Natural ability - does it diminish sporting achievements?


Staff Member
Not to pick on him specifically but Usain Bolt has phenomenal natural ability.

Yes, he had to put some work in to hone it, but no amount of training would ever allow anyone anywhere near him, as evidenced by the fact they he won almost every race he entered and is an 11 time world champion and holds the world records for 100 and 200 meters.

So, are his achievements worthless because he was born with natural ability?

If not, why not?

How is it fair that other runners don't stand a chance against him?
All elite sports competitors have natural ability, Bolt's natural ability is/was that a 6ft plus person normally canot run, all racing drivers have very quick reactions an you can't train to improve reaction times, you either have or you don't, that doesn't detract from their achievements. Today everything is scientific but you need the natural talent to work on, science can get it wrong there are quite a few long jumpers and javelin throwers who had to retire because their natural tallent was considered inefficient and were taught to throw or jump a different way that cause injuries rather than improving ther talent.
for me if you want to be the elite. 1 of the greatest. you have to have both you need to work hard & you need to natural ability. Usain Bolt was a perfect storm. great genetics 4 inches taller than any Olympic champion. great natural speed & longer stride length. but he didn't rely upon it as in the documentary he had some gruelling training. but it was a storm that wasnt supposed to be because he was supposed to be too tall for sprinting

i just seen it (when i was allowed to) at bramall lane got a bunch of misfits but because they work hard they finished in 9th in premier league. i remember many years ago we had a player called Nick Montgomery i loved him but technically dreadful with the ball couldnt shoot or pass further than 10yds. but guys work rate was fantastic & closing down & tackling like a rottweiler. then youve got ravel Morrison what sir Alex called 1 of the most talented people he had seen in tenure. flopped massively

or Andy Murray we all knew what a talent he was at queens when he burst on to the scene but poor diet & lack of training + being sick on court. meant he couldnt win. transforms that. within a few years is top 4
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