(Illustration by SportTechie, Photo courtesy of Athletigen.)
Editor's note: This article was originally published by SportTechie's Tom Taylor on October 30, 2018
Genetic information will soon be a standard part of sports, used to customize training, personalize nutrition, and even to identify talent. Over the last few years, DNA analysis firm Athletigen and elite track and field training facility ALTIS have been working together to explore and develop that future.
Through collaboration, both ALTIS and Athletigen have been hoping to gain a head start in this race, learning what genetic information is important and how to convert that into actionable insights. A new product launched by Athletigen, the ALTIS Sport Performance Report, is hoping to bring some of what the two organizations have learned to consumers, both pro and amateur.
ALTIS' athletes have been the lab rats that Athletigen can study, a population of highly fit individuals who closely follow training and nutrition protocols, generating accurate data that give context to the results from genetic testing. John Godina, a three-time Olympian who founded ALTIS in 2013, describes his organization as something between a training center and an educational and research institute. “[ALTIS] is a great science lab,” he said. “It gives us a chance to do stuff in a controlled environment that can benefit all kinds of different people.”
More than a dozen ALTIS-trained athletes competed at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, including Canadian sprinter Andre de Grasse, who brought home silver from the 200m and bronze from both the 100m and 4x100m relay. Athletigen would not confirm which ALTIS athletes have been screened, citing privacy concerns, but the number reaches above 100. Through ALTIS' apprentice coach program, Athletigen has also engaged with hundreds of coaches, and, by extension, may have impacted the training of thousands of athletes.