Usually professional athletes were from the lower classes because they competed for money, often bets! Activity Revision Map Get some direction with a Bitesize revision map. Pierre de Coubertin was the founder of the International Olympic Committee and was the driving force behind the first of the modern Olympic Games. Find out more about page archiving. Can Professional Athletes Compete in the Olympics? The most iconic moment that defines the leap from amateurism to professionalism in the Olympic Games was the United States Basketball team at the Barcelona Olympics in Is Chess a Sport?
Inspired by the ancient Olympics in Greece, the modern games began in and were long known as a bastion for amateurism with professionals being unable to compete in the games.
Tennis and rugby union are examples of sports that attempted to remain amateur but are now ' open' which means no distinction is made between amateurs and professionals. Usually professional athletes were from the lower classes because they competed for money, often bets! The fact that professional sports people were long excluded from the Olympic Games has resulted in a number of controversies. Today, professional athletes are allowed to compete in the Olympic Games alongside their amateur counterparts. Unsurprisingly, the team easily progressed through the Olympic competition and won the gold medal, beating Croatia in the final.