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  • #61
    Re: Where is my topic?

    "Why do I get the impression that we are preaching to the choir here?"

    Probably because you haven't read the thread carefully, if at all.


    • #62
      Re: Where is my topic?

      >>"Simply shameful... How can you let all those African and European immigrants win all the medals for the US? If the Native Americans can't do it, you shouldn't enter a team at all.<<

      >>It is safe to assume that this a joke, correct?<<

      I wouldn't say that voices of white Americans that I read in the internet would be too optimistic regarding their lowering participation rate in major American sports. They rather resemble voices of frustrated and resigned people. It seems that they don't wish their black countrymen to excel in these sports or what. And the statement considering France is really no joke, but a sad, logical development in countries, whose populations turn from sports to products of McDonald's (or to sitting at wine, respectively), and comfortably let the burden of hard sports work on shoulders of more motivated immigrants from slums or hired lump-workers from their former colonies. (I strongly believe that the crucial reason of France's February loss against our soccer team on Stade de France was that they were not able to engage an Eskimo into their eleven. Another explanation may be that the number of their excellent Armenians in midfield dropped in recent years and the newly purchased Congolese and Senegalese were not able to balance it.) In fact, France is currently an European equivalent of USA, where you can watch the development of "athletic superiority" (using words of Jon Entine) on the European soil. If you want any comparison, look at the Great Britain and their soccer or athletic team. It clearly suggests a different attitude of British people to sports participation.

      >>Well it would appear that 3 years moved us from 55% of Americans qualifying as overweight (1998) to 62% (2001). At any rate, anecdotal recollections of how Europeans appeared to live, gleaned while travelling, aren't going to cut it as a counter-argument."<<

      An article that I recently read confirms this trend. In Europe, you can naturally find a lot of overweighed people. The percentage of obesity in USA is nevertheless much higher. Moreover, the main difference between America and Europe is that in America there are much more people with monstrous measurements that are simply inacceptable in Europe these days (but in the future, we will perhaps catch you). My friend, who recently returned from USA, stated that there he had understood what a word "tuck" actually means. Another man told me that encountering these obese monsters in American streets was a more memorable experience than a look at the Grand Canyon. (And I think that the Grand Canyon is an admirable creation of nature.)

      >>Speaking of grotesque... I notice that the national mens distance records of the Czech Republic (your country?) at ... RECTCH.txt are not exactly threatening to make any world or Olympic finals. How's that native born star athletes thing working out for you? "I really don't know what use it is" either."<<

      Yes. That's exactly what I above said about today's situation in Czech men's distance running (find a message from Friday Oct 10, 10:23 AM). Today's children rather prefer sports that combine hard work with fun and lots of money. Running is only hard work, little money and no fun. The rise of financial incomes in soccer may be one of key reasons, why we observed a rapid decline of European track in mid 80's. (However, a change in living style or the physiological effect of African emergence may have contributed a lot as well.) In early 90's, the times in almost all distances fell on the level of early 70's. In Czech republic, you can observe the same. And some of the very old national records really aren't anything spectacular. Words of trainers confirm that today's Czech youngsters rather prefer playing soccer or ice-hockey than running or athletics in general. One can't wonder, when they see so many successful countrymen taking astronomical sums of money. If there are so many Czechs, who are the world's elite in these two sports, I think it is a very good compensation. (After all, our field athletes compensate it, too.) In athletics you must undergo many years of hard training and in the end, you will actually get few bucks for it, even if you are a world-class star.

      >>Considering how few black Americans overall have even taken up distance running, can you even legitimately claim for a FACT that this population has a "genetically worse predispositions for these distances"? The increased diversity that I'm seeing in U.S. middle distance races suggests otherwise. Black Americans are also significantly likelier to be overweight than their white counterparts -- a fact you ignore as it complicates your thesis.<<

