Obama and the decathlon


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Obama and the decathlon

Postby Grazerism » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:38 am

This is a possibly politically-incorrect question to raise, and perhaps it has been raised before, but I find it interesting.

Obama has gotten us used to the idea of mixed-race personalities. (OK, I just used that as an eye-catching lead-in.) I find it striking that several top decathletes have also been mixed-race: Daley Thompson, Dan O'Brian, Brian Clay, Ashton Eaton. Not to mention Jessica Ennis.

Here's where I tread on dangerous ground: traditionally, "black" athletes have been associated with speed while "white" athletes have been associated with strength and technical prowess. Is it partly the combination of these attributes, perfect for the multis, that has helped these athletes become so great?

Please don't come down too hard on me on this! I know there are many exceptions. I just find the question interesting.
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby Dave » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:23 am

Does this occur in other events as often?
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby unclezadok » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:40 am

And don't forget Jim Thorpe!

It's interesting but I doubt if there is any scientific basis for saying that these particular ethnic mixes predict success in the decathlon. Genetically those decathletes may be as different from each other as any two random people are from each other.
It's also best to say away from stereotypes--they never hold up under scrutiny.
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby proofs in the pudd'in » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:34 am

Grazerism wrote:This is a possibly politically-incorrect question to raise, and perhaps it has been raised before, but I find it interesting.

Obama has gotten us used to the idea of mixed-race personalities. (OK, I just used that as an eye-catching lead-in.) I find it striking that several top decathletes have also been mixed-race: Daley Thompson, Dan O'Brian, Brian Clay, Ashton Eaton. Not to mention Jessica Ennis.

Here's where I tread on dangerous ground: traditionally, "black" athletes have been associated with speed while "white" athletes have been associated with strength and technical prowess. Is it partly the combination of these attributes, perfect for the multis, that has helped these athletes become so great?

Please don't come down too hard on me on this! I know there are many exceptions. I just find the question interesting.


And the same could be said of nations that have 'black' athletes, as a result of the slave trade, who are associated with speed. Many North American and Caribbean 'blacks' are of mixed ancestry (not sure about England - I would guess the same goes for it though). Skin phenotype says nothing about genotype or any unseen phenotypes. The problem is attributing the success to a particualr set of genes according to old racial sterotypes - the guy looks 'black' therefore his success is becuase of his African ancestral traits. Even if we were to attribute the success solely to the genes it becomes very complicated given the history surrounding the slave trade - and not just the one that took place with sub-saharan Africans.

It is still an interesting question though - maybe the mixing helps even out any 'specialization' that might have come about during the periods when certain people groups (and therefore genes) were more isolated. :?:
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby mrbowie » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:19 pm

This kind of thread is just plain stoopid.
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby gh » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:29 pm

mrbowie wrote:This kind of thread is just plain stoopid.


Seriously? This from a guy who has a monstrously vested interested in breeding of stock to maximize athletic potential?
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby fasttrack85 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:37 pm

[Liberal thinking has stopped all type of common sense. There is nothing offensive at all about this theory and it may hold some merit. If you want a golden retriever to have more aggressive puppies you breed it with a pit bull or german sheperd or vice versa. People of African Ancestry being the naturally faster than any other racial group is so beyond fact its not funny(even White coaches won't beat around the bush with this). Sprinting is one of the cheapest and easiest sports to get involved with. Just use your god given body. Beauty contests and politics are subject to peoples prejudices but in track and field the fastest man wins. Track and field has been authentically timed for about 100 years now and in that time only one man of Caucasian descent has gone under 10 secondsj. The womens side shows a bit more promise as about 10 women of caucasian descent have gone under 11 seconds(a couple may raise some suspicion).

Its pure science fast horses probably had parents who were race horses as well. Speed is definitely genetic so that means the gene has to be more common among people of African descent. As for Caucasians being the strongest I would say they have the extremes of strength alot of puny people but some( Mostly Eastern and Northern European) very strong people.

This theory is not too far from the scientifically sound Hybrid Vigor theory. Who knows maybe you could do a paper and get sponsored for some research? I didn't even realize the majority of them were mixed. I mean I knew but it didn't really dawn on me that hey they are all mixed.
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby Daisy » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:12 pm

fasttrack85 wrote:This theory is not too far from the scientifically sound Hybrid Vigor theory.


