Posted on February 20, 2022

May the Best Man Win

Evelyn Mackenzie, American Renaissance, October 1992

Olympic Rings

This summer at the Barcelona Olympics, the men’s 100-meter dash was won by Great Britain, with the United States finishing second and third. Those were, at any rate, the official results. In fact, the event was a West African sweep or, as the British would say with unintended irony, a whitewash. Not one Asian, Arab, Hispanic, East African, or white even qualified for the final. Just as at the Seoul Olympics in 1988, all eight finalists were black. More precisely, all were West Africans or, like the medalists, descendants of West African slaves.

In international athletic competition today, sprinting events are simply battles between blacks. National honor no longer has a place, unless it derives from having the fastest black man living within one’s borders. Of the 50 all-time fastest men in the 100-meters, 44 are racially West African. Today’s top “British,” “European,” “Canadian,” and “American” sprinters are all on that list.

Though almost no one dares say so publicly, different racial groups clearly have dramatically different athletic endowments. Even among blacks, West Africans and East Africans excel in separate domains, with virtually no overlap. Athletic champions are born before they are made, and genetics can count for more than coaching. At the Barcelona Games, blacks of West African descent dominated the shorter distances, just as they have in all recent Olympics. In 1988, at Seoul, they won every medal in the men’s 100m, 200m, 400m, 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles, and the gold in the 4 × 100m and 4 × 400m relays. At the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, of the 52 medals won by Americans in track and field, 42 went to blacks — and the events they won were all sprints and jumps. Black prowess in the long jump is, if anything, even more overwhelming than in the sprints. Blacks of West African ancestry have won every long jump medal in the last three Olympics, and have won the gold 14 times in the last 17 Games.

American blacks, who are almost exclusively of West African descent, also dominate the professional sports in which a player must sprint or jump. Sixty percent of all National Football League players are black, as are 75 percent of all professional basketball players.

The connection between race and running ability is just as clear in the longer distances. Once again it is blacks who win, but an entirely different group of blacks: East Africans. At the 1988 Olympics, East Africans won the gold in the 800m, 1,500m, 3,000m steeplechase, 5,000m, 10,000m and the marathon. In the 1988 World Cross-Country Championships the first 10 finishers were all from Kenya or Ethiopia. Kenyans have won the last seven World Championships. In the 1984 Olympics Kenyans won the 800m, 1,500m, 3,000m steeplechase and the 5,000m. Based on population percentages, the likelihood of this happening by chance is 1 in 1,600,000,000. In 1960, the Ethiopian entrant in the marathon, Abebe Bikila, had virtually no training and did not even run in shoes. He won a gold medal and set a world record. Only natural ability can account for success like this.

A natural talent for longer distances was humiliatingly obvious during a competition at a Kenyan high school, at which the Swedish champions in both the 800-meters and 10,000-meters were beaten by hundreds of 15- to 17-year-olds. These boys had no expensive coaching or fancy running shoes, yet they ran rings around the best Nordic talent.

East and West

Each group of Africans excels in its own domain. As Olympic results show, with the exception of the “middle” distance of 800-meters, where East and West Africans meet in no-man’s land, and of one or two freak Kenyan medals in the 400-meters, there is no overlap in medal-winning performances: No East African has ever won an Olympic sprinting medal. No runner of West African descent has ever won a medal at a distance greater than 800-meters. Every one of the 29 Olympic distance medals won by black athletes has gone to an East African, with 27 of them going to Kenyans and Ethiopians alone.

With the distances from 100-meters to the marathon in the hands of Africans, there is not much left for the rest of the world. At the 1991 World Track and Field Championships in Tokyo, blacks — East Africans and those of West African descent — won an amazing 29 out of 33 men’s running medals.

What accounts for this? Racial superiority. West Africans can sprint and jump better than anyone else because they have the right genes. East Africans sweep the distance races for the same reason.

