Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Who is the Richest Olympic Athlete?

Check out this list of the highest-paid Olympic athletes - several of whom are Americans.

Kobe Bryant leads the pack with his $136.4 million Lakers contract, but the list is not composed entirely of NBA players. There are also some tennis and socccer players.

I know what you're thinking -- the Olympics are for amateur authletes. But that's no longer the case, really.

In recent years, the Olympics have shifted from a battle of the best amateurs to a battle of the best, period. Should the Olympics be an amateur competition?

The argument in favor of amateurism is that athletes should play for love of the game -- not for money. That's why, the theory goes, the NCAA tournament is more fun to watch than the NBA Finals.

But how many modern sports fans really believe that pure love of the sport is more important than fielding the best athletes available? When it's a competition of national pride versus national pride, the best athletes should be allowed to compete.

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