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The Sports Gene Audiobook

The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance

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Publisher's Summary

"In high school, I wondered whether the Jamaican Americans who made our track team so successful might carry some special speed gene from their tiny island. In college, I ran against Kenyans, and wondered whether endurance genes might have traveled with them from East Africa. At the same time, I began to notice that a training group on my team could consist of five men who run next to one another, stride for stride, day after day, and nonetheless turn out five entirely different runners. How could this be?"

We all knew a star athlete in high school. The one who made it look so easy. He was the starting quarterback and shortstop; she was the all-state point guard and high-jumper. Naturals. Or were they? The debate is as old as physical competition. Are stars like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Serena Williams genetic freaks put on Earth to dominate their respective sports? Or are they simply normal people who overcame their biological limits through sheer force of will and obsessive training?

The truth is far messier than a simple dichotomy between nature and nurture. In the decade since the sequencing of the human genome, researchers have slowly begun to uncover how the relationship between biological endowments and a competitor’s training environment affects athleticism. Sports scientists have gradually entered the era of modern genetic research. In this controversial and engaging exploration of athletic success, Sports Illustrated senior writer David Epstein tackles the great nature vs. nurture debate and traces how far science has come in solving this great riddle.

©2013 David Epstein (P)2013 Gildan Media LLC

What the Critics Say

"Step by surprising step, David Epstein takes our hand, grips our mind, and leads us deeper and deeper into the fascinating jungle of sports and genetics... until we finally begin to see the miracle we've been watching in our stadiums and on our TV screens all our lives.” (Gary Smith, Sports Illustrated writer and four-time National Magazine Award winner)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (810 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jesusa H. Chua NJ 08-10-15
    Jesusa H. Chua NJ 08-10-15 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well written, worth the credit"

    Great for everyone mildly interested in sports.
    The writing was superb, the narration equally as good.
    In the end it is both nurture and nature that accounts for world class top athletic performance, but the trip to this conclusion is worth the hours of listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Todd 07-16-15
    Todd 07-16-15
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    "Good Read"

    Great read, made me look at my self as well as athletes in a completely different view point. Makes me want to strive for more hours of training to reach the point I want make

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian 06-28-15
    Brian 06-28-15
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    "Well done!"

    Excellent collection of research mixed with entertaining and incredible stories to tell what is fact and what remains unknown. Well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HFPS 06-25-15
    HFPS 06-25-15
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    "Great"

    This is a very good book, and explains its topic quite clearly. It was an interesting read.☺️

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Los Angeles, CA, United States 06-02-15
    Sam Los Angeles, CA, United States 06-02-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Fascinating book"

    A must read for any member of the human race curious about the capabilities and limitations of our bodies and minds.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen 05-31-15
    Stephen 05-31-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A thorough look at what makes an athlete."

    I really enjoyed the content but wished that the narrator would stop using accents what quoting. Any accent that wasn't North American was cringe worthy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mastiff Enthusiast Colorado Springs, CO United States 05-29-15
    Mastiff Enthusiast Colorado Springs, CO United States 05-29-15 Member Since 2014

    mastiff enthusiast

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    "exceptionally interesting, carefully researched"

    fascinating look at the influences of nature and nurture in athletics. Epstein's writing is fluid and compelling. his reading pace was perfect except for his occasional attempts to mimic accents, which were usually not quite right, but I liked that he tried. I only wish there were more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Canuck 05-25-15
    Canuck 05-25-15
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    "Fantastic"

    Extremely interesting overview and in depth examination of sports performance excellence. Fascinating analysis, told through the stories of athletes and scientists, of what it takes to be the best swimmer, marathon runner, baseball hitter, etc.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Houston, TX, United States 05-17-15
    Joe Houston, TX, United States 05-17-15 Member Since 2016

    Born in Ohio, lived in California, Alaska, and now Texas

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    "On the mark!"

    A really well written book that explains the influence of genetics, training, and adaption on athletic performance. I'm a marathon runner and am really into exercise physiology, but even if you're not, I think you'll find the author's explanations interesting, informative, and easy to understand.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Stanley 04-21-15
    Stanley 04-21-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Good listen"

    Very interesting book. The narrator thought it was a good idea to try and do impressions throughout the entire read, which was comical to the point of being irritating. I made it through.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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