One difference is that geneticists tend to start off with inbred parents whereas individuals in ethnic groups are not equivalent to inbred parents. So things are a little more complicated and not all 'mixed race' kids will have 'hybrid vigor'. But in general terms, their success in the decathlon could well be based on a similar mechanism. The mechanism for hybrid vigor itself is not fully understood, but both hypotheses involve having two different alleles (flavors of a single gene), one from each parent, for many different genes.
Last edited by Daisy on Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby mump boy » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:20 pm

In the UK our whole Hep dream is mixed race !! but there are no other mixed race women on the team !!
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby fasttrack85 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:00 am

mump boy wrote:In the UK our whole Hep dream is mixed race !! but there are no other mixed race women on the team !!


2 out of 3 of the girls that qualify for London Hep from us appear to be clearly mixed race(Black/WHite). go figure.
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby proofs in the pudd'in » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:42 am

I am not sure I understand where the OP is going with this - is he saying that it is the 'black' side of the equation that is making the difference with these mixed athletes? If that is the case that does not make any sense seeing that if the 'black' athlete was 'intrinsiclly better' without any admixture then surely being mixed would not improve the outcomes. I hear this sort of thinking all the time with 'blacks' that look not so 'pure' yet are real good, athletically, at some event and then after finding out that they are mixed their prowess is attributed to their African ancestry. This makes no sense whatsoever. There are plenty of African Americans that look like they have NO admixture yet they do - I do not know why, in this day and age, this is not understood?
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby mump boy » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:33 am

proofs in the pudd'in wrote:I am not sure I understand where the OP is going with this - is he saying that it is the 'black' side of the equation that is making the difference with these mixed athletes? If that is the case that does not make any sense seeing that if the 'black' athlete was 'intrinsiclly better' without any admixture then surely being mixed would not improve the outcomes. I hear this sort of thinking all the time with 'blacks' that look not so 'pure' yet are real good, athletically, at some event and then after finding out that they are mixed their prowess is attributed to their African ancestry. This makes no sense whatsoever. There are plenty of African Americans that look like they have NO admixture yet they do - I do not know why, in this day and age, this is not understood?



I don't think he's going anywhere it's just an observation.

I think the implications is that black athletes have historically been good at speed events and white athletes at strength events !! is this why mixed race athletes are good at Multis ??

Who knows but there certainly does look like mixed race athletes are over represented in this field
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby trevorp » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:43 am

mump boy wrote:In the UK our whole Hep dream is mixed race !!

Freudian slip?
Quite apt, as we have dreams for all three: Gold for Ennis, consolidation or further improvement for KJT, return to form for Louise. And to me they are amongst the most attractive (physically and in terms of personality) athletes on the team.
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby Daisy » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:39 am

proofs in the pudd'in wrote:I am not sure I understand where the OP is going with this - is he saying that it is the 'black' side of the equation that is making the difference with these mixed athletes?

I didn't read it that way. I think he was saying that each side brings strengths to the table.
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby mump boy » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:01 am

Why has this been moved to free speech ??
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby lonewolf » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:26 am

mump boy wrote:[I think the implications is that black athletes have historically been good at speed events and white athletes at strength events !! is this why mixed race athletes are good at Multis ??

There's your answer.
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby jeremyp » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:13 am

So if Felix and Koech mated we'd have sub 7 and sub 8 steeplers? I just don't think genetics work that way. Genes don't mix. Two super athletes may get another super athlete or not. How many super athletes have come from the mating of 2 super athletes? Enquring mind wants to know!
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby Pego » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:16 am

jeremyp wrote:Enquring mind wants to know!


Add this one.
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby jeremyp » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:23 am

It would certainly be possible to "breed" super athletes. Nazi germany was starting to until their demise. I bet the Spartans did! As far as the "mixed is best" for multis I wonder what Dvorak, Sebrle, Hardee, Hingsen, Nool, and Pappas would say? In Ashton's case his father is an African American, precious few of whom do well in the 1500.
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby Daisy » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:41 am

jeremyp wrote:As far as the "mixed is best" for multis

I don't think 'mixed is best' was ever stated. The heterogeneity of alleles in a 'non mixed' athlete could well be a world beater too. The issue is that there might be a better chance of getting the right heterogeneity from an ethnic mix.
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby SQUACKEE » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:47 am

Ebony and Ivory..... mixed together score 600 million and seventy....
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Re: Obama and the decathlon

Postby mump boy » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:54 pm

It's just a observation i don't think anyone is being particularly serious

Maybe athletes of mixed race are directed towards multi events instead of specialising
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