The NY Times recently posted this excellent explainer feature documenting how Olympic sports have gotten faster and faster over the years. The piece focuses on the Men’s 100-Meter Sprint, but covers other important events, like the 100 meter freestyle swim, and long jump.
From NY Times:
Based on the athletes’ average speeds, if every Olympic medalist raced each other, Usain Bolt (the London version) would win, with a wide distribution of Olympians behind him. Below, where each sprinter would be when Bolt finishes his race.
Amazingly, todays 8 year old kids are running as fast as some of the first Olympians. Chalk it up to training, nutrition, or gear – it’s still amazing, and a definite sign of the times. Video below, and click through for the full interactive spread.