The 10 highest-paid Olympians

The International Olympic Committee changed its charter in 1986 to allow professional athletes to compete in the Olympics, forever changing the nature of the games.

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Jul 26, 2012 9:24PM
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...this of course would mean that the last Olympiad was held in Los Angeles, USA, in 1984. "Amateur" meaning, "for the love of it".  I mean, if you wanta play the old Soviet Union game, re: athletes, I'm fine with that, but then have Olympiads on year-round and give the competitors stupid names, like this was an American Gladiators redux...because, friends, Kobe Bryant belongs in the Olympics, like Annie Leibovitz should be allowed to enter local photography contests....
Jul 27, 2012 1:25PM
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Olympics are for the people who honestly compete. To have professionals in the olympics is fair so long as the judges are not bias. So, How many professional track runners do we have? Of course I also believe that all politics should be removed from the games. Heck, we went to the games in Nazi Germany but people such as myself were screwed out of the Olympics in 1980 because of wimpy leadership. This is supposed to be show who has the world dominance without people getting killed. We still have battles on the fields, but in the fields of competition. We are gathered as one world and one people to show the honor and pride of our nations. It from these battles people of all nations have a chance to earn something that shows the whole world what they believe it.  
Aug 3, 2012 3:38PM
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Professional athletes have no business participating in the Olympics. It is an insult to all the hard work the amateurs put in for four years to get their one shot at glory. The only reason pros are allowed is for ratings. Shame on the Olympic committee.
Jul 27, 2012 4:19PM
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When the olympics went PRO, my national pride got kicked in the "nads". 

 

I would rather see my country (USA) do poorly in this event using amateurs then watching the rich jocks play and still get their butts kicked. 

 

Doesn't really matter since I quite watching when the games went PRO.

Aug 3, 2012 2:49PM
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Highest paid olympians.  That is exactly why I don't pay attention to the olympics.  It wasn't that long ago that the Olympics consisted of amatuer athletes.  Example the US basketball team was comprised of a group of the best college athletes.  This was basketball at it's best, not a bunch of show-offs and egotistical babies, which is what the pros are.   The same for other sports,  pro's and paid athletes became the norm and took the beauty of amatuer athletes out of the olympics.  Example, swimmer Phelps hs competed in 3 olympics, He is in his late twenties and what does he do for a living?  Make a few commercials?  Who pays him and what is his job?  He is just one of many. Go back to what it was 30 years ago or so and keep the amatuer in the olympics.
Aug 3, 2012 3:26PM
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For those who disagree with pro American atheletes in the Olympics, think about who should be there.  If we are suppose to send only our best athletes, then that's the cream of the crop.  Although they are paid highly outside of the Olympics, not all on the list are.  Most other sports remain amateur because it's required to compete, but there are no professional leagues for these events anyway, Ie. Track and Field, gymnastics and swimming.

Aug 3, 2012 3:49PM
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They get paid what they do because you can't do what they can. If everybody could do what they can then they would make minimum wage.

Pattydog when peple are willing to pay top dollar to watch female athletes then female athletes will earn the same as the men in that sport. When was the last time you saw a WNBA game with a packed house? In Minnesota last year the Minesota Lynx won the WNBA title and maybe 100 people showed up to their parade. In other words nobody cared. That is why female athletes earn less. It has nothing to do with equality. It has everything to do with market value

Aug 3, 2012 2:22PM
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the Olympics have allowed professional athletes since the 1984 games, but other countries governments have subsidized there athletes since the re-start of the Olympics in 1896. where as the United states has always let it's athletes barely make it by just to represent the united states at the games. the Olympics is about bringing the best athletes together every four years. if there are going to be any comments about how american football is the best athletes ; why is it only popular in america? 
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The Olympics are all about the money. The media is the key to this -- there was no business plan many years ago, but now it's there. There's more $ all around having the pros there. Some countries [China, US] also use the games for propaganda so they invest in paying athletes to be there and do well. So, Olympics are corrupted by $ in the same way as US College football and basketball.
Aug 3, 2012 2:25PM
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All pros.  The true meaning of the spirit of the Olympics died with Avery Brundage.  I used to love the Olympics.  Now I detest most of them.  90% of them don't even belong in the Olympics.  It's very disheartening what Roche and the new committees are allowing to happen.  It's only a matter of time until we get the big corporate signage along the sides of every venue. 
Aug 3, 2012 4:09PM
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honestly, what does a salary has to do with being an olympian.  the sport is a rich sport (basketball), so what do you all expect.  it isn't about the money they make, as far as the olympics go, it is about winning.  winning is the goal.  put your best out there. out best just happen to be rich.  IJS
Aug 3, 2012 10:03PM
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its good and bad! Honestly we do have some ametures in some sporting events because theres no pros that qualify! like in the gymnastics and female swimmers! I do like that they take the best in these events but i dont like that we dont give college qualifiers in basketball a chance! using the pros were quarenteed a win! But they already know there the best! Give others a chance! I believe with some of the best college students we would still win gold!
Aug 3, 2012 3:38PM
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I don't follow Olympics anywhere near as much as I used to. Money games are getting priority over sportsmanship games.
Aug 4, 2012 5:58AM
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To skinnybob:  Watch NBA and for the most part you see dunk, dunk, dunk.  You are a male chavinist pig.  Why Title 9 - it was enacted to try to get equality for women in the field of sports as well as off the field.  So you don't like the women's game, so what?  Because you are an expert when it comes to sports.  A number of males have stated that women's basletball is a pure form of basketball.  In fact, the most recent one was a former male player who coaches both boys and girls and what does he say:   he uses the WNBA game tapes to teach all the moves of the game from defense to offense whereas the NBA only teaches one thing - drive to the basket.This was on an Olympic broadcast.  Who holds the most games won - Pat Summitt of the TN Lady Vols - more than John Wooden.

 

I never said I didn't like the men's game, but you had to go on a tirade about the women's game.  Why?  Only one reason - for some reason you are threatened by women.  Stop and think why women are not paid as high as men - because men like you have been in charge.  Why don't the women's games sell out - mainly for two reasons - they are still building because of the late start and because men, especially you, will not admit to liking the game or attending games because someone will think you are a sissy.  You either had a mom who was the boss or you married a women who wouldn't or won't put up with your tantrums.  So unless you have something to share that makes any sense, please do not go on these boards.  For your info, I was just stating that it was unfair that women are not paid the same as men.  We do at least half the work - more than that in the home, so why not pay us for it.  Good night.

Aug 3, 2012 1:16PM
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I don't see any soccer players.. are there no highly paid players in the Olympics?
Aug 3, 2012 4:25PM
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I disagree as USSR started the entire thing with paid professionals. We had to respond or die!!! We are now # 1 and will stay that way!!

 

Aug 3, 2012 4:03PM
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The whole basketball team needs to stay home and the best of the college  athlets should be there representing  OUR COUNTRY!!!!!   as for Korby Bryant?   Poor example for OUR country to send . He needs to work on   himself   as a man who respects women ,not in London  being all HIgh and Mighty, give me a brake !  

 

Aug 3, 2012 2:28PM
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Well, this proves one point - 2 women out of 100 - tell me there is equality for women.  B.S.  For example. NBA players play about 4 or 5 months out of the year and women who play basketball play 12 months out of the year - WNBA and overseas.  And, guess what, they are lucky to make $1,000,000. 
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