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The Single Most Amazing Number in Human Biodiversity Studies: 72
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A recent article on Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.com site finds that the single favorite event at the Olympics among the public (at least among people reachable through 538′s social media) is track and field’s 100 meter dash. That seems right to me: over the decades, I’ve probably written about the 1988 Ben Johnson vs. Carl Lewis 100m dash more times than any other single sporting event, even Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series home run a couple of weeks later. (I turned 30 a couple of months later …)

This Olympic’s race to find the World’s Fastest Man was won for the third time in a row by Jamaica’s giant goofball Usain Bolt.

Most Olympic events are exhausting to contemplate because of all the training that goes into them. But sprinters don’t have to work very hard, so they tend to have time on their hands. It’s basically a test of having God-given talent and not taking too few or too many PEDs, so it’s a fun lifestyle. That’s why they wear so much gold jewelry. The 100m dash is like the Plunge for Distance, except it’s for real.

Carl Lewis only worked out 8 hours per week getting ready to win four gold medals in 1984, so he had time to be a disco music star in Japan. The cheerful two times women’s 100m dash gold medalist Shelley-Ann Fraser-Price has time to dye her hair weave the green and yellow colors of the Jamaican flag.

The New Yorker recently inquired “How Fast Would Usain Bolt Run the Mile?“, only to find out according to his agent that “Usain has never run a mile.”

In his autobiography, Bolt revealed that while setting 3 world records during the 2008 Olympics, he ate about 1,000 Chicken McNuggets.

I wrote in 2015:

The most striking statistic in human biodiversity studies was, to the best of my knowledge, first pointed out by Runner’s World editor Amby Burfoot in an article in the spring of 1992. He noted that in both the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, all eight finalists each time in the men’s 100 meter sprints were black. When you considered that people of substantial sub-Saharan descent only make up a modest fraction of the world’s population, then 16 out of 16 was extraordinary.

But that was before Barcelona in 1992. Rio now represents the 9th consecutive Olympics in which all 8 finalists in the men’s 100 meter dash were black. That’s 72 in a row.

I don’t think 72 out of 72 can be fully explained away as a social construct.

 
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  1. anon says: • Disclaimer

    At my my office today, everyone stopped working to watch the 100m dash.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The 100m has got a pro wrestling vibe that people like.
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  2. @anon
    At my my office today, everyone stopped working to watch the 100m dash.

    The 100m has got a pro wrestling vibe that people like.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Barnard
    A race that lasts less than 10 seconds also fits with our modern attention spans.
    , @e
    It's the perfect event from an audience standpoint:

    1) just about everyone who took a p.e. class in jr. high or high school had to sprint 100 yards (okay, in MY day it was 100 yds, not 100 meters.) Having done so, it's fun to contrast (and possible) his/her own performance against that of the best in the world.

    2.) it's over in a few seconds--low time investment.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Steve, Sure why not let the employees take a 10 second break to watch the 100M and then everyone back to work, seems fair to me. Oh, and it's only every four years. put that in the CBA.
    , @Anon2
    Steve-
    The men's 100m final is the only event my family has watched. It is spectacle, who is the fastest man in the world. My kids know Bolt from the video game Temple Run, he has lent his image to it for a few bucks, I'm sure.

    So at the intros my 6 year old asked, "why are they all black skinned?" How does one lay out HBD at 8:30 at night to a little kid?
    , @A.B. Prosper
    That and it doesn't take long to watch.

    People want to say they watched the Olympics but don't want to actually sit through most of the events.
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  3. Arclight says:

    It must be due to the unbearable whiteness of my being, but I don’t care about the 100M all that much – I like watching women’s beach volleyball the most, perhaps along with swimming by either sex and women’s gymnastics.

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    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    They still refuse to implement my suggestion of a minimum cup size for women's beach volleyball.
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  4. G Pinfold says:

    As for the idea that 100m sprinters train hard, middle distance runners would pee themselves if they weren’t too dehydrated.
    The 100m champion is just the fastest gunfighter in the West. He’s fastest till a faster guy comes along. (Drugs matter, but since it’s almost impossible to find an untainted big name in the dashes, lets assume they all juice, or no one juices for the sake of the argument.)
    I love those documentaries where they show the dash champion in grueling pre-dawn sessions, vomitting, collapsing to the ground… Doing it all again.
    Again, drugs aside, all these guys run between 10.4 and 9.8 at high school and they don’t get much better.
    They don’t improve much for all the institutes, coaches, psychologists, nutritionists etc. Watch when someone bungles his start: Unless he literally falls over, if he has more raw, innate speed, he still wins.
    The dopers have a bigger upside. Clean dashers seem to peak around 22, whereas juicers can surprise as late as 29.

