Vince Lombardia motto "Winning is not everything; it is the only thing" defines fans' and players' attitudes toward sports during the 1960s. It was the decade when American cynicism infected athletic competition. The ideal of amateurism, in which physical achievement was viewed as a complement to intellectual development, was considered increasingly naive as sports became big business.
The Decline of Amateurism.
The showcase of amateur athletic competition is the Olympics, which were held three times during the 1960s, each meeting demonstrating with sharper clarity the evolution of the new-age athlete as an entertainer who performed for money and for a paying audience. The first televised Olympic Games were in 1960, and by 1964 the sports businesspeople were poised to take advantage. At first a star performance in the United States brought its rewards after the games were over, when the athlete could capitalize on his or her fame, endorsing products or performing professionally, especially in ice skating and boxing. By 1964 commercialism had invaded the games themselves, as shoe manufacturers paid contestants to sport their logos in front of television cameras, and the world's greatest athletes hawked products with nearly as much energy as they pursued their games. Winning was the only thing because that was how a performer...
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