Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Thought experiment: No amateurism

Collapse

Unconfigured Ad Widget

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Thought experiment: No amateurism

    While doing an easy hour swim yesterday, I starting wondering about how T&F would be different if "amateurism" had never really been the dominant financial model in open competition for all those years and "professionalism" had been the norm.

    I wonder how much faster the world records might have developed and where they might be now.

    I wonder if the Olympic Committee (and other sports organizing groups) would have less power than it does.

    What about the effect on individual athletes, such as Jim Thorpe, Nurmi, et al?

    Would the sport be more or less popular than it is?

    Would events like racewalking even exist or would they actually be more popular.

    Lots of other "wonderings"....

    Opinions?

  • #2
    A few first thoughts:

    The world record development would likely have been faster, but only until the
    end of the (real world) amateur era. By now the effect would probably only be
    marginal. (Although it is possible that we may have had a few even better
    doping records.)

    Organisations filled with administrators, politicians, business people, and the
    like tend to always end up in power. It is possible that we would have a
    _different_ set of organisations dominating (possibly even commercial
    companies), but the basic principle would remain the same.

    Many of the great athletes of old derived part of their greatness from greater
    professionalism and/or more advanced training methods. At least some of them
    would be up against a much tougher competition; however, they would likely
    remain among at least the top contenders.

    (One thing to keep in mind: Unlike in sci-fi, the first thing that would change
    when we go into alternate reality is the set of people born. Depending on when
    the alteration was inserted, there may not even have been a Nurmi or Thorpe.)

    The sport may or may not be more popular, but would almost certainly be even
    more dumbed down than today (and have been so for a longer time).

    Comment


    • #3
      If I read things correctly, the major source of money sports way back in the 19th century was gambling, which often led to less than fully honest competition. Track would likely have had its own version of the Black Sox scandal somewhere along the line.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mighty Favog
        If I read things correctly, the major source of money sports way back in the 19th century was gambling, which often led to less than fully honest competition. Track would likely have had its own version of the Black Sox scandal somewhere along the line.
        The major sources of $$ were gambling receipts and appearance money: good, honest capitalism at work.

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that there's been a massive, collective foaming at the mouth of late regarding "less than fully honest competition" in the last--oh, I don't know--35 to 40 years... And no mention of gambling whatsoever...

        Comment

        Working...
        X