DNA Test Predicts Natural Athletic Abilities - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

DNA Test Predicts Natural Athletic Abilities

MADISON (WKOW) -- All parents want to see their kids be successful, whether it's in the classroom, the music studio or on the practice field.

But let me ask you this, if there were a test that could predict your child's natural athletic abilities, would you be interested?

While the Atlas First Genetic Test doesn't guarantee your child will grow up to be an Olympic athlete, it does claim to let parents know what types of sports a child will likely succeed in.

On the ice, Sawyer FitzRandolph looks like a pretty typical 3-year-old. But his dad is anything but typical. He's an Olympic Champion in speed skating.

Casey FitzRandolph brought home gold in the men's 500 Meters in Salt Lake City back in 2002.

The FitzRandolph's were nice enough to let us inside their home, where memories of that golden moment can be found throughout.

And Casey was nice enough to help us out by taking the genetic test.

Will the results match with the sport he found success?

And what about his son?

Sawyer is also being tested.

Here's how it works, for just over 150 dollars, the test analyzes the ACTN3 gene.

Each of us has 2, we get one from each parent.

The test looks for what's called a variant on either one.

If 2 copies of the R577X variant are found it means a person would naturally be suited for endurance type sports like distance running, distance swimming or cross country skiing.

If one copy of the variant is found, a person would be equally suited for endurance type sports or sprint and power sports.

And if no variant is found, a person would likely be best at the sprint and power sports like football, weight lifting or speed skating.

Casey says, "Quite frankly, if they come back and tell me that I am something other than a 500 Meter man, it wouldn't entirely shock me. When we did bike tests way back when, they told me I was more inclined to middle distance. So with that tidbit, we'll see what the results say."

Casey admits he's a lot more excited to hear about Sawyer's results, but says it probably won't change his approach to sports.

"Our whole outlook on sports with our kids is to introduce them to as many as we can and see what sticks. Let them decide what roads we go down," he says.

So, could young Sawyer follow in his father's footsteps?

Or will he take an entirely different direction?

Tomorrow night, we will reveal the results of the test we did on Casey and Sawyer.

But this test is not without a little controversy.

Why some worry that in this win-at-all-cost society kids will be pushed into a sport for the wrong the reasons, and how the company selling the test responds.

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