Think your kid has the potential to be the next LeBron James? How about the next Aaron Rodgers? Or maybe you think you may have just given birth to the next Albert Pujols or Wayne Rooney? Many people believe that their child is the next big sports superstar but few, and I mean few, are ever correct. However, a company out of Colorado claims that it can check your child’s genetic code to determine if your kid will excel at any number of sports.
Atlas Sports Genetics out of Boulder, Colorado says that it uses a child’s genetic code to determine if the best sport for the kid will be football, basketball, golf, baseball, soccer, swimming or another sport. In addition to that, the company also claims to give parents some early information on their child’s genetic predisposition for success in power or endurance sports.
At the small fee of only $160 (per child that is), parents will be able to receive a specially designed DNA kit in order to collect a DNA swab from their child. The swabs are then sent back to Atlas before eventually ending up at some lab in Australia. After a few weeks in the land down under, the results are sent back.
Retired NHL player and 2001 Colorado Avalanche Stanley Cup Winner Shjon Podein has already signed up his 5-year-old son Junior and his 8-year-old daughter Anna for the test. Podein is also famous for wearing his uniform for a full 25 hours after his team won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals over the New Jersey Devils.
The specific gene scientists are looking for is the ACTN 3 gene, which is believed to be responsible for fast-twitch explosive muscles. If discovered by the scientists that the child under examination is lacking in the ACTN 3 gene, they will recommend them for endurance sports like long-distance running, cycling or swimming.
If your child’s genetic makeup contains a little bit of ACTN 3, then your child is in the mixed-pattern category, having both strength and endurance. This means that he or she will have a chance at succeeding at any type of sport, whether it be endurance or strength.
If your kid is overloaded with the ACTN 3 gene, then change their name to The Incredible Hulk because they are blessed with both power and strength. These little monsters are best suited for contact sports like football, wrestling, boxing, weight lifting and the like.
Even with “scientific” backing, Atlas has stated that a child still has the potential to excel in a sport that does not match their DNA profile. And with that statement comes the critics as this remark opens up a world of controversy about the whole thing being one big scam.
However, Atlas is sticking by their “work” with President of Operations at Atlas Nat Carruthers stating, “We hope they use it to highlight ways they can train differently. Or it inspires them in a different way as opposed to just locking them into a single sport.”
I honestly hope that there aren’t any people, other than Podeing (who has plenty of money to waste), that are actually buying into this crap. Saying that a certain gene predisposes your child to be successful takes away one of the key concepts of growth for an athlete, working hard to achieve your goals. If anybody thinks this is legitimate, feel free to run through the same process with me, I’ll only charge you $150.
Source: Yahoo! Sports – DNA Testing Could Help Choose Your Kid’s Sport