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Middle English, from Latin athleta, from Greek athlētēs, from athlein to contend for a prize, from athlon prize, contest
- Date: 15th century
- a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina
An 'athlete is a person who participates regularly in a sport.
Athletes can be professional or amateur. A superior athlete is one who has above average physical skills (strength, agility, and endurance) and is thus more suited for physical competition. The word athletes is a direct Romanticization of the Greek: άθλητης [athletes], one who participates in a contest.
Most professional athletes have particularly well-developed physiques obtained by extensive physical training and strict exercise accompanied by a strict dietary regimen.