The olympics for a long time were only for amateur athletes, and professionals were not allowed to compete. This has changed of course. What yr did this change occur, allowing professionals to compete in the olympic games. Essentially — I agree with dajj's answer from an official standpoint. But the Olympics and amateurism is much murkier than the IOC would like you to believe. I guess it depends on what your definition of professional. Since the 1960's the Soviet bloc countries drafted their best athletes into the army, paid them to train full-time, and they maintained their amateur status. In the early 1980's basketball players from European leagues were declared amateurs but not NBA players. Yet we still don't view pro boxers in the Olympics. Amateurism remains a messy matter with the Olympics, though not nearly as much of a sham as it was.