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OPINION: What changed the Olympics forever
Jim Thorpe was stripped of his gold medals, won in the 1912 Olympics, because he had once been in semi-pro baseball.
July 23rd, 2012
10:56 AM ET

OPINION: What changed the Olympics forever

(CNN) – With the world gearing up for the 2012 London Olympics, CNN Contributor Bob Greene says the decision to let professional athletes compete revolutionized the event.

[0:49] "In the late 1980s the IOC moved toward making the most momentous decision in it's history: It would allow professional athletes in the Olympics. And the fans, far from being outraged at the change, yawned. It was considered no big deal. If the best athletes were paid for their skills? Why not?"

[1:44] "When the Dream Team of U.S. National Basketball Association players went to the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, they knew they were going to win - and they did, by an average of almost 44 points a game. The problem with professional Dream Teams is that they're overdogs, not underdogs."

Read more of Bob Greene's columns at CNN Opinion.

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