Have Athletes Reached Their Peak?


I've been out of the country for the past weeks, which may explain my silence on the blog.

However, while I was gone, my latest post at Wired Playbook ran on September 29th.

At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, swimmers set 25 world-record times while dominating the National Aquatic Center’s pool. By comparison, only five world records changed hands during the track and field events. But many of those swimming records fell only as a result of newly instituted bodysuit technology, relative advances that aren’t applicable to runners, high-jumpers, and shotputters.

Have humans reached their peak athletic performance? One study argues that’s the case, and that without the continued use of technology, the past roars of Olympic crowds will one day be nothing but whimpers in the stands.

Read More here.

photo via Flickr/marcopako

Berthelot, G., Tafflet, M., El Helou, N., Len, S., Escolano, S., Guillaume, M., Nassif, H., Tolaïni, J., Thibault, V., Desgorces, F., Hermine, O., & Toussaint, J. (2010). Athlete Atypicity on the Edge of Human Achievement: Performances Stagnate after the Last Peak, in 1988 PLoS ONE, 5 (1) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008800