Athletes who perform at the elite level aren’t like the rest of us. Their feats of strength, accuracy, and endurance often appear superhuman — which probably explains why we enjoy watching them so much. And the suggestion that many of these athletes are somehow performing outside of “normal” human bounds is not an exaggeration. Professional sports, it would seem, are being increasingly dominated by the mutants among us.
Humanity is a pretty diverse bunch. We come in all shapes and sizes, and with varying gifts. And it just so happens that some of these variations can lend themselves to specific sports. Some people benefit from happy accidents — physical “mutations” that can help an athlete adapt to a particular sport. It’s Darwinian selection on the playing field, with athletes working to attain Dawkinsian fitness peaks (quite literally).
The result of this selectional process is that the last man and woman standing are often way outside the human norm.