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Should Olympic Athletes Get Paid?

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.

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  • ancientmath 2012/04/13 15:25:02
    No
    ancientmath
    +1
    At least he had the sense to retract it.
  • firebird 2012/04/13 15:24:09
    No
    firebird
    +1
    No... Not professionals.
  • Andy 2012/04/13 15:20:24
    Yes
    Andy
    +1
    they are in other countries... and with the US using NBA and WNBA athletes...they are professionals....WHY NOT QUIT FOOLING OURSELVES...they are ALL professionals.
  • jacktown kid 2012/04/13 15:20:14
    Yes
    jacktown kid
    Yes they should
  • Reggie☮ 2012/04/13 15:12:12
    No
    Reggie☮
    +1
    No I don't think so.
  • Jaden Sterling 2012/04/13 15:03:30
    No
    Jaden Sterling
    +1
    They get sponsorships who give them money. What do they need more money for? This is something they want to do, not something they want to get paid to do.
  • Soup Man 2012/04/13 14:57:28
    Yes
    Soup Man
    There not now?
  • Dynasty Fighter 2012/04/13 14:46:44
    No
    Dynasty Fighter
    +2
    No they shouldn't
  • Daniel Francis 2012/04/13 14:41:17 (edited)
    No
    Daniel Francis
    +1
    Also, not one cent of taxpayer money should go to the Olympics. http://www.americablog.com/20... and http://pjmedia.com/tatler/201...
  • Nomad58 2012/04/13 14:40:11
    No
    Nomad58
    +3
    These greedy athletes get paid too much as it is driving ticket prices well beyond the reach of the average fan. Maybe we should institute the Aztec rule; losing team's Captain is sacrificed during the playoffs.
  • fortycal_sig 2012/04/13 14:36:30
    Yes
    fortycal_sig
    +1
    If the games make a profit, every athlete from every country should get a fraction of that profit.
  • Nomad58 fortyca... 2012/04/13 14:41:55
    Nomad58
    +1
    Most cities that sponsor the Olympic wind up losing millions of dollars.
  • magdale... Nomad58 2012/04/13 18:39:37
    magdalena.nix
    Where did you get that information? I lived about four hours away from Atlanta in the Atlanta games and they kept bragging on the news about how much money would be brought into the city.
  • Nomad58 magdale... 2012/04/14 06:14:05
    Nomad58
    They wound up breaking even.

    Here's an article from London about failed cities:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/...
  • GLaDOS 2012/04/13 14:32:54
    No
    GLaDOS
    They shouldn't be paid, but the Olympians shouldn't have to pay for the training, in my opinion. I believe it is a volunteer position, where you get to have one of the biggest privileges in the world, representing your country on a world stage. They should compete for pride, not for money.
  • Temlakos~POTL~PWCM~JLA~☆ 2012/04/13 14:25:34
    No
    Temlakos~POTL~PWCM~JLA~☆
    +2
    Let the executors of the estate of Jim Thorpe call their lawyers! This is a travesty of the Olympic idea. They are supposed to be *amateurs*.

    Years ago, Jim Thorpe lost his gold medals after the IOC found out about his season of semi-pro baseball. His family tried for decades to get the IOC to grant posthumous clemency and restore the medals. And now this!!!?
  • turtledove123 2012/04/13 14:24:37
    Yes
    turtledove123
    Other countries take very good care of their athletes. This country expects them to pay for everything. Does anyone have an idea of how much they spend on training? What the parents of these gifted athletes have to spend to get them lessons? It is almost impossible for them to pay for the lessons. Skating and what not, especially. They should be able to make a living.
  • ID51 2012/04/13 14:12:31
    No
    ID51
    +2
    If these guys are pro players already - they've got money. Being part of the Olympics should be something one does out of pride and to represent the country. Definitely find players who want to do something to represent the USA in a positive light and leave the greedy ones home!
  • Quazar 2012/04/13 14:03:16
    Yes
    Quazar
    The USA is the only nation/country that requires the Olympic Athletes to train with no funding other than what the parents can afford or donations from private sources. NO amount of money can be given to the Athlete. BUT say the Soviet Union, Korea, China among many others, the country foots the entire training bill for each athelete. This includes housing, clothing, food, transportation, and a small account fot incidentials. I think our atheletes should benefit from the richest nation in the world by allowing any type moneys.
  • GLaDOS Quazar 2012/04/13 14:42:24
    GLaDOS
    China? A country that takes a potential Olympic athlete from childhood to train them up to, hopefully become an Olympian? Of course they pay for everything, the children become wards of the state.

