COMPARING OLYMPIC MEDALISTS
The New York Times has put together some fantastic graphics post the recent Olympic games in London. Kevin Quealy and Graham Roberts have created a series of videos from a few of the more famous sports that takes place, which graphically show how the gold medalists from each year of the modern Olympic Games would fair against one another. The graphics are quite convincing and the overall presentation is well done.
I think this helps support a major argument of the time which is that as time is progressing, athletes continue to get faster and faster due to new technologies and methods of training. While I can agree with this argument, I still maintain that the primary reason that Bolt is so much faster than the Olympic runners of 100 years ago is because the runners of 100 years ago were not the best runners of the time. There are surely people on this planet that have yet to be discovered who can outrun Usain Bolt, and I am sure that there have been many many people over the centuries who could do it as well. These people went undiscovered or were never in situations where becoming a professional athlete was an option. One of the Olympic medalists for Great Britain’s rowing team just started rowing 2 years ago. Prior to that, she had no idea of her abilities. The earth has many people who have no idea what they are capable of. But as the media has exploded over the past 60 years, it has become easier and easier to discover athletes and many more people have the ability to politically and economically pursue the life as an athlete. These situations greatly skew these graphs so that people today seem faster than those of the past. Its an argumetn which I think doesn’t get enough credit.
Either way… enjoy some beautiful graphics.