What is an Athlete??

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Can anyone give an accurate, acceptable definition of what an athlete is?? or what includes a person to be an athlete?? We all think that it is very simple….we all know what an athlete is…right?? But if someone walks up to you on the street and asks you to define it…you won’t be able to. It is much more complicated than it looks, and what is even harder is categorizing who is an athlete and who isn’t.

Dictionary.com defines an athlete as (even though they have 6 different/similar definitions):

“a person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill.”

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Well this is all well and good….but how do we go and define what each of these is? Is a figure skater an athlete?? are they more of an athlete than a hockey player? if so, why? I think that in a sense, the both are equal. They each have different strengths and weaknesses, but when looking at them overall, they are both sports, and the people who are involved in these are athletes.

And just because a particular sport doesn’t use all the terms that are defined in the definition of an athlete doesn’t make it not a sport. Race car drivers are athletes, figure skaters, ringette players, soccer, runners, football players, and I could go on and on, and yes I’ll even include the ever so boring golf as well.

All I want people to do is just to think about who they consider an athlete, and what they consider a sport…and then try looking up on-line what specifically these ‘athletes’ have to do for them to be where they are today.

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