Do Genetic Advantages Make Sport Unfair? September 17 2013
3 rounds for time of:
50 Bar jumps
15 Overhead Squats (95/65)
Do Genetic Advantages Make Sport Unfair?
In Malcolm Gladwell’s recent article in The New Yorker, he describes the natural genetic gifts of some athletes in comparison to the extreme measures less genetically advantaged athletes will go through to achieve greatness. He touches on endurance athletes, baseball players, and Olympians.
The article presents an interesting perspective on the lengths athletes will go to to win or succeed in their sport.
Does Gladwell have a point? Or are athletes who use performance enhancing drugs all still a bunch of cheaters? Post to comments.
EXCERPT: “Dope is not really a magical boost as much as it is a way to control against declines,” Hamilton writes. Doping meant that cyclists finally could train as hard as they wanted. It was the means by which pudgy underdogs could compete with natural wonders. “People think doping is for lazy people who want to avoid hard work,” Hamilton writes. For many riders, the opposite was true:
EPO granted the ability to suffer more; to push yourself farther and harder than you’d ever imagined, in both training and racing. It rewarded precisely what I was good at: having a great work ethic, pushing myself to the limit and past it. I felt almost giddy: this was a new landscape. I began to see races differently. They weren’t rolls of the genetic dice, or who happened to be on form that day. They didn’t depend on who you were. They depended on what you did—how hard you worked, how attentive and professional you were in your preparation.
This is a long way from the exploits of genial old men living among the pristine pines of northern Finland. It is a vision of sports in which the object of competition is to use science, intelligence, and sheer will to conquer natural difference. Hamilton and Armstrong may simply be athletes who regard this kind of achievement as worthier than the gold medals of a man with the dumb luck to be born with a random genetic mutation.”