Excerpt: "Toward the end of “The Sports Gene”, David Epstein makes his way to a remote corner of Finland to visit a man named Eero Mäntyranta. Mäntyranta carries a rare genetic mutation. His DNA has an anomaly that causes his bone marrow to overproduce red blood cells. That accounts for his extraordinary career as a competitive cross-country skier. Mäntyranta, by virtue of his unique physiology, had something like sixty-five per cent more red blood cells than the normal adult male. In the 1960, 1964, and 1968 Winter Olympic Games, he won a total of seven medals—three golds, two silvers, and two bronzes—and in the same period he also won two world-championship victories in the thirty-kilometre race."
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