Amateur and professional sports
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A common misconception about amateurs and professionals is that professionals are paid to play sports whereas amateur athletes are not. Amateur athletes often receive some compensation for their efforts. In ancient Greece, for example, victorious athletes in the Olympics were handsomely rewarded for their efforts. As of the early s many college athletes receive academic scholarships for playing on a college team. Remuneration for amateur athletes is even promoted with federal legislation. The Amateur Sports Act of 36 U.
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Amateur sports are sports in which participants engage largely or entirely without remuneration. The distinction is made between amateur sporting participants and professional sporting participants, who are paid for the time they spend competing and training. In the majority of sports which feature professional players, the professionals will participate at a higher standard of play than amateur competitors, as they can train full-time without the stress of having another job. The majority of worldwide sporting participants are amateurs. Sporting amateurism was a zealously guarded ideal in the 19th century, especially among the upper classes, but faced steady erosion throughout the 20th century with the continuing growth of pro sports and monetisation of amateur and collegiate sports, and is now strictly held as an ideal by fewer and fewer organisations governing sports, even as they maintain the word " amateur " in their titles.
Inspired by the ancient Olympics in Greece, the modern games began in and were long known as a bastion for amateurism with professionals being unable to compete in the games. However, during the latter half of the 20th century, the IOC International Olympic Committee has had to adapt to a number of political and economic advancements and one of these was the growing issue of corporate endorsements and sponsorship which blurred the lines of amateurism and professionalism resulting in the rules being steadily relaxed for almost all sports in the Olympic movement, allowing professionals to compete in all sports, except boxing and wrestling. Pierre de Coubertin was the founder of the International Olympic Committee and was the driving force behind the first of the modern Olympic Games.