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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?”

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 23, 2014
Specialist Ronnie Howard, center, calls out prices as he works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Beyond the turmoil shaking financial markets, the U.S. economy remains sturdier than many seem to fear. (AP)

The global economic wobble. Europe weakness. China fears. Wild markets. We’ll lay out the global economy now.

Oct 23, 2014
A screenshot from the interactive game, "Depression Quest," the game at the root of the ongoing #GamerGate controversy. (Courtesy  "Depression Quest")

#GamerGate. Sexism, misogyny and rough stuff in a video game world culture clash.

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Authors Nicholas Kristof and wife Sheryl WuDunn attend the premiere of "Meena" at the AMC Loews Theater on Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York.

Author and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says regular folks like us can change the world. He explains how. Plus: we remember the late, great Washington Post editor, Ben Bradlee.

 
Oct 22, 2014
Health workers carry the body of a woman suspected of contracting the Ebola virus in Bomi county situated on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. (AP)

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On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

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Two LIVE Tracks From Jazz Violinist Regina Carter
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Regina Carter shares two live tracks — one arrangement, and one original composition — with Tom Ashbrook in the On Point studio.

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Our Week In The Web: October 17, 2014
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

We talk Facebook mishaps, whether Katy Perry was actually right and the glory of architectural giants and their iconic windows.

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