Who is an Olympian?

How do you define an Olympian?A simple definition would be “any athlete who has participated in Olympic games is an Olympian”. Yes, that may be a general definition. But can M. Phelps with 22 Olympic golds under his belt and someone who has been on the mat for 15 seconds in an Olympic bout be equated and can be classified as Olympians. For argument sake yes, both are Olympians. I vividly remember the 1992 Olympic games in Athens where one of the Indian athletes lost his opening bout even before I could tell a fellow journalist spellings of his full name. The athletes total duration of play in Olympic games was mere 14 seconds. Another example. One of star athletes who had the rarest of the rare opportunity to participate in an event held at the venue of first ever Olympics of modern times at Athens had three foul throws to be disqualified from the event.Where would you club such athletes who would subsequently suffix title of Olympian with their names all their life.It is not to suggest that those losing in earlier rounds of individual events should lose the right of being called Olympians but there has to be some justification for being a member of the rare “Olympian” club.