Swimming and bone density

I was recently told by a friend that the reason not a lot of black people are Olympic swimmers is because their bones are denser than other peoples’. I can’t recall seeing any black Olympic swimmers. I would think that the propulsion would be enough to make the density of the bones moot. Please help me solve this mystery.

There aren’t a heck of a lot of black hockey players either.

I’m pretty sure bone density variance is greater within the races than accross them.

Your friend made the claim, and the onus is on him to prove it.

They can’t even float on frozen water. Them are some dense bones!!!

I believe the stereotype comes from the fact that most african americans live in areas where there is little access to pools or places to swim(like cities). ofcourse there are public swimming pools, and here in philadelphia they are usually filled with black children(atleast where i live.), but most kids don’t have a reasonable way of getting to them. When i was little we went to the highschool to learn how to swim and it was a part of school. Many children here don’t have pools in their schools. Also, many public pools don’t require much from the swimmer as the pools are small and shallow.

So, i guess what I’m sayig is that the stereotype that african americans are bad swimmers comes from social conditions rather than genetic ones. Pools are verrrrrrry expensive. Basketball is cheaper

Ok, I do realize that one reason why so few blacks are not great swimmers is because of the cost of swimming. This still does not answer my question as to why there is not one Olympic swimmer that is black. I mean, Tiger woods is a tremendous golfer and that is expensive. I personally believe that blacks are far better atheletes than other races and this has been shown in almost every sport (I know that there will be some argument here, but let’s at least agree blacks are better at basketball, track, football, etc.) Since they are better at a sport such as track, one would think they would excel at another very physical sport such as swimming.

I don’t know about bones, but blacks are definitely better at sprinting and medium distance running than other races. I haven’t noticed a racial correlation to ability to float, but I can’t honestly say I’ve been paying attention. In any case, I’d bet individual’s fat content has a greater impact on ability to float. Hmm… I don’t know what the normal density for skeletal muslce is. In America, you run the whole spectrum of fatness, the most common being mildly overweight. I myself have a very heavy skeleton AND a gut, and if I move nothing I hang with my feet down and only my nose out of the water.

You’ll have to provide some cites that define “race” and take into account class and societal differences. Do a search and you’ll find dozens of threads where we beat this one into the ground.

hey telemark, I got you to reply. To make telemark happy, let’s define what we are talking about. I want to know why there are no African American swimmers in the olympics. Does it have anything to do with the density of there bones or do African Americans in general shy away from swimming. I know this isn’t scientific enough for Telemark, but i’m still curious.


snowrunnr, here is some information about black (african american) swimmers. A quick google search reaveals quite a few other sources as well.

So, apparently, there are AA swimmers in the olympics, you just haven’t noticed them.

And actually, while we’re on the topic, there are some pics of the Jamacian swim team here.

There seem to be quite a few black folks. And don’t bother saying that Jamacia doesn’t win a lot of medals in swimming at the Olympics - Jamacia doesn’t win a heck of a lot of medals in anything in the Olympics (although I’m sure they do fine on a percapata spending basis.)

Let’s look at it from a financial standpoint. I don’t think there is much call for a ‘professional swimmer’ these days, or ANY days. Just about any other sport you can mention can bring large financial rewards if you become a pro.

Yeah… but those are Jamaicans. I believe he stipulated African Americans.

You believe wrong.

DO I??

Try reading the entire thread next time.

Uhm, it’s pretty common knowledge that “African American” is the PC version of Black in North America; anyone obviously black. Hair splitting isn’t working for ya, especially since he said “black” 6 times in two posts before rephrasing the question in a pseudo-scientific fashion using bigger words to try and push Telemark’s buttons… perhaps you should follow your own advice on readng the whole thread. And yeah you do believe wrong.

Don’t worry about pushing my buttons, there’s nothing here that’s going to do that. The question is constructed without enough detail to be interesting yet.

You might as well ask why aren’t there many black hockey players, is it because they get cold too quickly? Since there is no evidence of bone density differences, let’s start there. And that’s putting aside the fact that there’s no scientific way to define a person’s race, let alone define it.

A possible question would be are there any bone density studies that look at people’s ethnic origins. Once you have data like that you can worry about larger issues such as why certain ethnic groups and societies dominate certain sports, and why that changes over time.

Whatever, mmmiiikkkeee.

Humungus’s answer (which the OP later agreed with) mentioned African Americans living in the city, the costs of swimming, and the unavailability of pools as factors.
Surely you don’t believe that the majority of blacks in the world are living in urban environments. The “Pools are verrrrrrry expensive. [and] Basketball is cheaper” comment further describes the situation here. Think there is much basketball being played outside this country?

The OP backed that up.

Then he mentions Tiger Woods (an American), football (obviously American football) and finally makes the statement that there are no black Olympic swimmers. Obviously he means no blacks on the US Olympic swim team. (Whether this is completely true or not is not the issue. The mere obsurdity of assuming there are no black Olympic swimmers anywhere in the world is enough to suggest he means black Americans.)
And if that’s not enough, he is later asked to clarify what he means by “black” as a race. His answer is “African American”.

Then the nezt posters comment was “In America, you run the whole spectrum of fatness, the most common being mildly overweight.”

And then another statement discriptive of American culture: “Let’s look at it from a financial standpoint. I don’t think there is much call for a ‘professional swimmer’ these days, or ANY days. Just about any other sport you can mention can bring large financial rewards if you become a pro.”

The only two people taking it the other way are you and Alice. For crying out loud the OP clearly stated he wanted his question to be about black Americans. Stop thinking the ridiculous “PC” term, African American, means blacks all over the world. There are other countries and other cultures out there. If someone wants to exclude those in a conversation by specifically discussing Americans, it’s not up to you to decide if that’s right.

So, Bear_Nenno, are you suggesting that the hypothesis of the OP is that Black AMERICANS have denser bones than white americans, or blacks from other countries?

If so:

  1. The OP is unclear to the point of being rediculous.
  2. Obviously you missed my first link which was to black AMERICAN swimmers of note.

YOU are the only person in this thread clearly missing the point of the OP - is there a bone-density difference between the races.

Short answer - No.

And just to point out the obvious - YOU should really make an effort to read the whole thread. You contradicted yourself about 4 times in your last post. Genius.