The word athlete comes from the Greek athletes and in turn from the term aethos, which means effort . Given its etymological origin, the athlete is one who competes with effort for a prize. Outside of etymology , the athlete is one who practices some sport related to sport , more specifically to athletics .
In recent years, the word athlete has incorporated new meanings, such as runner or popular runner, two valid terms in colloquial language , but clearly imprecise.
in ancient greece
Like many other activities, athletics emerged in ancient Greek civilization. The athlete was a participant in sports competitions held periodically: the Olympic Games, the Pythian Games, the Isthmic Games, among other competitions.
The main requirement to be recognized as an athlete was to be a Greek citizen with full rights and to pass certain tests imposed by the judges of the organization . Even so, the athlete had to go through a sufficient period of training and, finally, take an oath before the statue of Zeus before the competition.
The Greek athlete performed sprints and long-distance races, discus and javelin throws, long jumps, in addition to competing in wrestling, boxing and horse racing. Olympic champions were awarded a laurel wreath and, most importantly, were considered national heroes.
Nowadays, a professional or amateur athlete is normally dedicated to an athletics modality within the group of running, jumping or throwing.
The venue for competitions may vary, as some are held outdoors on a 400 meter track, others on closed and smaller tracks; in addition to cross, the only event held in an open space different from the conventional track (for this reason athletics is known in American English as track and field, in other words, track and field).
The professional athlete receives remuneration for his activity and is normally dedicated exclusively to attend the various competitions, while the amateur athlete exercises and competes for a simple hobby without receiving any money.
The cheats in athletics
At the Games of Ancient Greece there were cases of fraud. When this happened, athletes were punished with a heavy fine and the money raised was used to build a statue whose name of the offender’s athlete was highlighted. These frauds were often based on bribing other competitors who were not in the same physical condition as other athletes.
Currently, the main fraud that occurs in competitions is doping, the use of prohibited substances that enhance the vitality and performance of athletes. When an athlete gets doped, he introduces a component that deteriorates his essence, becoming someone who competes beyond what he can (through fraud) to win the prize.