Difference between an ATHLETE and a PLAYER
The winter Olympics were in South Korea in 2018 and during the games, we heard the word athlete used a lot. The news talked about people competing from countries all over the world.
player – a person who takes part in a game or sport
athlete – a person who competes in sports
What’s the difference?
Athlete is a more general word that can be used to describe a person involved in sports or physical activities.
The Olympics has teams with players, but only for sports like tennis, soccer etc. Sports that use a ball.
Events that are not measured by goals but measured by time, (the fastest skater for example)
~ measured by distance (the longest ski jump for example)
~ or scored by judges (snowboard half-pipe, figure skating etc.)
the participants are usually called athletes not players.
~ Rock climbers are athletes but we don’t call them players.
Player is more specific, it’s used for games or sports that you “play” against another person or team. (You can also play a game against a computer) Play is used for sports with a ball. We also play hockey (hockey uses a puck) and badminton (badminton uses a shuttlecock).
~ Lionel Messi is considered one of the best soccer players alive.