Shroud of Silence

Obvious as this may be, to say so is taboo. To admit that races have different physical capacities opens up the prospect of different mental capacities, and the race relations business knows no greater sin. Therefore, people who know better but who do not want to lose their jobs keep their mouths shut. When Amby Burfoot, executive editor of Runner’s World, wrote a cover story for the August, 1992 issue on the reasons for black running success, he had to do it without the help of America’s leading sports scientists. “Go ahead and hang yourself,” said one, “but you’re not going to hang me with you.” It can be professional suicide to penetrate what Mr. Burfoot calls the “shroud of silence” surrounding black running dominance.

Rather than proudly acknowledge their superiority, many blacks are angered by speculation about racial differences. Sports sociologist, Dr. Harry Edwards, is neither a geneticist nor a sports scientist, but he insists that talk of black physical superiority is nothing but racism. Dr. Edwards says there has never been “any scientific study linking any supposed physical or genetic characteristics of race to athletic competence.” He even claims that race is a “socially and culturally ascribed status,” with no roots in biogenetics.

In fact, many racial differences are quantifiable. Research on differences is now virtually impossible in the United States, but Canadians and Europeans are not afraid to investigate them. Runner’s World lists the characteristics that have been found to separate blacks of West African descent from whites: “Blacks have less body fat, narrower hips, thicker thighs, longer legs and lighter calves. From a biomechanical perspective, this is an impressive package. Narrow hips allow for efficient, straight-ahead running. Strong quadriceps muscles provide horsepower, and light calves reduce resistance.” Body type can confer the decisive advantage. To take an extreme example from the dog world, a dachshund could train forever, but never outrun a greyhound.

Blacks have also long been known to have proportionately more “fast-twitch” muscle fiber than whites — 67.5 percent vs. 59 percent, according to one study. Fast-twitch muscles are thought to give explosive power, while slow-twitch muscles give the steady contractions needed in swimming or rowing.

Fashionable Nonsense

Despite the complaints of black spokesmen, it is nonsense to insist that American blacks succeed in sports only because it is one of the few avenues of financial success open to them. A glance at the history books confirms the early beginnings of black dominance, a dominance for which the lure of material gain was insignificant. American blacks have been winning Olympic medals in the sprinting and jumping events since 1904. Why should they have bothered with something that held no hope of financial reward?

Furthermore, why would a “racist society” have permitted blacks to compete and win in the 100-meters but not in the 10,000-meters? When Jesse Owens came home from Berlin in 1936 with his four gold medals he was welcomed with ticker-tape parades. Would he have been snubbed if he had won the marathon instead?

Blacks of West African descent have been winning Olympic medals for Britain for almost as long as they have for the United States. The first time was in 1920, when a native of British Guyana won bronze medals in the 100-meters and 200-meters. Guyanese blacks, like Caribbean blacks, are descended from West African slaves, so British blacks excel in the same events as American blacks.

It is often argued that blacks do well in sports because they are “channeled” into them for cultural reasons. But what else but physical differences can account for studies done in Kansas City showing that black children are already outrunning and outjumping white children in the fourth grade? It is unlikely that black eleven-year-olds have been channeled into sports; it is equally unlikely that these black American children could beat Kenyan children at distance running.

Athletes from all-black countries such as Jamaica cannot argue that their success in sprinting and complete failure in swimming, for example, has anything to do with racism or racial channeling. The former tennis player, Arthur Ashe, claims that Africans are natural swimmers. If that were so, the beaches of the Caribbean would be nurseries for black swimming talent. Yet, with only one exception, no black man has ever won an Olympic swimming medal. Tests show that blacks have faster reflexes than whites. Biological theory says this tends to create stronger muscles, which leads to denser bones. It is probably bone density, not “racism,” that explains why no black has ever qualified for the U.S. Olympic swim team.

The evidence for race-linked success in athletics is overwhelming, but it is denied or ignored because it cannot help but raise questions about race and success in other areas. Sports are one of the few things left in America unaffected by quotas or affirmative action, and it is the best man who wins. Although the best man is often a black man, there are no cries for white quotas on the Olympic team. If superior genes bring success on the field, they must be allowed to play their part off it as well.

Note: Some of the information in this article is from Black Olympian Medalists, by James A. Page. The book chronicles every black medal-winning performance since the modern games began, and includes short biographies of all the medalists. Obviously, there could be no such book about white Olympians.