Sunday, May 12, 2019

Five top books on sporting outliers

Alex Hutchinson is the author of Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance. He writes about the science of endurance and fitness for Outside (where he's a contributing editor and author of the Sweat Science column), The Globe and Mail (where he writes the Jockology column), and Canadian Running magazine.

At the Guardian Hutchinson tagged five of the best books that explore sex, gender and the nature-nurture debate, including:
No one knows these turbulent waters better than Martina Navratilova, the former tennis star who has supported [Caster] Semenya’s case but sparked outrage when she suggested that transgender women had “unfair” advantages competing against female opponents. Navratilova herself was a barrier-defying athlete. The best way to understand her athletic journey is through her longstanding rivalry and friendship with Chris Evert, as chronicled by sports journalist Johnette Howard in The Rivals. Over the course of 16 years, the two champions clashed 80 times, including 60 finals, sometimes sharing a bagel before the match then afterwards travelling together to the next tournament. As these two very different women come together through their pursuit of a common goal, we get a glimpse of why sport matters and why the right to compete needs to be carefully guarded.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue