The Olympics are considering the establishment of an age-limit for the athletes participating in basketball. The athletes would have to be under-23 years of age, with the option to have three older players on the roster. This policy is currently instated for the Olympic soccer teams. American basketball player LeBron James, age 27, stated to the Associated Press that he would not play in the 2016 Olympics if the rule is established.
How is this policy fair to the athletes? If an athlete is still able and willing to play the sport after age 23, why would the Olympic Committee deny them that opportunity? The Olympics are about showcasing the best athletes from each nation. Many athletes continue playing their sports until they are no longer physically able or no longer have a passion for it. Typically the best athletes are those with the most experience, especially Olympic experience, so they are no longer as affected by nerves.
23 year-old athletes are not typically prepared mentally to lead their teams on an Olympic level. They need a mentor, someone older, to lead with courage and experience. If there is an age limit, the best athletes may have to stay home, while the younger, less experienced athletes battle for the glory of their country on a global stage. That would definitely be a learning experience for the youngsters, but is it worth potentially lowering the quality of the competition?