sports, gene, athletes, genetics, genes,

Are Athletes Born Or Made?

A new book examines the classic nature versus nurture debate.

To make it onto a Wheaties box, do you need superior genetic makeup, or does a relentless drive to succeed account for the Usain Bolts and Serena Williamses of the world? These are the hotly-debated questions Sports Illustrated Senior Writer David Epstein tackles in his new book, The Sports Gene: Inside The Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance

Epstein, a former competitive middle distance runner, interviewed scientists and athletes around the globe for his project, which has insight and implications for the average exerciser, as well. "One of the themes in the book is that, just as medical genetics has shown us that people don’t respond to drugs in quite the same way because of genetic differences, the same is true for training," says Epstein. "No two people respond in exactly the same way to any given training plan, and in some cases the differences are extreme." 

We asked Epstein to share the five most interesting facts in his new book, in his own words. Read on for more.