90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Perfect Physiques

With Wade Goodwyn in for Tom Ashbrook.

Are the Olympics open to only those born with perfect physiques?  Can you win gold without Missy Franklin’s wingspan or Usain Bolt’s height?

Chinese gymnast Sui Lu performs on the balance beam during the Artistic Gymnastic women's qualifications at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 29, 2012, in London. (AP)

Chinese gymnast Sui Lu performs on the balance beam during the Artistic Gymnastic women’s qualifications at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 29, 2012, in London. (AP)

If only you’d stuck with your training and been more careful with your diet, if things had been just a little different that could have been you marching into the Olympic stadium, fans taking your picture and waving the flag.  Right?   Well maybe not.

The Games at the 30th Olympiad contain some of the most amazing physical specimens ever seen.

This hour, On Point:  It wouldn’t matter how hard you worked, without the right genes, you don’t have a chance.  Nature vs. nurture in the creation of an Olympic athlete.

-Wade Goodwyn

Guests

Jeff Kofman, ABC News correspondent in London.

Adrian Bejan, professor of mechanical engineering at Duke University. Author of Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology, and Social Organization.

Robert Chapman, associate director for sports science and medicine for U.S. Track and Field.

Sheldon Blockburger, assistant Track and Field coach at the University of Arizona. A former Decathlete who has been coaching for over 20 years, and this year trained Olympic High Jumper Brigetta Barrett, who will be competing starting next Thursday, August 9th.

From The Reading List

BBC “Olympic athletes come in all shapes and sizes, from the lithe limbs of Japan’s Asuka Teramoto to the gargantuan frame of China’s Zhaoxu Zhang. But how do you measure up in comparison? Try our app below and find out. Why not then share your results with your friends?”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

From “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 30, 2014
Soylent is a new meal-replacement substance meant to offer a complete nutritional alternative to traditional food. (Courtesy Soylent)

Soylent is a grey smoothie the consistency of pancake batter that claims it can replace all your food. On a crowded planet, is this the future of food? Plus: what does the Antares rocket crash mean for private space travel?

 
Oct 30, 2014
Realtor Helen Hertz stands in front of one of her listings in Cleveland Heights, Ohio Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Hertz, a real estate agent for more than three decades, has seen firsthand what has happened to the market in the wake of the recession and foreclosure crisis. (AP)

Home ownership rates are at a 20-year low. Millennials and more aren’t buying. We’ll look at what American’s think now about owning a home.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Three: What Is The Dow Jones Industrial Average?
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We dig in to that all-important, all-confusing daily stock notice: the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 31, 2014
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We tumble for ya, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Tuco the Massachusetts K-9 Unit puppy in training.

More »
Comment
 
Awards Season 2014: The Movies Worth Your Time
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

What movies should you watch before 2014 comes to a close? Our critics offer their picks for the movies of the season right here.

More »
Comment