We're guessing that not one of you ever seriously considered this possibility: according to Duke professor Andre Bejan, and colleague Edward Jones from Howard University, the reason why athletes of West African descent tend to dominate running events, and the reason why athletes of European descent tend to dominate swimming comes down to... the belly button.
Specifically, they say, it comes down to where the belly button is located. According to their study, people of West African descent have a belly button which is on average 3 centimeters higher than other peoples.
The navel apparently is the center of gravity. A higher belly button means longer legs; a lower one means a longer torso, which tends to help in the pool.
The natural upshot? Basketball coaches are going to start charting belly buttons, of course. If you happen to have one around your rib cage, they're going to line up to sign you. And enterprising plastic surgeons will figure out a way to raise them.
None of this however explains Greg Newton: the former Blue Devil seemed to have a center of gravity so high that he regularly seemed on the verge of falling over. His navel really might have been around his rib cage, not that it helped much.
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