The Hungry Fighter

I’m currently reading the Sports Gene by David Epstein, a fascinating book which, in addressing how genetics affects sports performance, ends up raising interesting, and challenging, questions about gender and race.  I may write more about those topics later but this morning I was reading about the dominance of Kenyan runners at endurance events and was struck by this quote from Peter Matthews, a track and field statistician:

“In these days of computer games, sedentary pursuits, and driving our children to school- it is the ‘hungry’ fighter or the poor peasant who has the endurance background, and the incentive to work on it, who makes the top distance runner.”