Thursday 12 November 2015

Michael Jordan

The final athlete that I will be studying is Michael Jordan, a former american basketball who is regarded as "one of the greatest basketball players of all time." He gained a reputation for being one of the best defensive players in basketball and won fans with his slam dunks from the free throw line that earned him his nickname "air jordan." He quit basketball in 1993 to pursue a career in basketball but returned in 1995.  His accomplishments in basketball are an incredible feat, winning MVP(most valuable player) 5 times, 10 All-NBA first team designations, 14 NBA all-star Games appearances and 6 NBA Finals MVP Award to mention but a few.

Michael was born on February 17th in 1963 in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Emsley A. LAne High School in Wilmington where he strived playing basketball, baseball and football. He tried out for the varsity team while he was a sophomore but he was dismissed as he was regarded as being too small to play at the level. Using this as motivation, he set a goal to become the star of that varsity team. He was recruited through college basketball programmes by the likes of Duke, North and South Carolina and Syracuse. He later accepted a scholarship to North Carolina.

He excelled in basketball and soon became a fan favourite, even appearing on the cover of Sports illustrated alongside the heading "A star is born." A broken foot halted his career for one season but he soon returned.He quit to play baseball, chasing a career there but soon returned. He signed for the Washington Wizards and the rest is history! He scored 32, 292 points in his career, averaging 30.1 points per game.
Michael Jordan has always been regarded as a genetic freak, excelling in basketball and baseball where he sought careers in both. A natural and excellent athlete in all sports, it may come down to his african descent but its been in his genetics to excel at sport since the day he was born

Rob  "Gronk" Gronkowski

I will be looking at Rob Gronkowski now, an American football player who plays as tight end for the New England Patriots in the NFL. He is a super bowl champion and 3-time pro bowl champion.
Rob was born on 16th of May 1989 in Williamsville, New York. He was drafted for the New England Patriots in 2010. In 2011, he set the single-season record for most touchdowns by a tight end, 17.
He attended Williamsville High School in his youth where he played tight end in football and centre in basketball. He excelled in football, recording 36 interceptions, 7 touchdowns and 6 sacks! Due to his performances on the pitch, he was named an All-Western New York first-team player and an All-State second-team player. In 2006 he moved to Pittsburgh where he attended Woodlands High School. He had a terrific season and so, was recruited by Kentucky, Arizona, Ohio State, Clemson, Louisville, Maryland and Syracuse. He later attended University of Arizona where he played from 2007-2009. He set a tight end school record. He was drafted by the New England Patriots as the 42nd pick in the second round in 2010.
We see in an article that he grew up with 2 other brothers and excelled in sport ahead of them but it says "It’s a world of great genetics, but there’s no way genetics alone produced Rob" His father made him suffer through heredity and hard work yet he knew what buttons to push but not to push too hard. His father instilled a practiced and strict routine from an early age, only allowing him to start with weights under his supervision. We can clarify that is was hard work and training from a young age and a natural ability to play football that has gotten him to where he is today.

Rich Froning

Now I'll be looking at Rich Froning, a professional crossfit athlete who is 4-time fittest man on earth.(2010-2014) He led his team Crossfit Mayhem Freedom to 1st place in 2015. He has managed to win over $1,000,000 in prize money, making his career a sustainable one. Some say that he had it in his genetics to be as physically strong and big as he is now while others say he dedicated many hours in the dark for the years in the light.

Rich Froning was born on July 27, 1987 in Mount Clemens, Michigan. He attended Cookesville High School where he played baseball and was an all-district, all-region second baseman. He graduated in 2005 and was received a baseball scholarship from Walters State Community College. He soon quit his baseball career and became a fireman while studying at Tennesse Technology University, during his career as a fireman he found his love for crossfit. In 2010, he began competing and coaching.
He competed in the Crossfit Games from 2010 to 2014.
From 2011-2014, Froning won every stage of the games season which consist of the Worldwide Open, the Regionals and then finally the Games.
As one of my sources which discussed an interview that Rich Froning had, he is a genetic freak. He also trains everyday yet he has no plan or trainer, he doesnt eat all the time, he just eats one large meal at night. He may have spent years working to become as accomplished as he is yet all the fingers point to genetic freak in this case

