Olympics

The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well - Pierre de Coubertin

Olympics

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What Makes a Great Olympian? Sometimes It’s Genetics

For the last several years, West African nations—or nations with West African–descended athletes, like the United Sates, Jamaica, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago—have each turned out more elite sprinters than all of white Europe and Asia combined.

Running is the most egalitarian of sports, a natural laboratory. Unlike the props and costumes required for, say, fencing, or the intense coaching demanded of gymnastics, one can just lace up and go for a jog. Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila proved this quite memorably in the 1960 Rome Olympics, when—shoeless, coachless, and inexperienced—he won the marathon.

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