Sorry I couldn’t embed the video here but regardless, I think it is a pretty cool animated graphic that shows how man has been getting faster over the years. Well, running the 100 meter sprint faster anyway.
If the 1896 Francis Lane ran against the 2012 Usain Bolt, he would have been 23.6 meters behind when Bolt crossed the finish line. Almost a quarter of the distance. When you look at it like that Lane seems pretty slow but there are other ways to look at it.
How much time and energy did Lane put into training for the Olympics? I imagine it was much less than Bolt and I also think it’s fair to say that Lane had less technology helping him along the way. Running shoes and apparel have advanced a lot since then as have training methods. Dietitians and nutritionists and race strategists have all seen major changes. Probably all of them in favor of a modern athlete.
But there is yet another way to look at it. What can bolt do in that extra 3 seconds. Not much. And when you add in all the time spend training etc, I have a feeling that Francis Lane had more time to enjoy life. Of course there was no Game of Thrones back then…
Anyway, check out the video and interactive graphic. It’s pretty cool. And remember that is probably only the top athletes that have gotten faster. The average fat bastard sitting at home with pizza in one hand, beer in the other while watching Game of Thrones is probably much slower.
Link: New York Times