Are YOU an Olympic Athlete?

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Gearing up for the Olympics this coming summer in London, I can't help but think--Why am I not participating?! And additionally, what creates a Gold Medalist? Looking into how athletes get to the Olympic and Professional level, the debate of Nature versus Nurture comes into play. Being a multiple sport athlete myself, I find this topic extremely intriguing. Growing up, I was taught that you can beat the most talented players with a hard work ethic and a heart for the game. According to several articles on the subject, this debate may never be settled. One post on expertfootball.com gives examples of great athletics running in families, yet concludes the article by saying that great athletes are created and not born. This may sound confusing, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Some people are born with genes that make them more apt for athletic success, however, if they chose not to pursue their talents, they will not reach Olympic Status. There is a reason you always hear about pro sports players spending hours and hours at the gym keeping themselves strong. In my opinion, getting that gold medal is a direct reflection of how hard you trained for it. Natural talent will only take an athlete so far.

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I really liked the spin you took off of the nature vs. nurture controversy. I love sports and you using sports in that argument was very interesting for me. I also grew up learning that hard work beats talent as well. The statement "great athletes are created and not born" really did make sense to me. It really matters about how much dedication and hardwork you put in to your craft to become great.

I found your post to be very interesting, and I personally think that a combination of both nature and nurture are what help a person get to the top. In some cases, it seems like athletic excellence just runs in the family (The Mannings in the NFL, the Staals in the NHL). For the majority of people, it seems like it has been nothing but hard work and dedication that has gotten them to the top. I like you statement that natural talent will only take an athlete so far,and I think that in order to get to the next level you really need to be willing to work harder than everyone else rather than relying on talent alone.

I think that your rationale about nurture and hard work being the ultimate determinants of success is completely correct. Some people may have greater abilities or genes, but if they don't work hard to develop them then they are simply wasted. I think that the quote "Hard work beats talent, when talent quits working hard" helps justify how important determination, perseverance and dedication are to sports. Olympians are not born they are made.

I think that your rationale about nurture and hard work being the ultimate determinants of success is completely correct. Some people may have greater abilities or genes, but if they don't work hard to develop them then they are simply wasted. I think that the quote "Hard work beats talent, when talent quits working hard" helps justify how important determination, perseverance and dedication are to sports. Olympians are not born they are made.

I found you post really interesting. I like how you were able to take the nature vs. nurture debate and relate it to something that interests you. I want to know now, what is you take on who is winning those gold medals: The people who simply have great work ethics, or the people who were blessed with great genes and have a great work ethic? Can an average Jo really bridge the gap over his lacking genetic pool?

I believe that it's absolutely a mix of both nature and nurture that creates a world-class athlete, or any athlete whatsoever. Without the genetic makeup allowing for coordination, strength, speed, etc. an athlete would have a difficult time competing against others. But, if someone possesses all the talent in the world but is brought up in such a manner in which they are taught not to utilize it, or told that they are not talented, self-esteem comes into play - or they may not choose to use their talents at all. To be a world-class athlete you have to be born with the natural ability, but you also have to be taught to want to achieve the goals posed by the sport.

I found your post to be a refreshing twist on the nature vs. nurture debate. Athleticism is a combination of nature and nurture. Some may be born with athletic genes, while others may not be. However, anyone can become a great athlete with dedication and hard work. I think this is a great example of how nurture trumps nature. For those few lucky people who are born with with athletic ability, they may not have to work as hard as those born without it. However, everyone has the opportunity to become a great athlete, it all depends on their drive, hard work, and dedication.

I disagree with your point that Nature can only really go so far to decide if someone becomes an Olympic athlete, because I believe in many cases this is the determining factor. As an example, in China many children are taken to Olympic training centers to gauge their abilities at a very young age, before they've had a chance to train or much Nurture to happen. If they succeed they will get trained, but it is ultimately their genes that decide if they become an Olympic athlete. This also highlights how the two are ultimately intermingled.

Very interesting post. I too have played multiple sports all of my life, and I have came across many different athletes myself. I have seen many of the athletes who were just naturally talented and did not have any work ethic and their gift was completely wasted. I also dealt with those who were not necessarily genetically gifted, but had an extreme work ethic which allowed them to succeed. I believe that a good work ethic can also be passed down from one's parents, just like athleticism, whether they are born with it, or their parents instill those types of values in them.

I like this topic for nature vs nurture and I agree with you 100% when you say, "getting that gold medal is a direct reflection of how hard you trained for it. Natural talent will only take an athlete so far." Being an athlete myself, I've heard this saying plenty of times and it's completely true. Athletes that have natural talent do go far, but those who put in the hard work and training go even farther. I do think that there may be genes that help promote better athleticism, but your environment and hard work is what will "make it or break it."

This is an interesting application of the nature v. nurture debate. I think it is probably likely that the dedication, hard work, and heart components of being a great athlete are from the environment. However, I think there could potentially be a genetic component to these qualities as well, which would make them a part of the athlete gene pool. Just something to think about...

I think this is a great and kind of detailed explanation about the people who are professional athletes making efforts to have golden medal. I agree with the author, for I involved in the track and field in my primary school. I know that the outcome and efforts one make have a positive correlation. Talent probably counts for part of the outcome, however, if one doesn't make any effort, he or she would not have great outcome, such as winning the gold medal. All in all, this is good job!

Your example for Nature vs. Nurture concept is very interesting. In my opinion, I think the successes that an athlete gains are from their hardworks. I feel that gene might only have a slight influence. Overall, great post!

I really like how you used this topic and applied it to the nature vs. nurture debate. In order to be a professional athlete I think that it takes a combination of both hard work and natural talent. Olympic athletes have to possess some natural talent, but this talent alone won't get them to the Olympics. They need to work hard to improve their skills. Conversely, if an athlete puts in a lot of hard work but lack the natural athletic ability, the chances of him or her becoming an Olympic athlete a very slim. Some people can be good at a sport if they are naturally gifted and choose to not work hard, but in order to be the best, like Olympic athletes are, a person has to possess a good share of both.

Good connections with the nature, nurture debate. I like how you talk about how this is a real complex subject. We all know kids that are the natural athlete, and we also all know someone who willed their way to athletic glory. I would try to be more specific with the kind of sports that are effected by the nature nurture debate. First a sport like competitive lifting, one doesn't need to have a lot of natural athletic skill to be a good lifter, while becoming a pro baseball player, you often hear you can either hit the curve or you can't. So one sport you can become very competitive with alot of practice like you say. While some sports you are just born with genetic advantages

I agree with your assumption that there is nature and nurture involved in good athletes. There are some people that are born with extraordinary athletic talents, but these talents can only go so far, as becoming an olympic-style athlete requires you to work extremely hard as well.

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This page contains a single entry by ditty008 published on February 5, 2012 11:00 PM.

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