Rise of the super siblings: How important are genes in sporting success?

As 10 pairs of siblings represent Britain at the Tokyo Olympics, a team effort from both nature and nurture is what builds a champion, scientists tell Harry Cockburn

Monday 26 July 2021 00:10
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<p>Runners Hannah and Jodie Williams are both in Team GB’s athletics squad</p>

Runners Hannah and Jodie Williams are both in Team GB’s athletics squad

To reach the exalted heights of Olympic-level sport, it takes supreme dedication, training and talent to beat the fiercest competition – so how is it that despite these obstacles, two champions from the same family can come along at once, repeatedly?

At the Tokyo Olympics this summer, no fewer than 10 sets of siblings, including three pairs of twins, have been selected to represent Team GB alone.

Each sibling will compete in the same sport as their brother or sister, with the relevant disciplines including cycling, swimming, boxing, rowing, tennis, hockey, gymnastics and athletics.

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