Thursday, February 21, 2013

Is It In the Genes?

  This past weekend I had a chance to ski with family in Vermont at Mad River Glen.   Son, two daughters, two son-in-laws,  four grandchildren and I made up the group.   All the youngsters are excellent skiers with skiing skills far exceeding my own.  My children started skiing relatively early and became excellent skiers from the nurture of various instructors.   No genetic traits from me are particularly indicated on my part.   The next generation have had the advantage of exceptionally skilled ski parents.   Terry for one served on the PSIA demo team for many years and Colin and Tange are PSIA certified at astronomical levels.
   So the question is, how much of the skill of the grandchildren is genetic and how much is the result of nurture.    Genetics do play a part in providing a healthy body with bone and muscle structure amenable to skiing.    And also we would hope a mental structure oriented to learning the actions of the body for skilled skiing.   However, the nurture element is very important.  The grandchildren started skiing almost as soon as they could walk.   Both the parents and professional instructors honed their skills through many hours of guided instruction and free skiing.   The upshot of all this activity is a set of exceptional skiers.   (Of course I'll admit that this opinion is a biased one from a proud grandparent).

Carson, Cole, Kiara and Turner
   Beyond the proud grandparent opinion there is the proof of performance.    Sunday past there was a Mogul Challenge Race at Mad River Glen.   Four of the grand children were competitors.   All did very well in their age groups.   Three of them did exceptionally well with Kiara coming in second in the 8 and under girls group,  while Carson was first in the 12 to 15 year old boys and Turner was first in the 8 to 12 year old boys group.   All four were medal winners.   See photo.
   Can't beat the combination of genes and nurture!  Maybe some of the genes from this old geezer were valuable.  I hope so!

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