Define “Athlete”

My post on John Daley being an athlete has generated a lot of response both on and off line. My friend Kevin McGill has challenged me to open it up to the readers for a definition. I have no problem with that. What do all of you define as a n athlete. One ground rule – PLEASE – no names as examples. As Sergeant Joe Friday used to say on Dragnet – Just the facts or in this case, just a definition!


At 8/20/07, 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An athlete is someone that competes in a contest that requires physical and mental skill. They can come in all shapes and sizes, fast and slow, young and old. Some will be as adaptable as a close ended 1/2" wrench and some will be as adaptable as a Swiss Army Knife.

Maybe the question is "What is a sport?"

Mark Day

At 8/20/07, 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark, I would say a sport is an activity that is governed by a set of rules and engaged in competitively.

Athlete; one who respects the governing body and recieves credit for his/her performance. One who devotes the training time necessary to increase physical condition and experience to modern levels of achievement. TR

At 8/20/07, 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any person who moves has to have a certain level of athleticism. Wheelchair athletes still have to have a certain skill in order to succeed. An athlete does NOT have to be engaged in a competition. An athlete is such mecause they participate in movement. Yes even the little ol' lady or gentlleman must have a degree of athleticism just to walk up the stairs or get out of a chair. Athleticism is relative to the activity not necessarily a sport.

Jonathan Hewitt ATC

At 8/20/07, 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are all athletic no dout a bout it. But what is your definition of an athlete?

I would say that stair climbing could be an athletic event. Me vs You Top to Bottom best time wins.

At 8/20/07, 5:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

True. The point is that it doesn't have to be.

OK let's go, on 3 ready 1, 2, 3! Let me know when your done...I'll be at the ice cream stand. :)

Jonathan Hewitt ATC

At 8/20/07, 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I wish it didn't have to be that way either

What's the other way?

Ok because I won you have to buy me an ice cream and none of that stinkin yogurt!


At 8/20/07, 8:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great topic...being the person that wrote golfing does not require much athleticism, you'd think I'd have a clear definition of athleticism before I wrote that.

To me, athleticism covers a broad spectrum of human motion. More athleticism means more motion, more variety of motions, more reaction to and from motion, more speed and velocity changes of motion, more changes in power requirements, etc. To me the highest level of athleticism is a decathlete or a basketball player.


At 8/21/07, 6:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take a basketball player and put him/her on a soccer field. Who is the athlete?

Take a wrestler and put him/her against on a basketball court. Who is the athlete?

Take a golfer and put him/her on a soccer field. Who is the athlete?

Take a football player and put him in a wheel chair. Who is the athlete?

Take a Michael Jordan and put a pair of skates on. Who is the athlete?

Take a decathlete and put him on a baseball field. Who is the athlete?

Take Shaquille Oneal put him on a giant slalom course. Who is the athlete

Athleticism comes all sorts; but television will define the word for us.


At 8/21/07, 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry TC you are disqualifed, it clearly states in the rules and I quote"PLEASE no names as examples"

At 8/23/07, 7:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee Wee Wilicker...Drats!! Good pick up TR, thanks

At 12/11/07, 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I play or have played tennis, golf, baseball and football at a substantial skill level and at a moderate skill level for basketball, snow skiing etc.
Golf is the most difficult sport I have played with regard to the physical and mental precision requirements. Some less than idea looking specimens can be good golfer. Strength, flexibility & endurance can enhance ones golfing ability.


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