      I actually expected that soon or later someone will argue that. Since the difference in obesity rate between black and white Americans is very slight, this situation has more in common with the different metabolism of blacks than with their lazier living style. All populations coming from tropics suffer from obesity, if they adopt dietary customs of people from industrialized countries, because they have less resting energy expenditure than people from cold climates. You can observe the same on Gypsies in Europe, for example. Anyhow, the higher obesity rate of black Americans is at striking variance with their sports performances, more concretely in track and field, where they white countrymen notoriously glean. If you think that only "few black Americans overall have even taken up distance running", the worse for their white countrymen. The "increased diversity" actually means that the situation must be even worse than I thought. There are several reasons for it: The West African physique (the physique of your black countrymen) is an example of extreme adaptation to short-distance running. In comparisons with whites (and Caucasians in general), they posess smaller lung capacity (10-15%), smaller aerobic capacity (i.e. oxygen delivery, 5%), smaller capillarization and smaller percentage of slow fibers in vastus lateralis (one of four heads of thigh muscle that is important for running). All these factors play a key role in distance running from the 800 m upwards. (The only advantage of black Americans in 800-1500 m would be their longer stride.) In the 400 m, the contribution of aerobic metabolism is still small (25-30%), so blacks dominate here. However, the physiological change between 400 m-800 m is the biggest between all running distances. The percentage of aerobic metabolism rises to 50-60%, so white Americans should have a noticeable advantage over their black counterparts. The all-time statistics in this distance confirm it. However, judging from a photograph from American athletic trials, the 800 m is now utterly dominated by black Americans. In the 1500 m, the aerobic metabolism rises to 70-80%, which means that chances of West Africans are only theoretical. The "black" runners you list (Jacobs, Krummenacker) nicely illustrate it, because they are of mixed origin. In other words, if you want to be a successful "black" miler, you must have a considerable portion of Caucasian genes in your legs (This is not to say that we will never see a "pure-blood" West African excelling at this distance, but the Nigerian national record shows that it won't be too soon.). I wouldn't be surprised if African-Americans dominated the marathon, when their white countrymen are running 2:30 something.

      My theory concerning obesity was only one (but perhaps the most probable) explanation of the lack of American success in distance running. The main reason is that white Americans simply don't run. Their black countrymen are obviously much more motivated and I believe that they do what they can, but they have certain limitations. Why white Americans don't run, that's a question for you. I guess that the decline of their performances in mid 80's can't be explained by their increasing orientation to soccer or any other aerobic sport (there is no massive flow of American cyclists following Armstrong's example, not to say that I don't remember any American, who could be considered as a top world's soccer player), so the change of living style seems to me the most probable explanation. I would be very curious, where the tens of potential running tailents disappear, what they do and how they earn living? In any case, the current "healthier" trend mentioned by 6 5.5hjsteve seems to have zero effect. But to my surprise, there are more and more white Americans in sprints now (especially the case of.Jenny Adams - the first white American woman since Columbus' landing that has ever participated in short distances) . Does it have something in common with their alleged long work time? (I mean if they stay at work too long, they probably must sprint to catch buses.). I do hope that in several years a white American sprinter won't work like an extra-terrestial on track. By the way, you can argue that athletics is not so popular in USA and it may not attract so many US whites, but the situation in events like long jump or triple jump has no parallel in the Western world (Although I should check French records not to do an injustice to them).

      >>I think Americans of European descent are one of the most underperforming groups on earth in many athletics events, particularly sprints and some jumps. <<

      Very well said, Michael Lewis. I waited for many years until someone expresses it openly.

      "Yeh, wheres Jim Thorpe when we really need him?!"

      Where are your long jumpers jumping at least 7.50 m? You would need them a lot not to be for laugh to the whole world.


      • #63
        Re: Where is my topic?

        Who is this self-righteous quack?


        • #64
          Re: Where is my topic?

          >Who is this self-righteous quack?

          Jon Entine with a new handle.


          • #65
            Re: Where is my topic?

            "I wouldn't say that voices of
            white Americans that I read in the internet would be too optimistic regarding their lowering participation rate in major American sports. They
            rather resemble voices of frustrated and resigned

            Enough of this inane babble!

            This evening I leave for Portsea!
            (Central Illinois style)

            Come, if ye be men, and follow my lead into the future!


            • #66
              Re: Where is my topic?

              I fully agree with you. This is the most stupid forum that I have ever entered. It is dangerous to post something more sophisticated here or to point to faults of Americans.

              After all, the recent affair concerning THG is much more exciting!


              • #67
                Re: Where is my topic?

                Then why do you keep coming back? It's too stupid for you!! If drug news is more exciting than actual track and field, then you really do belong over at See ya!


                • #68
                  Re: Where is my topic?

                  >America is the best and worst at everything. We
                  >have out of shape fat people and we also have
                  >great athletes like Tiger Woods and Lance

                  The reason
                  >US distance running lags is because very few in
                  >the states care about it.

                  How many people in the US care about cycling? Not, Armstrong, but cycling. Thousdands of American kids run track every year - hundreds of times those that race bikes. You are dead wrong about why US distance running lags.

                  Athletic kids in the US are better than ever. There are also more obese kids in the US than ever before. We are becoming a nation of "haves and have-nots" of athletics. Parents are to blame if their kids are overweight. They must insist their kids get off their asses and get outside more frequently.

                  The fact that we don't have any seriously world class distance runners today has nothing to do with the American lifestyle. We have better athletes than ever before in almost every other sport. We also have plenty of talented kids running in high school today. We must bridge the post- high school gap.