Malcolm Gladwell, writing for The New Yorker:
What we are watching when we watch élite sports, then, is a contest among wildly disparate groups of people, who approach the starting line with an uneven set of genetic endowments and natural advantages. There will be Donald Thomases who barely have to train, and there will be Eero Mäntyrantas, who carry around in their blood, by dumb genetic luck, the ability to finish forty seconds ahead of their competitors. Élite sports supply, as Epstein puts it, a “splendid stage for the fantastic menagerie that is human biological diversity.” The menagerie is what makes sports fascinating. But it has also burdened high-level competition with a contradiction. We want sports to be fair and we take elaborate measures to make sure that no one competitor has an advantage over any other. But how can a fantastic menagerie ever be a contest among equals?
Fortunately, climbing isn’t popular or lucrative enough for performance enhancing drugs to be a big part of the conversation, but it is a sport where people’s physical differences—and the inherent advantages and disadvantages therein—are always on display to give you an excuse something to think about while your tall friend hikes your project.