Athletes as Role Models throughout History

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The world of role models in athletics has been around for millenniums and can be traced back as far as 776 B.C. when the athletes were thought to be demigods (half human and half god) and the first Olympic games took place on the site of Olympia. Though the only event was the 200-meter sprint, many people looked up to them and expected more than just a 200- meter sprint from these “god-like” men.(WEBSITE) Today, more and more people are beginning to look to athletes like the ancient Greek did: for more than just entertainment. A recent study conducted by the Journal of Adolescent Health has shown that almost 60% of young people can identify a role model in their lives. The type of role model has also proved to be important to prognosticate the health of the adolescents. On dissection, you can see that those of whom that identified his or her role model as an athlete, showed better health-related decisions than those whom identified a peer or an entertainer as their role model. No one is flawless, but athletes can inspire young people and most are model citizens that we look up to. Unfortunately, in recent years, some athletes have been in the news for inept behavior; however, that group is the minority. There are more athletes in the world setting great examples than there are getting into trouble, but the good doesn’t always make the news simply because the bad is more interesting to viewers. No one in the media is interested in what Christmas event Andre Johnson attended or how much Tim Tebow puts into his W15H Foundation. They are more interested in which athlete was found in which strip club. If the news showed all of the charities and foundations that athletes participate in, people would get tired o... ... middle of paper ... ...on in the world were as benevolent as Melson and the members of the Athletes for Hope organization, there would be far fewer problems in society. (Graham 19; Hewitt “Effects of Good Role Models) Works Cited • Graham, Bryan Armen, and RICHARD O'BRIEN. "Fighting For A Cure." Sports Illustrated 117.17 (2012): 19. Academic Search Premier. Web. 04 Dec. 2013. • Harrison, C. Keith, and Brian Lampman. “The Image of Paul Robeson: Role Model.” Rethinking History (2001, Mar) (p.130-177) Web. 05 December 2013 • Ponti, James. "Should athletes be role models? You decide!" Sports Illustrated for Kids. 12 December 2013 • “Journal of Adolescent Health": Role Modeling, Risk, and Resilience in California Adolescents; Web. 06 December 2013 • “Olympic Games History - Olympic-Legacy.com." Olympic Games History - Olympic-Legacy.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2013. Back

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