The Importance Of Disparity In Sports

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There is an inherent disparity in ability among athletes of any sport. Some people may jump higher, sprint faster, or may be more coordinated than others. This disparity makes the best performers appear better and the worst appear to not be trying. Though, it would be ill-conceived to blame the worst in a particular discipline for performing poorly only upon the merits of their ability, as there are certain things determined by our genetics that training and hard work could never change or fix. For a similar reason that even our best sprinters will never catch a cheetah, our genetics are a limiting factor in our ability to do well in any discipline, including long distance running. In sport, one calls this inherent disparity talent, and in …show more content…
This is because VO2max measures the ability of the body to uptake oxygen into the bloodstream as well as the body’s ability to use the oxygen it receives from the blood. It is a necessary component to all runners, as without it, “A runner simply cannot attain a high level of performance without a high VO2max” (Karp 1). Therefore, people with abnormally high VO2max scores are predisposed to ability in endurance sports, including long distance running. And in the general population, there is a particular subset of people who naturally have a significantly higher than normal VO2max score without any training, (Epstein 95-96) creating a situation where the talent appears in the genetically best runners. This fact is important, as people who have abnormally increased VO2max scores are likely recruiting a large proportion of their muscle fibers and motor units, leading them to be able to create a significantly higher maximum cardiac output rate, (Noakes) which is a significant advantage in running. In short, since some people to have naturally higher VO2max scores than an average person, they have an important and significant genetic advantage which greatly contributes to their talent as a long distance …show more content…
For this characteristic, there is a wide variety of different responses and observed phenotypes of responses, which is likely why some make very little improvements to their endurance even after significant time spent training. For example, when compared to their baseline, after being subjected to the same 20 weeks of training, as much as 100% improvement in VO2max scores were seen, as well as no improvement in this area (Bouchard et al., “Familial Aggregation”). The heritability of this discrepancy in ability to improve one’s VO2max score also is evident, as 59% could be directly attributed to heritable characteristics (Bouchard et al., “Familial Aggregation”). This means that a person’s individual genetics in for improvement in VO2max scores is highly important to their eventual ability in distance running because of it being an integral part of performing at a high level. This observation is one seen in the very best of runners in the world, as many world class runners present innate talent as well as a significant ability to improve upon that high baseline ability, meaning they have high trainability coupled with a high base ability (Epstein 95-98). To conclude, the ability to improve a person’s VO2max score is a largely genetically

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