Do You Have the Genes of an Athlete?
As a keen cyclist myself I fully appreciate that for all my hard work and endeavor, my genes play a big part in just how fast and strong I can be. With the Olympics just a few months away, Samsung have unveiled a new app that lets you compare your own genes to that of the superstar athletes competing in London this summer. At least you'd think it does from the name of it.
The app, available on Facebook, is called the Olympic Genome Project, is a slight misnomer in that it doesn't actually compare your genes with that of Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt. What it does do however is compares your surroundings with those of over 3,000 top athletes.
It will use information from your profile to see if you have any similarities with the athletes in the database. You might have gone to the same school for instance or share a home town. After the comparison is complete it will tell you which athlete you have most in common with and why.
Ralph Santana, Samsung‘s chief marketing officer in North America, tells Mashable the idea behind the app is to in part bring more attention to athletes who often get overshadowed by media hype.
“People don’t necessarily know how they’re connected to Olympic athletes, unlike other sports where people know more about how they’re connected to teams and players by hometown or area,” Santana says. “You lose a little bit of that in the Olympics, when you only hear about the real high-profile athletes being discussed while NBC is kind of curating the event.”
Santana does not reveal why the app included the word genome when no genetic analysis is available, so for me the app isn't really as interesting as it could have been. Coming from a reasonably small town it also seems a stretch to believe there was a sporting superstar in your midsts and being unaware of them. Despite these basic flaws though it's a fun app that might be worth a play as the Olympics looms.