Saw this over at Ann Althouse’s place. It compares Bolt’s 9.63-second hundred-meter dash to all others in modern Olympic era (1896 on). Very interesting.
Also, Cracked has some awesome time lapse vids I saw last night and neglected to link. Can’t do it now without getting the ADULTCONTENT! flag here at work.
The comparison, however, ignores many things. Especially how the sport, technique and the training evolved.
It’s the same with, let’s say, soccer. People whine how back in the days there were more goals. Yes, that’s true, but the game was played differently. Today even Pele would be destroyed on the field by even a second rate player. The sport has changed, the technique and training are completely different.
The best example is the goal keeper. When you watch old footage you often see how the goalie would just punch or kick the ball away. That was the ball was still in play and the other team had a chance to get it, thus increasing the chance for goal. Today the goalie catches the ball and holds it. The game stalls, he waits until the opponents are out of his zone before passing it on. Less chances for a goal.
It’s still fascinating if you consider the context. And sprinting is devoid of all the extraneous concerns of team sports. I could once run just under a 5-minute mile; that makes me champion for most of Earth’s history. Well, that and my time machine.
Oh, it is, don’t get me wrong. But it’s also important to keep the changes in mind. I mean, we’re not comparing Bleriot’s flight across the Channel with a 767 doing the same today, right?
I don’t like running. I have no issues with it from point A to B, but in circles? I’m not getting anywhere!