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The Ethics Of Athletes Are Purely Physical

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When you think of an athlete, who do you think of, Archie Griffin? Do you think about Olympians such as Lindsey Vonn? The media makes us think that whenever we think of athletics, we imagine large sport complexes and people running about and playing games we call sports. But, where do we get this definition? Why do we think this way, who has set the precedent that athletes are purely physical? Is this just a stereotype that needs to be broken?
Webster’s American Dictionary defines an Athlete as “a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina.” The word originates from Middle English, from the Latin word athleta, which further is from Greek athlētēs from athlein to contend for a prize, from Athlon prize, contest. So basically, the word originates as someone who competes for a prize, but the word has evolved to generally mean someone who does it in activities requiring physical strength. However, why is this the way it is? Why is someone who trains and competes in a math tournament, commonly referred to as a “mathlete”, not a true athlete, by definition?
A good way to approach this issue is to talk about what an athlete is not, before redefining what exactly one is. Athletes, often times instead of gaining pleasure from logic puzzles or brain bending activities (math or science), gain it from physical outlets such as sports. Traditionally, they play sports such as football, basketball, soccer, baseball, and
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