Now that we are well into the summer, many persons (like myself) are looking forward to next week’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, torches will be lit on Friday, July 23rd.
There are and will be many interesting stories, and new stars will be born. The USA Olympic trials have already had interesting stories, such as Simone Biles’s quest to be the most medaled athlete of all time. As per The New York Times, the charismatic track and field sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson (the fastest U.S. woman) has been denied a spot on the 100-meter and 200-meter individual races, (and 100-meter relay team) because she smoked marijuana to cope with the death of her biological mother. The athletes are tested for marijuana, which Sha’Carri was well aware of, and for which she apologized. How does smoking pot help you run faster? I would think it would slow you down!
Since USA professional athletes have been permitted to compete in the Olympics, there has been a misconception that athletes get rich from competing. In some countries yes, however, in the USA only 50% of our track & field athletes ranked in the top 10 earns over $18,000 per year. The following are some ways athletes are getting compensated:
It is clear in the USA that Olympians are doing it for the “love of the sport!” There is a bill pending that would eliminate taxation on income received by Olympians. This would greatly benefit the next Michael Phelps, who holds the record for the most medals won by ANY athlete (28) including 23 gold medals and 13 individual golds. Simone Biles would be happy as well as she holds the gymnastics record with the most World medals (25) and gold medals (19), hopefully with more to come!
Times are changing in amateur sports, as there was just an NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) rule change (after a unanimous Supreme Court Ruling) this month that the NCAA must provide compensation to athletes for “education-related” expenses, like paid internships and study abroad. The lines between sports and money are clearly blurred! One thing we can agree on is Let’s Go U.S.A.!