An interesting look at today’s athletes (Video)

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Recently, the NY Times published an article compiling the past 100 years of statistics in the Men’s 100 meter sprint (here). The comparative results were what some historians call “interesting”

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  • hrrrm?

    have minimalist running shoes like the toed shoes been used at all throughout the years for track events?

  • IrishInNJ

    Pretty amazing what Jesse was doing 80 odd years ago, with no sophisticated training regimes, diets, nutritionists, physios, special shoes or special clothing. It took them almost a century to get a half second off his time. To think what he could do if he were running today.

  • Simba

    Mind blowing

  • GernBlansten

    The roster for the 1st Olympic Marathon included an accountant and a baker.

    Now you know.

    • Turbodude

      and a candlestick maker….

      • Underbaker

        But what about the Butcher?

    • Familyguyripoff

      And knowing is power!

      • @swiftenhaal

        Also a movie starring Nicolas Cage.

  • noodle

    Opportunity plays a huge factor too.
    If every man on the planet raced a 100m dash Bolt would still probably be the fastest due to being recognised and selected to be trained as an athlete , where as if every man on the planet in 1896 raced I'm sure Thomas Burke would have been beaten by some 6"2 healthy farmhand working in some field where the word Olympics had never been spoken.

    • Wacky socky

      Highly doubt it. Yes, you might think so but he was training. It is not like they picked him out of a 20 person crowd because he was the fastest.

      • Guz

        Opportunity plays a massive part in other events though. I can't remember anyone at school asking me if I wanted a go at 3 day eventing, or clay pigeon shooting.

      • noodle

        Actually the athletes of the 1896 Olympics weren't picked at all , they just turned up to compete. In fact some of them were tourists who just happened to be in the area. Also the event featured no black athletes which dominate the sprinting world today.

    • chase

      Don't jump the gun too fast, remember no matter how good you are there is someone out there who is better than you.

  • Mud

    Mind bottling isn't it?

    • Wow

      Are you serious!? It's "mind boggling"

      • Ur face

        It's off a will Ferrell movie! Up tight ass^^

    • JayMackB

      No one knows what it means, it's provocative

    • Indeed

      Did you just say mind bottling?

  • saltygary

    I wonder how much year round training if any occurred 50-100 years ago compared to now. The amount of work these athletes are putting in just to shave a tenth of a second is astounding.

  • Underbaker

    And if I were to race any of them the elementary school kid could probably beat me, (joke font on) but once I caught him I would sit on him and make him give me his lunch money. (joke font off)

  • fabiojiji

    Usain Bolt: 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)
    Carl Lewis: 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
    Linford Christie: 1.89 m (6 ft 2 1⁄2 in)
    Maurice Greene: 1.76 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)
    Jim Hines: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
    Jesse Owens: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)

    I think height is an important factor…the average is growing in the history….(exception: Maurice Green is an outsider)

    • Balllls

      Yea but who has the biggest set of balls?
      That's the real question here

  • simon

    i wonder if timing equipement was taken into account. I doubt they were that accurate in 1890.

  • ps86

    um…. okay? like he said, it's "the difference in nutrition, fitness, footwear and track surfaces".

    • Prick

      not to mention modern medicine which helps these athletes recover faster and easier, state of the art training facilities, and corporate sponsors that allow these athletes to do nothing but practice

  • Anonymous

    yes yes quite right

  • Charlie_Cheen

    This is pretty cool but what I'd really like to see is some just "average" people and their times for visual comparison.

  • Trinityolivas

    The difference between 19 and 21 centuries athletes …….. ready for it.. steroids. Cuz u know theres never been a reported case of steroid use by olympic athletes

    • FarmBoy

      The difference between 19th and 21st century couch potatoes is… ready for it. Acceptance. They accepted that they didn't have a talent for the sport instead of blaming something else for their failure. You know, because non of use have ever blamed something else for our faults.

  • Guz

    Has anyone else noticed that 99% are black? Is it considered non-PC to mention that glaring fact?

    • Bob

      No, they generally have more fast-twitch fibres in their muscles and higher testosterone levels. Facts are non racist. How many black swimmers are there, for example.

    • Not Racist

      I know it's a taboo topic but is it possible that with the use of Africans for slavery to cause this? Back then the biggest and strongest men were selectively bred, doesn't it make sense for more blacks to have the genes to carry those traits?

      • asdfghjk


      • someguy

        Thats actually a good point, and also, I'm wondering about Bob's comment about black swimmers. What genetic handicap do blacks have in regards to swimming?
        (Thats a sincere question). The only black swimmer I've seen so far is USA's Cullen Jones. Maybe blacks have the type of muscles that are suited for shorter performances whereas whites have muscles more suited for lengthy performances?

      • IrishWolfhound

        Not really, the whole eugenics thing was largely a myth. Of course genetics is something of a factor but environment, diet and motivation are the largest factors. Black people are generally lower on the socio economic spectrum than whites or asians and so rely more on athletic scholarships to get into college. Therefore they're more highly motivated to excel in athletics.

  • Static

    im wondering how much of the older speeds had to do with manual timing?

  • @swiftenhaal

    Throw a centipede at me and I'll beat Usain Bolt's record.

  • zsplan

    This is clearly a flawed 100 meter race. It's all white guys….

    • Frank Prill


  • Tim

    This was a very well done presentation.

  • Nathan

    Why no mention of Donovon Bailey he ran a 9.83 in Atlanta in 1996.

  • Big Space

    You Just had to go an say that the majority were amereicans You. should of noted that it is a Declining trend, even though you have the best facilities in the world, it all comes down to raw talent and hard work, and not where you're from

  • Your Opportunity – Opher Brayer, Atmosphere Magazine, El-Al, July 2012 | Brayer Business Training – Opher Brayer's Blog

    […] An interesting look at today’s athletes (Video) ( […]

  • Mike Richardson

    It's evolution baby

  • MohawkJon

    Thats pretty cool.

  • Nickell


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