Sonny Bill Williams

The next athlete that I will be looking at is Sonny Bill Williams, an All-Blacks rugby union player, former international rugby league player and former champion boxer in his weight division. He has 33 appearances to date, playing for the All-Blacks and was a pivotal player who made a great impact when coming off the bench. He is a former New Zealand Professional Boxing Association Heavyweight Champion and a World Boxing Association International Heavyweight champion. As we see, he is a phenomenal athlete but was he born to be a star or did he sacrifice countless hours in the ring and on the pitch to reap the rewards later in life?

Sonny Bill was born on the 3rd of August 1985 in Auckland, New Zealand. He grew up in a working class style of house yet he says they had a struggling family background. The motivation that drove him to play professional rugby league was then being able to buy his mum a house. During his childhood education, he attended  Owairaka Primary School, Wesley Intermediate and Mount Albert Grammar School. He was described as a small, skinny white kid yet was freakishly talented when it came to sports, he was a competitive sprinter, a champion high jumper and a cross country runner. He abandoned a promising future in athletics to play rugby league. He was spotted by a bulldogs talent scout and in 2002, he was signed at the age of 17, becoming the youngest ever NRL signing. He impressed and was brought up to the kiwi's squad after a small number of games.
As we see, Sonny Bill was a natural athlete from an early age. Being  an outstanding athlete and a phenomenal rugby player don't just come naturally. He admits that he has always stuck to a strict diet and he dedicates a lot of spare time to practising his trade, whether it be boxing or rugby. In my opinion, genetics are on his side with his dad being a former rugby league player himself yet his hours and hours of practice have brought him to where he is today.

Thursday 22 October 2015

Usain Bolt

                    Usain Bolt 
  The first athlete that I will be looking at is Usain Bolt, a Jamaican sprinter who currently holds the world record in the 100m and 200m sprint. Bolt also holds the record for gold medal finishes with 6 Olympic gold medal finishes and 11 world championship finishes to his name. Has his success been down to a strict training regime and countless hours of dedicated work or was he born to live a life in the blocks?
  Usain Bolt was born on 21 August 1986. He spent his childhood playing football and cricket on the street with his brother, "when I was young, I didnt really think about anything other than sport." 
His potential to run became recognised at his primary school races where he at the age of 12 became the fastest 100m sprinter in the school. In secondary school, he was encouraged to pick up track where Pablo McNeil, a former Olympic sprinter, and Dwayne Jarrett because his coaches. A strong partnership grew and Bolt skyrocketed to success. Has his secret been purely hours of dedicated work or has it been in his genes?
  A study has revealed that Jamaican sprinters tend to be faster due to the symmetry in their knees, how small a difference this may sound, actually has a much larger impact. Due to their knees being more symmetrical, when sprinting their knees keep in a straight line instead of moving side to side slightly as most sprinters of other nationalities tend to do. As well as the knee advantage, people from West Africa, including Jamaicans, have in their genetics more 'fast-twitch' muscle fibres. This results in energy being produced from the bodies sugars rather oxygen and this is ideal for short, intense bursts of activity such as sprinting. 
  So there we have it, it may not be down purely to genetics but Bolt has been handed many advantages over his fellow sprinters. The symmetry in his knees and increased fast-twitch muscle fibres capacity are purely down to genetics so we cannot say for certain that he was always going to be an Olympic champion sprinter but it seems that it is more genetics than practice in this case

Wednesday 21 October 2015


Usain Bolt:

Info about Usian Bolt

Sonny Bill Williams

Info about Sonny Bill Williams:

Rich Froning:

Info about Rich Froning:

Rob Gronkowski:

Info about Rob Gronkowski:

Michael Jordan:

Info about Michael Jordan:

Monday 5 October 2015


hello, my name is Tom and this is my blog. I am a transition year student from Ireland. This blog will be a part of an environmental studies module that we are doing. In this blog, I will be discussing the world famous feats of many athletes and whether these accomplishments are due to their genetic make-up or is it the 10,00 hour rule that sculpted them into the athletes they are today...