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sports gene story board
Updated: 9/3/2020
sports gene story board
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Storyboard Text

  • Genes could make you excel at something you didn’t know you had a talent for.
  • Genes could make you excel at something you didn’t know you had a talent for.
  • Genes could make you excel at something you didn’t know you had a talent for.
  • Donald Thomas had been boasting about his slam dunk prowess, so Carlos Mattis made a bet that he can’t clear a 6’6” high jump. “… To Mattis’ amazement, Thomas cleared it easily. So Mattis pushed the bar up 6’8”. Thomas cleared it. Seven feet… he cleared it” (Epstein). He was put on the high jump team because of this.
  • Even if you train all your life for something, you can still fall short compared to someone naturally blessed.
  • Though Thomas was new to high jumping, he competed in competitions and set new records. “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... Thomas cleared 7’3.25”, a Lantz Indoor Fieldhouse record" (Epstein).
  • Even if you train all your life for something, you can still fall short compared to someone naturally blessed.
  • “Ishikawa noted both Thomas’s long legs relative to his height and also that he was gifted with a giant’s Achilles tendon… Thomas’s at ten and a quarter inches, was uncharacteristically long for an athlete his height” (Epstein). Thomas’ giant Achilles tendons are the reason why he exceeded at high jumping even though he barely had training.
  • Even if you train all your life for something, you can still fall short compared to someone naturally blessed.
  • With eight months of training, Thomas entered the World Championships along with Stefan Holm, a twenty-year veteran. “When the men’s high jump finalists were introduced, broadcasters announced a laser-focused Holm as the favorite. Thomas… was described as “very much an unknown quantity"” (Epstein).
  • At first, Thomas struggled but eventually got his groove while Holm breezed through the jumps. They reached the 7'8.5" jump, and Thomas made the jump in his first try. To his disappointment, Holm failed to make the jump. “The guy in pole vault shoes who thinks high jump is “kind of boring” was crowned the 2007 world champion” (Epstein).
  • “Holm’s Achilles was a more normal-sized, incredibly stiff spring...The longer the Achilles tendon, the more elastic energy it can store when compressed” (Epstein). Thomas' Achilles tendons are what gave him an edge over Holm. Even though Holm devoted his life to high jumping, he was bested because Thomas was naturally blessed.
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