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Are Olympians heroes?

  1. Aug 9, 2016 #1
    Not sure the cost of the Olympics is and I get the host countries get a spike in tourism but my question is why individual athlete achievement is given such prestige.

    Is the hero label warranted for being a fast runner, swimmer ... etc?

    Not my version of hero. More generally is competitive sport deserving of the mega-bucks, fame and media attention??

    I don't get all the hoopla.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2016 #2
    It certainly requires a heroic effort of them.

    In a lot of cases, the difference between a bystander and a hero is the preparation. If you want to be a hero, learn CPR, first aid, and become prepared for emergencies.
  4. Aug 9, 2016 #3
    Def: "a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities."
  5. Aug 9, 2016 #4
    Hero, I don't know, but have you gone to any Olympic qualifiers, world championships or the Olympics themselves? The skill, power and determination of most of these athletes is pretty incredible. It's hard to imagine unless you've seen them live in person and been athletic yourself.
  6. Aug 9, 2016 #5
    No, they're not heroes. But I do admire their skill and determination. I really like watching their exploits on the olympics.
  7. Aug 9, 2016 #6


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    Because people are impressed by what they do.
    Not in mine either. So where did you get that idea (to ask about the word "hero"), that motivated you to ask the question?
    That's a different question and the basic answer is capitalism: people like watching other people who are good at doing stuff (football, baseball....dancing, singing) so they pay money to watch. Athletics apparently doesn't interest you. That's fine.
  8. Aug 9, 2016 #7

    Fervent Freyja

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    To each their own. I've seen sports change peoples lives, particularly those of children. Game is one of the best assets a school has for teaching children values that cannot be gained by coursework alone. Skills and knowledge about themselves that they can apply later on it life. I think that people become fanatics because they believe in the process and what that person stands for, how it can be personally transforming and rewarding-- the fanaticism is just a celebration of those ideas (which have an overall goodness). This is very different than people worshiping one celebrity. Competitive sport brings people (families, people to schools, peers, friends, etc.) very close at the community level, something that children very much need.

    For myself, I would watch when cheerleading is finally considered an Olympic sport.
  9. Aug 9, 2016 #8


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    I was a sickly child, having asthma and allergies, but was a straight A+ student and also excelled at extracurricular activities (art and writing). Luckily my school did not put much emphasis on sports.

    Funny, the year and a half I spent in high school were the "hippy years" and the kids that were into sports were ostracized. They had their own small group and weren't accepted by the rest of the kids.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
  10. Aug 9, 2016 #9
    " Game is one of the best assets a school has for teaching children values that cannot be gained by coursework alone."

    games and sports, in particular competitive sports, are not really comparable.

    nearly everyone enjoys games of some type, a lot of people especially children do not enjoy sport - it is usually the first thing they learn to fail at and become judged by, mostly at great detriment to their self-esteem for life.

    I will watch the Olympics when they upgrade to more modern sports like skateboarding, BMX, MMA...etc.
  11. Aug 10, 2016 #10

    Fervent Freyja

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    I disagree. This is one valuable aspect of the school system that saves disadvantaged children. Many children come from homes where academics aren't important and gain self-esteem through the process, which helps motivate them in other areas. Many children don't have any role models in their life, so coaches and teammates are important for them. Although you had a bad experience, that by no means reflects the normal benefits gained by playing on a team, there is a closeness with people and self-growth level that you fail to understand is rewarding- the process, not the image that you only know about. This is one area that helped me overcome shyness in my teens! It doesn't have to be for everyone. But, you should not deny that it benefits children. My little brother wasn't as lucky as we are, he was born with a genetic syndrome and cannot function at the same cognitive level as others. But, sports are his life and is the perfect example of how any person can make at least something their own, regardless of their general intelligence or genetic endowment. Some people are kinetically inclined and extroverted. Although I'm more introverted, I can still respect the preferences of others and still enjoy playing some sports every now-and-then. You shouldn't put others down just because your experience had been different.

    Many children love to be physically active and intimate with others (play).

  12. Aug 10, 2016 #11
    I wasn't demeaning anyone and I haven't had a bad experience. I have always been good at sport.

    I think we are disagreeing on the difference between playing sport and playing games, they are not the same thing ie sports are not games by definition.
  13. Aug 10, 2016 #12
  14. Aug 10, 2016 #13
    There will be BMX this year. I'll be watching it if it's in reasonable time.
    I agree that while for many children sport is a great way to built self esteem and relationships, it can be a nightmare for others. And a reason for bullying such as in my case. In fact, long term repeated failure at sports and bullying (kicking, shoving, name calling during PE classes ) is one of the roots of my emotional issues that affect me until this day.

    Concerning the athletes, I don't consider them heroes. I admire them for their hard work and being able to do something I can never do. It's the kind of admiration that someone has for a great artist or scientist. They show what people are capable of when they commit their whole lives to something.
    A hero is someone who saves someone else's life or does something good for the community.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  15. Aug 10, 2016 #14


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    You don't appreciate any other sport? Go cycling!
  16. Aug 10, 2016 #15
    I appreciate all sport, doesn't mean I will put time into watching others do it.

    for me personally sport is something you do, not something you watch others do.

    I used to get paid for doing sport, I could never figure out why people paid to watch us compete. seems dumb to me unless you have a friend or relative you want to support. I did sport for the challenge of doing it and getting better at it and used other sportsmen to make me better through trying to beat them in a mutual way.

    watching it from the side - why?
  17. Aug 10, 2016 #16
    It's known as entertainment.
    I blame the Romans for coming up with that concept.
  18. Aug 10, 2016 #17
    As a former Olympic athlete I would have to say that yes we are heroes
  19. Aug 11, 2016 #18


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    Because they wish they could do what the players can do, but can't
    A reason could be that they lack the sports gene which prevents what can be described as an allergic reaction to activity.
    Patients describe as having an adverse reaction to activity which can include profuse sweating, increased heart rate, extreme exhaustion, and an urgent need of a cleansing with water. What's more it seems to be extremely addictive, as they feel as if they drawn to do the activity over and over, again and again.
    Moving away from the activity, they begin to be able to follow a normal life.
  20. Aug 12, 2016 #19
    Finally found something to love about the Olympics, I just needed a guru to explain it to me;

    What I Love About The Olympics - Ultra Spiritual …:
  21. Aug 13, 2016 #20
    I love this guy, he's hilarious!
  22. Aug 13, 2016 #21

    Its a very serious exposition, and you laugh?

    ..... JK :-)
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