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Are athletes really getting better?

Discussion in 'Other OSU and Professional Sports' started by kujirakira, Jun 29, 2018.

  1. kujirakira

    kujirakira Senior

    Not sure this is the correct subforum but seemed most applicable considering the generality of the question.

    Video is 4 years old, but I found it very interesting as I've often contemplated this subject.

    Bonus: Jesse Owens vs. Usain Bolt is his first case study.
  2. Dryden

    Dryden Sober as Sarkisian Staff Member Tech Admin

    That was really good, though the comparative use of the 1904 marathon from St. Louis wasn't really relevant.

    That race was run in late August and because the organization was so poor, started at noon in 90 degree heat and 90% humidity, with only one water station along the entire route. Half the people who raced dropped out after about 10 miles, and several very nearly died. The man who "won" was hallucinating and could no longer walk, so was carried over the finish line by spectators.
  3. Thump

    Thump Hating the environment since 1994

    Jaxbuck and OHSportsFan like this.
  4. ORD_Buckeye

    ORD_Buckeye Wrong glass, Sir.

  5. Mike80

    Mike80 I speeka da eennggglieesshhhh

    I think the base athleticism is the same. I think the knowledge about nutrition, training and conditioning and injury care are far superior and that's where the difference lies...
    ORD_Buckeye, OHSportsFan and Thump like this.
  6. Taosman

    Taosman Don't tase me,bro!

    The PEDs are available to mid-schoolers now. The knowledge of nutrition is much improved now. Training is more available to young players in all sports now. It all adds up to a better player.
  7. kujirakira

    kujirakira Senior

    Some of that is definitely the case, but he highlights how just changing the material the track is made of makes almost all the difference between Owens and Bolt. He makes this point again by showing the technology in bathing suits with Olympic swimmers.
    The technology of equipment, facilities, etc. has exploded and enabled elite athletes to maximize their efforts.

    The 2nd major area is the specialization of athletes that we now do. Back in 30s-50s, it was about being competitive at multiple sports/positions. An average body type. Today the elite athletes are selected and sorted based on ideal genetic makeups ... a WR could never be a LT in the NFL.
    This was further shown with that crazy height statistic -- if you know a male in 20s-30s above a certain height in the US, they are practically guaranteed to be in the NBA right now. But height isn't the only thing NBA looks for, the average NBA player also shatters the conventional rules about limb:torso ratio. Da Vinci's human circle doesn't work for NBA players.
    He made it again with the Kenyan runners - the most elite distance runners in the world are Kenyan, but even among Kenyans they come from just 1 tribe that has those crazy genetics of long limbs and short torsos.
    It's the Horses of Courses principle applied to pro athletes.

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