Recreation and Sport Studies

Studying, Experiencing and Facilitating Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport through Wellness and Physical Activity

Two engaging presentations on the future of athletic performance

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The issue of performance enhancement was the focus of a recent KIN 6300 discussion. As a precursor to the group discussion, the class watched the following two videos:
David Epstein is an investigative journalist that focuses on issues relating to Sports Science.  In this TED talk, Epstein discusses the timeline of athletic performance; where we were, and where we are now, and where we are going.
Using a number of different sports, Epstein shows the progression of athletic performance, and the difference that innovation, genetics, and a changing mindset have on the sports world.
Epstein does an excellent job in showing how athletic performance has advanced throughout the years, and how sport is adapting to these performances.
Next, is a presentation by Hugh Herr, an MIT Professor who looks into Bionics and robotic prosthetics.  While he looks at helping those who have lost limbs or are unable to perform as they would like, he also discusses  those who are able-bodied, and what prosthetic limbs can do for them.
Many discussion question arose in KIN 6300 from these videos:
If these limbs for able-bodied athletes are ever perfected, do you think they should be allowed in sport? 
If this became the norm amongst athletic competition, where athletes are improving themselves by technological modification, what do you think the sporting leagues do? 
Would the NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB ban athletes who wish to undergo these sorts of advancements?  What would be the concerns for allowing this? (This would be a massive blog post if I got into this)
I believe one day we will see a separate technologically advanced league.  There will someday be the Paralympics, Olympics, and a Transolympics for those who have and wish to transcend the human biology.  As a fan of the entertainment sport offers, I believe technology could only further that excitement.
-Joe Todd, November 2015


UNB Faculty of Kinesiology: Bachelor of Recreation & Sports Studies, MBA in Sport & Recreation Management, and Master of Arts in Sport & Recreation Studies

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