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Performance Task # 1
Updated: 9/17/2020
Performance Task # 1
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Storyboard Text

  • Genetics can provide a major advantage over hard work and experience.
  • Genetics can provide a major advantage over hard work and experience.
  • Genetics can provide a major advantage over hard work and experience.
  • Donald Thomas competed in the Eastern Illinois University Mega Meet. There he cleared a height of 6'8.25" on his first high jump attempt. "...Thomas cleared 6’8.25” on his first attempt, qualifying for the national championships. Then he cleared 7’0.25” for a new Lindenwood University record. And then, on the seventh high jump attempt of his life... Thomas cleared 7’3.25”, a Lantz Indoor Fieldhouse record" (Epstein).
  • One can become an elite athlete if they practice their sport for over tens of thousands of hours.
  • Donald Thomas competed in the World Championships after just 8 months of formal high jump training. Both he and reigning Olympic high jump champion, Stefan Holm, made it to the finals. Thomas ultimately beat Holm, who had been training in the sport for over 21 years. "Thomas advanced easily to the final, as did Stefan Holm [the reigning Olympic champion]... Holm shook his palms in front of him as if beseeching the high jump gods...The guy in pole vault shoes who thinks high jump is “kind of boring” was crowned the 2007 world champion. On his winning jump, Thomas raised his center of mass to 8’2” (Epstein) .
  • One can become an elite athlete if they practice their sport for over tens of thousands of hours.
  • Dr. Masaki Ishikawa was asked to examine Donald Thomas by a Japanese television station. He found that Thomas had long legs relative to his height and an unusually large Achilles tendon. "Whereas Holm’s Achilles was a more normal -sized, incredibly stiff spring, Thomas’s, at ten and a quarter inches, was uncharacteristically long for an athlete his height. The longer (and stiffer) the Achilles tendon, the more elastic energy it can store when compressed. All the better to rocket the owner into the air" (Epstein).
  • One can become an elite athlete if they practice their sport for over tens of thousands of hours.
  • Swedish high jumper Stefan Holm continued to the finals of the World Championships alongside Donald Thomas. He had been training in high jumping for over 20 years. Holm was the reigning Olympic champion at the time. He was very dedicated to his sport. "Thomas advanced easily to the final, as did Stefan Holm [the reigning Olympic champion]. When the men’s high jump finalists were introduced, broadcasters announced a laser-focused Holm as the favorite" (Epstein).
  • Stefan Holm cleared heights between 7' and 7'8" like they were nothing in the finals of the World Championships. At one point, he also cleared 7'8.5", which only a few managed to do. "... Holm was cruising, passing over 7’3”, 7’5”, 7’6.5, and 7’7.73” without a single miss... arrived at 7’8.5” along with a handful of other jumpers, including Holm" (Epstein).
  • Stefan Holm did have an incredibly stiff Achilles' tendon, which could've provided some aid in his rise to success. However, his 20+ years of dedication to the sport of high jumping led to his success and elite position in the field. "... Holm’s Achilles was a more normal-sized, incredibly stiff spring... Neither Ishikawa nor Hunter would suggest that the sole secret to the jumping success of Holm and Thomas is in their Achilles tendons... after a twenty-year love affair with his craft" (Epstein).
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