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2012-10-07 09:00:00 GMT+01:00


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Friday, 1 August 2008

The Making of Me: Colin Jackson

Last night on BBC you could have seen the documentry "The Making of Me: Colin Jackson". The serie challenges scientists to explain what makes certain people stand out of the crowd. In this episode: What makes Colin Jackson so special making him the top athlete that he was. Unfortunately the series is not available on BBC i player.
Therefore I try to summarize it for you. First of all for those who do not know Colin Jackson. He was, on the 110meters hurdles, two time worldchampion, twice second, once third, four times european champion and once second in the Olympics (Seoul). Barcelona should have brought his Olympic triumph but in the final he hit the third, fourth and final hurdle and stumbled on almost falling over the finish line in sixth place. One year later however he set a new world record that lasted voor 13 years (the race on youtube).
This video is his world record race:

More recent achievements are on the dance floor in BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

Now about "The Making of Me": The documentry looks at the various aspects that might explain why Colin was succesfull:
  • His genetics and partly Jamaican origin: It appears the top 20 sprinters come from either the North America's or the Carabean and mainly Jamaica
  • His upbringing and environment that enabled him to explore and exploit his talents to the full
  • His ability to focus and concentrated under pressure before a start shutting out the public (There is a nice quote from his dancing partner telling he showed the same attitude before going on the floor in Strictly come Dancing
  • His ability to deal with setbacks. A test showed negative images stimulated his part of the brains that are generally linked to pleasant images. It appears that with every negative experience he turn is into something positive.
  • His muscular structure: as might be expected he has more fast fibres (I think white muscle tissue?) than slow fibres (red?) but also an unussual amount of super fast fibres (something I never heard of before) 25% in contrast to the average 2% in other athletes....

Keep an eye out if the series comes your way or will be repeated on the BBC. It is worthwile to watch.

1 comment:

  1. Cool post, man. Colin Jackson had the best form among all sprint hurdlers, in my opinion.