27 Feb 2016

Muscles and mutations

From This Way Up, 12:40 pm on 27 February 2016
Priscilla Lopes-Schliep at the 2012 Bislett Games

Priscilla Lopes-Schliep at the 2012 Bislett Games Photo: Chell Hill

David Epstein is the author of The Sports Gene, which looks at the genetic basis of sporting excellence and the complex question of whether success in the sporting arena comes down to nature, nurture or something in between.

This Way Up spoke to David back in 2013, who after releasing the book, David started getting a barrage of weird and wonderful emails in his inbox – from pushy parents asking if they should genetically test their children, to coaches volunteering their athletes as human guinea pigs, to people claiming to have strange genetic mutations.

Amongst all of this email, he spotted one from a lady called Jill Viles with the unusual subject line 'Olympic medallist and muscular dystrophy patient with the same mutation'.

That's where the story really began, as he tells Simon Morton: