The nation is obsessed with sports and families are bombarded with examples of highly successful young athletes. Children and parents see cheering fans, spectacular plays, young heroes being carried off on the shoulders of their teammates, lucrative contracts and big buck endorsements. How can that not seem glamorous, enticing, possible? And now there is a kit with a simple, noninvasive test that predicts “a child’s natural athletic strengths” according to the Atlas Sports Genetics, a Boulder, Colorado company who promises to send the results back within a few weeks. Test kits are priced as high as $999.
When you combine the competitive nature of parenting and the hopefulness of parents with a test’s availability, what parents will be able to resist spending $149 (recommended by Atlas for ages 1 and up) to discover they could be raising a future Olympian or pro-football quarterback? Or in the least, looking at a possible “full ride” through college on an athletic scholarship? Are parents of only children, who have one chance to see their child excel in a sport, more likely to collect their child’s DNA for testing than parents with more children?