Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Johnson Discusses 'Athletic Gene'

A former Olympic hero is wading into the controversy of whether some athletes have an inherited advantage.

Michael Johnson, one of the greatest 200 and 400 meter runners ever and now an analyst for the BBC, says certain runners will be out front at the London Olympics.

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"Over the last few years, athletes of Afro- Caribbean and Afro-American descent have dominated athletics finals," Johnson told Sally Beck of the Daily Mail in London. "It's a fact that hasn't been discussed openly before. It's a taboo subject in the States but it is what it is. Why shouldn't we discuss it?"

Johnson, who won five Olympic gold medals, added that "all my life I believed I became an athlete through my own determination, but it's impossible to think that being descended from slaves hasn't left an imprint through the generations. Difficult as it was to hear, slavery has benefited descendants like me – I believe there is a superior athletic gene in us."

credit usatoday