To a certain kind of sports fan—the sort with a Ph.D. in physiology—Olga Kotelko is just about the most interesting athlete in the world. A track and field amateur from Vancouver, Canada, Kotelko has no peer when it comes to the javelin, the long jump, and the 100-meter dash (to name just a few of the 11 events she has competed in avidly for 18 years). And that’s only partly because peers in her age bracket tend overwhelmingly to avoid athletic throwing and jumping events. Kotelko, you see, is 94 years old.
Scientists want to know what’s different about Olga Kotelko. Many people assume she simply won the genetic lottery—end of story. But in some ways that appears not to be true. Some athletes carry genetic variants that make them highly “trainable,” acutely responsive to aerobic exercise. Kotelko doesn’t have many of them. Some people have genes that let them lose weight easily on a workout regime. Kotelko doesn’t.
Read the full, original story: Is the Will to Work Out Genetically Determined?