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Editor,—Might I briefly comment on Dr Lavin's observation that elite athletes, whom he classes as “freak”, “are as removed from real life as it is possible to be”? “Real life” is what is all around us, from the homeless in the street to the most highly paid sports, pop, or business star. Humphrey Lyttelton, whose jazz talents took him on a different career path from his high positioned family, was told once by his uncle “Yours is a different world”. To which he replied “No, it is the same world as yours, only bigger”. Elite competitors have a talent which they market to their best and brief advantage, as do many in the creative arts, sciences, and professions. They also bring enjoyment to many of our lives, and are no more—and no less—“freaks” than genetic outliers in any of the talents.
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