The Sports Gene by David Epstein audiobook

The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance

By David Epstein
Read by David Epstein

Gildan Audio 9781591845119
10.37 Hours 1
Format : CD (In Stock)
  • $32.95

    ISBN: 9781469027357

“In high school, I wondered whether the Jamaican Americans who made ourtrack team so successful might carry some special speed gene from their tinyisland. In college, I ran against Kenyans, and wondered whether endurance genesmight have traveled with them from East Africa. At the same time, I began tonotice that a training group on my team could consist of five men who run nextto one another, stride for stride, day after day, and nonetheless turn out fiveentirely different runners. How could this be?” We all knew a star athlete in high school. The one who madeit look so easy. He was the starting quarterback and shortstop; she was theall-state point guard and high-jumper. Theywere naturals—or were they? The debate is as old as physical competition. Are stars likeUsain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Serena Williams genetic freaks put on Earth todominate their respective sports, or are they simply normal people who overcametheir biological limits through sheer force of will and obsessive training? The truth is far messier than a simple dichotomy betweennature and nurture. In the decade since the sequencing of the human genome,researchers have slowly begun to uncover how the relationship betweenbiological endowments and a competitor’s training environment affectsathleticism. Sports scientists have gradually entered the era of modern geneticresearch. In this controversial and engaging exploration of athleticsuccess, Sports Illustrated senior writer David Epstein tackles thegreat nature versus nurture debate and traces how far science has come in solvingthis great riddle. He investigates the so-called ten-thousand-hour rule touncover whether rigorous and consistent practice from a young age is the onlyroute to athletic excellence. Along the way Epstein dispels many of our perceptions aboutwhy top athletes excel. He shows why some skills that we assume are innate,like the bullet-fast reactions of a baseball or cricket batter, are not and whyother characteristics that we assume are entirely voluntary, like an athlete’swill to train, might in fact have important genetic components. This subject necessarily involves digging deep intosensitive topics like race and gender. Epstein explores controversial questionssuch as: Are black athletes genetically predetermined to dominate both sprinting and distance running, and are their abilities influenced by Africa’s geography? Are there genetic reasons to separate male and female athletes in competition? Should we test the genes of young children to determine if they are destined for stardom? Can genetic testing determine who is at risk of injury, brain damage, or even death on the field? Through on-the-ground reporting from below the equator andabove the Arctic Circle, revealing conversations with leading scientists andOlympic champions, and interviews with athletes who have rare genetic mutationsor physical traits, Epstein forces us to rethink the very nature ofathleticism.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times bestseller

A Publishers Weekly bestseller

“In high school, I wondered whether the Jamaican Americans who made ourtrack team so successful might carry some special speed gene from their tinyisland. In college, I ran against Kenyans, and wondered whether endurance genesmight have traveled with them from East Africa. At the same time, I began tonotice that a training group on my team could consist of five men who run nextto one another, stride for stride, day after day, and nonetheless turn out fiveentirely different runners. How could this be?”

We all knew a star athlete in high school. The one who madeit look so easy. He was the starting quarterback and shortstop; she was theall-state point guard and high-jumper. Theywere naturals—or were they?

The debate is as old as physical competition. Are stars likeUsain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Serena Williams genetic freaks put on Earth todominate their respective sports, or are they simply normal people who overcametheir biological limits through sheer force of will and obsessive training?

The truth is far messier than a simple dichotomy betweennature and nurture. In the decade since the sequencing of the human genome,researchers have slowly begun to uncover how the relationship betweenbiological endowments and a competitor’s training environment affectsathleticism. Sports scientists have gradually entered the era of modern geneticresearch.

In this controversial and engaging exploration of athleticsuccess, Sports Illustrated senior writer David Epstein tackles thegreat nature versus nurture debate and traces how far science has come in solvingthis great riddle. He investigates the so-called ten-thousand-hour rule touncover whether rigorous and consistent practice from a young age is the onlyroute to athletic excellence.

Along the way Epstein dispels many of our perceptions aboutwhy top athletes excel. He shows why some skills that we assume are innate,like the bullet-fast reactions of a baseball or cricket batter, are not and whyother characteristics that we assume are entirely voluntary, like an athlete’swill to train, might in fact have important genetic components.

This subject necessarily involves digging deep intosensitive topics like race and gender. Epstein explores controversial questionssuch as:

  • Are black athletes genetically predetermined to dominate both sprinting and distance running, and are their abilities influenced by Africa’s geography?
  • Are there genetic reasons to separate male and female athletes in competition?
  • Should we test the genes of young children to determine if they are destined for stardom?
  • Can genetic testing determine who is at risk of injury, brain damage, or even death on the field?

Through on-the-ground reporting from below the equator andabove the Arctic Circle, revealing conversations with leading scientists andOlympic champions, and interviews with athletes who have rare genetic mutationsor physical traits, Epstein forces us to rethink the very nature ofathleticism.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“The definitive account of what does and does not make an athlete elite.” George Dohrmann, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Play Their Hearts Out
“A story told elegantly and with David Epstein’s indefatigable powers of investigation…You’ll be educated, and you’ll be fascinated.” Sports Illustrated
“Epstein…encounters characters and stories so engrossing that readers may not realize they’re receiving an advanced course in genetics, physiology, and sports medicine.” New York Times
“Epstein is well equipped to explain the complexities of the ‘sports gene’ search.” Scientific American
“Examines the roles of race and gender in athletic performance, presenting a wealth of evidence for each theory about why some people become sports stars while others never get out of the beer leagues.” Science News
“Few will put down this deliciously contrarian exploration of great athletic feats.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Epstein’s dual interests come through in his enthusiastic narration. He provides a survey of the genetic research…interwoven with stories of athletes, including a college student who made a seven-foot high jump on the first try. Epstein covers the topic thoroughly, pointing out the drawbacks of genetic tests as he discusses the new findings.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: David Epstein

Author Bio: David Epstein

David Epstein has a master’s degree in environmental science and is an award-winning senior writer for Sports Illustrated,where he covers sports science, medicine, and Olympic sports. His investigative pieces are among Sports Illustrated’s highest-profile stories. An avid runner himself, he earned All-East honors on Columbia University’s varsity track squad. He lives in Brooklyn.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : CD
Category: Nonfiction/Sports & Recreation
Runtime: 10.37
Audience: Adult
Language: English