Professional Athletes in the Olympics?

The Winter Olympics have ended and I am a little sad.  I got used to having something new and exciting to watch.  Phenomenal athletes, courageous performances and exciting wins.  Especially the hockey series with a phenomenal ending game between Canada and the United States.  With 27.6 million viewers, it was one of the most watched events on television and the second highest viewed hockey game.  

What was it about the game that made so many people tune in?  The rivalry between the United States and Canada, the game of hockey itself or the players?  With the Blackhawks having the most NHL players in the Olympics, there is no doubt Chicagoans tuned in to support their favorite players.  And why wouldn't they?  
While discussing the game yesterday, some friends of mine got into an argument about allowing professional athletes into the Olympics.  There were valid points being thrown back and forth from each of them.  Which got me thinking...
NHL players were first allowed to enter the Olympics in 1998.  Hockey is definitely making a comeback as one of the top sports to follow.  There is no doubt that the professional athletes draw a great crowd to the Olympics.  Yes its true that professional athletes get paid to do what they love and what they're good at.  But don't many of the athletes that compete in the Olympics?  Even if that money comes from endorsements?  And don't you want the best people for the job, that being the best athlete from each sport to represent your country? Whether or not they are amateur or professional.  
Then you have the other side of the coin, which is the Olympics began with amateur athletes representing their countries.  By having professional athletes are you taking opportunities away from younger highly motivated amateur athletes?  Robbing them of their chance to make it?  Yet, if that is the case, is it fair to limit professional athletes because they are good at what they do? I think Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews as well as the others, should be allowed to represent their country in the Olympics.  
Obviously, everyone feels differently about these issues.  I'm not sure that I'll really have much argument from Blackhawks fans. haha But I am really curious to hear people's opinions.  What do you think?  
Congrats to all the Chicago Blackhawks who represented their countries in the 2010 Olympics.  
Have a fun and fit day, Chicago.  

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    Ashley Bond

    I am a personal trainer, Chicago Luvabull, Miss Illinois USA 2009 and actress. I contribute to the Red Eye Chicago 5 on 5 and Bulls TV. I am also the host of POWERADE ZERO Fit Club. I have a passion for fitness, dance, sports and philanthropy. I love this city and I'm ready to get you motivated and healthy!

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