Perception of the Athlete in Modern American Society

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Bradyw00t
Words 2059
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Perception of the Athlete in Modern Society

As with all the paper topic categories involving different sorts of bodies, culture’s perception of the sports body has evolved over time, but not as much as one would think. When the Athenians started the Olympics several millenniums ago their ideal athlete was well built and muscular (so much so that participants in the games at that time performed naked so the crowd could admire their appearance as much as their ability to run, jump, etc…) which is not very different from what we picture the ideal athlete as today. Webster’s dictionary defines athlete as “Any one trained to contend in exercises requiring great physical agility and strength; one who has great activity and strength; a champion” which is a very vague definition when you look at the variety of different types of athletes we have in the U.S. Does a thin, toned Olympic champion such as Michael Phelps really share similarities with an offensive lineman in the National Football League? Throughout this essay I will be commenting on the variation of athletes in modern society, the steroid controversy, and how the United States in particular has a skewed perception of what an athlete should be. A recent major example of one of the most popular sports figures going down the abyss of the steroid scandal, among other gossip, is New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. Since A-Rod’s first season playing for Seattle he has been glorified as having the potential to be the greatest to ever play the game of baseball. He played precociously at such a young age in Seattle, hitting for power and average and playing the infield well. Rodriguez immediately became a public darling, drawing comparisons to all the greats in the game, and many anticipated him to break the all time home run record currently held my proven steroid user Barry Bonds. Rodriguez played so…...

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