30
    Yes
    Barbie
    Yes
  • cddjmikey 2012/04/14 08:34:58
    Yes
    cddjmikey
    But just enough to get by on so they can spend more time training. By the way, using professionals from the NBA for basketball was cheating in my opinion !
  • Bootstr... cddjmikey 2012/04/15 14:59:12
    Bootstrap Bill
    All players from communist countries are pro. They are paid by the government. This just levels the playing field.
  • nothingbutthetruth 2012/04/14 07:48:21
    Yes
    nothingbutthetruth
    Why not! Everything Republicans do is to gain money whether for their pocket or for their political bucket. So why not them?
  • Avi 2012/04/14 06:56:15
    Yes
    Avi
    or how else do they freaking get paid for all their hard work, and talents??!?
  • ShamshirMkII 2012/04/14 02:45:55
    Yes
    ShamshirMkII
    They're professionals, are they not? Pros get paid to perform, especially if they do really well in whatever field they're in.
  • uninformedluddite 2012/04/14 01:49:23
    Yes
    uninformedluddite
    He obviously needs the money. It must be a very hard life being a star athlete in the USA. Give the poor man some compassion (preferably in cash).
  • Fashionable60s 2012/04/14 01:48:52
    No
    Fashionable60s
    It is an amateur sport competition doing one's personal best for the love of the country. Usually they'll get their faces on the cereal boxes or the other sporting good advertisements after they won the medals.
  • darazan 2012/04/14 01:46:27 (edited)
    No
    darazan
    +1
    The Olympics is supposed to be non-professionals. That's the point. No one gets paid for being an Olympic athlete. It goes against the spirit of the games. Being in the Olympics is something that someone should be proud of, not belittle. If they wanted to get paid, they should have tried going professional instead of working towards the Olympics. Being an Olympic athlete is such an amazing opportunity. You get to represent the best of your country in a worldwide games event. You couldn't get more awesome if they added a giant flaming torch, which they do.
  • Get Bashed 2012/04/14 01:11:51
    Yes
    Get Bashed
    Not CASH, but I think some kind of reward should be given for representing their countries. There's a lot of work and sacrifice involved in their lives!
  • T 2012/04/13 21:23:38
    Yes
    T
    I think they deserve to get a little bit of compensation for trying to make our country look good. They put themselves out and sometimes it hard to pay all the bills. I think we would have more medalists if we helped those who are skilled enough, but lack the financial situation that would allow them to compete. The best athletes should win. Not the best of those who can afford it. I'm not saying we should give them a free ride. I just think that on a need and skill basis, we should offer opportunities for them to earn enough money working doing things like shooting anti-drug abuse PSA's.
  • ajracestables1 2012/04/13 21:16:12
    No
    ajracestables1
    You are competing for yourself, you are not working for anyone. Money can't buy you a metal you have to have what it takes to win one.
  • Walter Harris 2012/04/13 21:00:27
    No
    Walter Harris
    the olympics is a preveledge not a right
  • EB 2012/04/13 20:56:37
    No
    EB
    But then again they should not be professional athletes either.
  • BigFig#9 2012/04/13 20:29:31
    Yes
    BigFig#9
    They mostly do. This argument has ended a long time ago. Let the individual sport authorities set up the Olympic context. DIRECT payment isn't even needed in most sports as Olympic participation for Hockey, Basketball, Football (real football-not American) etc.. is a career builder for contract value and endorsements.
  • P. Sturm 2012/04/13 20:27:25
    Yes
    P. Sturm
    If other countries are going to be allowed to compensate their athletes ours should be too. The international Olympic Committee needs to get off their asses and figure out an equitable system.
  • Bootstr... P. Sturm 2012/04/15 15:01:44
    Bootstrap Bill
    The Olympics Committee makes a TON of money from advertising. Share some of this with the players. At least enough to pay their basic living expenses while they are participating.
  • rayray 2012/04/13 20:23:36
    No
    rayray
    it goes against the whole idea of level competition.

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