The Need for Speed – Olympics Edition
The Olympics were great, weren’t they? For 3 weeks we watched athletes from all over the world push the limits of what is humanly possible. For many Olympians, such as sprinters, speed is the ultimate goal and they train for thousands of hours and invest countless resources in the hopes of shaving mere milliseconds off their times. In fact, between 1896 and 2012 the world record for the 100 meter dash improved by only 2.37 seconds. That’s right; in 116 years and despite incredible innovation in nutrition, technology, and sports medicine, sprinters only managed to improve their times by an average of two one-hundredths of a second per year.
Don’t get me wrong. The point here is not to malign the best athletes on the planet, but rather to demonstrate that when we’re talking about human endeavor, there are very real physical limitations that constrain what we can do.Read More