  • Nomad58 Quazar 2012/04/13 14:48:31
    Nomad58
    We are talking about an NBA team here not Sally Skater.
    Most NBA Players had full rides through College.

    Besides Sally will be in competition after the Olympic which will more than repay her youthful training expenses. In case you haven't noticed those countries you mentioned are communist Nations, we aren't and tend to play by the rules.
  • V~POTL~PWCM~JLA 2012/04/13 13:48:56 (edited)
    No
    V~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    +1
    The athletes should not be paid for being in the Olympics. As it is, they get tremendous benefit from the publicity -- endorsement deals, pro sports contracts, etc. Rest assured, there will be no shortage of Olympic competitors even if the status quo is maintained and the only compensation is the chance to win a medal.

    If athletes are getting paid to play their sport OUTSIDE of Olympic competition, they should still be allowed to compete. Communist countries made a mockery of "amateur status" decades ago -- no sense in pretending the Olympics are restricted to amateurs only. For the most part, that problem has been solved at the Olympic level (although the pseudo-student status of college basketball and football players is another discussion for another poll).

    What I find bizarre about the Olympics is the number of US athletes who fail to qualify for a spot on the US Olympic team and end up competing for some other country based on their ancestry. If you are a US citizen, either win a spot on the US team or stay home and watch the Olympics on TV.
  • ETpro 2012/04/13 13:44:59
    No
    ETpro
    +1
    But that assumes that the communist nations stop financing their elite atheletes and paying for their training and exercise routines, housing them and feeding them for free.
  • Greenbay 2012/04/13 13:21:31
    No
    Greenbay
    +1
    It's for fun
  • Utall 2012/04/13 12:44:47
    No
    Utall
  • Someone Else 2012/04/13 12:44:16
    No
    Someone Else
    +1
    Go sell your gold medal fool and get you some more of that crack you been smokin'
  • Swartzy 2012/04/13 12:21:57
    No
    Swartzy
    +1
    Just being allowed to compete in the Olympic games should feel rewarding enough.
  • zbacku 2012/04/13 12:10:04
    No
    zbacku
    +3
    No wonder I HATE the NBA. A bunch of Selfish Millionaires, playing a kids game.
    I am done with anything to do with Pro Basketball.
  • Stella Blue 2012/04/13 11:08:18
    No
    Stella Blue
    it's about the medals!
  • mwg0735 2012/04/13 11:07:50
  • "Run-A-Way Bill" 2012/04/13 11:00:38
    Yes
    "Run-A-Way Bill"
    +1
    Define compensation to start with!

    Not pro-USA sports compensation, but compensation in that all-expenses are paid, some reasonable pocket money, & royalties from sports equipment sponsors, etc. would be fair & reasonable.

    The Olympics are about National Pride for the player & every country. If we over-compensate, then it would be the wealthiest countries would have too much of an edge.

    pARTy On! USA ...
  • crewzer1 2012/04/13 10:56:23
    Yes
    crewzer1
    I think they ought to be paid but not Million's... A comfortable wage X a comfortable lifestyle doesn't have to be a wage that is out of context with reality...
  • zbacku crewzer1 2012/04/13 12:12:07 (edited)
    zbacku
    +1
    They are Multi-Millionaires. They aught to be paying their OWN way to represent their country. Just like the Olympians of the past.
  • crewzer1 zbacku 2012/04/13 15:39:34
    crewzer1
    agreed...
  • Flash,aka,Mr.Lightning 2012/04/13 10:36:57
    No
    Flash,aka,Mr.Lightning
    +1
    No. And neither should High School or Little League players.
  • hari 2012/04/13 10:02:25
  • sundance 2012/04/13 09:51:41 (edited)
    No
    sundance
    +1
    No big diatribe about the virtues of pure sportsmanship, or the 'doing it for the competition" sake alone. I would only ask this. Does anyone here actually know the origins and roots of the Olympic games? If you understand their roots, then you can understand my choice. The Olympic idea transcends money, fame and glory. The true spirit of the Olympic games, is to discover the depth of ones self...just a thought...
  • POWERSHAKER 2012/04/13 09:38:37
  • CraigPLewis 2012/04/13 09:36:43
    Yes
    CraigPLewis
    Performers in lots of other sports e.g. Footballers get Paid. So should the Athletes.
  • sundance CraigPL... 2012/04/13 09:55:21
    sundance
    Professional athletes get paid, because they are invested in, and should receive a chunk of that dividend. Pretty much sums it up...Just a thought....

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