The variety of competitors participating in the Olympic
Games has never been greater. This is mainly due to the
inclusive nature of the Olympism philosophy.
In the Ancient Games, winners were not only taken care of
by their home town people, but they also had to fight in
the front line.
Nowadays, in the modern Games, the
only criteria the IOC has
is that the athlete must be a citizen of the country they
are representing. IFs, NGBs and NOCs decide
age limits and the eligibility of professional athletes on
a sport-by-sport basis.
"Each Olympian bears a message of sharing, respect and
resolve." International Olympic Committee
Professional athletes were banned from the early Olympics.
However, the definition of 'Professional' sport was ambiguous.
In the 1980s, the reference to amateur athletes was deleted
in the Olympic rules and nowadays, professional athletes
can compete with only a few restrictions.
For them, winning medals is strongly linked to money from
various sponsors. Many people argue that this firm relationship
devalues the spirit of the Games. Pierre de Coubertin believed
that modern Games are where 'amateur' athletes
compete in pure competition and celebrate human achievement.
Women in Modern Olympic Games
In the Ancient Olympics, only maidens were allowed to compete
in the foot-races. Today, modern female athletes are able
to compete just like the male athlete in the Games. Equestrian
is the only Olympic sport where men and women compete as
Due to concerns of male imposters, for more than 30 years,
all female athletes were required to go through 'Gender verification'
tests. A sample of cells is taken from the athlete's cheek
and are examined for the presence of chromosomes. However,
the tests were proved to be inaccurate and unnecessary and
have been stopped since the 2000 Games.
Another problem is the lack of female athletes from certain
countries especially the fundamentalist Muslim countries.
Hassiba Boulmerka, an Algerian athlete, took part in the
1992 Game and won the 1500m gold medal despite being given
a death threat by some Islamic fundamentalists who opposed
her wearing shorts and singlet in the competition.
In ancient times, there were only Olympic Games for physically
able athletes but nothing for the disabled.
Paralympic Games are the equivalent Olympics for disabled athletes.
It is held in the same year and venues as the Olympics. The
classification of athletes is based on their specific medical
Since the revival of the Olympic Game almost 10 decades
ago, there have been 11 Summer Paralympic Games and 7 Winter
Paralympic Games. Paralympic athletes demonstrate substantial
amount of determination to overcome physical obstacles and