In regards to the Olympic Games, discuss how economic materialism has corrupted the spirit of athletic excellence into one where the athletes are driven by both the presence of economics and of individual prestige (as opposed to anything related to the spirit of competition).
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It is easy to criticize the so-called commercialization of modern Olympics, but naive to see the sporting event as ever having been "in the spirit of competition" (a vague enough term in sociology).Its Greek origins were a kind of "saber-rattling" (before sabers) between city-states. The modern allowance of "professionals" was nothing more than an exposure of hypocrisy in countries without free-enterprise economies (a state-sponsored competitor was technically an "amateur), and allowed young athletes to make a living while maturing. The media have always cashed in on amateur competitions without sharing the revenue (as have universities). The level of excellence in all Olympic events is higher now (witness, for example, basketball). The "spirit of competition" is still there, not only on the national level but also on the world record and personal best level. So in this view, the claim of "corruption" is not justified.
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