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    • Replies: @Brutusale
    My brother likes to say he was the fasted white kid in the state his senior year. He was indoor track league champion in the 50-yard dash and the 300-yard run as well as anchoring the 4 x 440 relay to a league record in the champions meet. He was 4th in the state meet in the 50.

    Indoor track was a way for him to keep in shape for baseball. He never worked hard at all during track, and the coach kind of left him alone, as he was good for a minimum of 10 points per meet. I don't think he ever ran any distance beyond a quarter mile.
    , @Pericles
    How do wide receivers compare to 100m runners? I assume the conventional path for a US sprinter is to go for a football contract?
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  5. The times last night were barely faster than was run 40 years ago. Swimmers from around the world are progressively stronger, larger and faster every 4 years. Yet runners are not. Why?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Probably a combination of less technical dynamism and relatively less track and field drug use than a decade ago. Swimming is generally more technically dynamic than sprinting, which means there is more performance upside in that sport. In terms of mechanics, sprinting has been essentially optimized for quite some time. I'd say the only recent major breakthrough has come in the form of Bolt himself. He changed the height paradigm that ruled the 100m for generations. Gatlin has done some interesting things with his technique in order to become more competitive with Bolt, but not anything I would think is groundbreaking. In fact, the best thing he did for his game was drop a few pounds--not exactly a breakthrough though.

    Also, we may be that we are in a bit of a PED lull. Growth Hormone was a go-to for many sprinters back when I competed due to detection difficulty, but I've heard testing protocols have made it much harder to get away with HGH now. That said, I haven't been competitive for quite some time, so I can't say first hand--could all be BS.

    Nevertheless, Bolt set the world record in 2009 with a mind-numbing 9.58. In 100m terms, that's huge. It's a super-human time. That in and of itself is a huge leap forward in the sport. But we may not see another such leap until the locksmiths are once again able to outsmart the lock makers.

    , @Anonym
    My guess is that there is a lot more technique in swimming, and that technique has evolved over time. With that evolution, scouts have looked for parameters like foot, hand size, height and leg length.
    , @StAugustine
    A big part of this picture is new inventions. The big one in track and field was the invention of the synthetic rubber track - wikipedia tells me that the old "cinder track" started to be replaced in the 1960s, and the 1964 olympics (although I'm also seeing that Mexico in 1968 was the last one) were the last ones run on a cinder track. There's a bit of a debate as to how much the cinder surface affected the shorter distances, but it's pretty clear that there was an effect. I can state that the ambient temperature still has quite a large effect on the synthetic rubber - summer hot days, it's pretty spongy; winter cold days, more like a frozen sponge.

    Check the pictures in this article - look at the dirt they were running on!
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2175334/Olympic-history-Jesse-Owens-Daley-Thompson-shoes-took-athletes-podium.html
    The shoes have changed somewhat, but since the 1960s, they pretty much reached their molded plastic sole form of today. The innovation now is in weight reduction, sole stiffness, and spike placement. So that's pretty marginal improvement.

    However, I think the record-breaking tech is still going on with swimming. They came out with the new full-body suits in 2008, and every time someone hit the pool, records were smashed. I knew a competitive swimmer with Speedo, and even he briefly got his name in the record books. However, the new tech was banned from 2010 - but that doesn't mean that the new suits that are being produced after 2010 don't have similar (or even better) effects. That's my opinion anyway.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-technology_swimwear_fabric
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LZR_Racer

    https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/arena-launches-new-swimwear-technology-powerskin-carbon-ultra/

    You don't see this kind of tech war going on in the running world. Yeah, sponsorships to promote the shoes, but there's been no shoe breakthrough that I've ever heard of. I guess spandex was really adopted in the 1980s, but I don't think of it as having much of a noticable effect, but it's hard to really tell.

    http://visforvintage.net/2012/08/03/olympics-sportswear-a-complete-history/
    , @pyrrhus
    Because humans are reaching the limits of what their muscles combined with steroids and other PEDs can do....
    , @OFWHAP
    One of my friends who swam in high school said that there are methods of building pools that can speed them up or slow them down, meaning that some pools are faster than others. Building pools wider, deeper, and with deeper catching tanks on the side of the pool allow swimmers to move faster due to less turbulence from water reflecting off the sides.
    , @Travis
    Phelps and all the other swimmers would have been disqualified prior to 1996 when the under-water dolphin kick was not permitted past 10 Meters from the start and turns...The backstroke turns were completely different before, now they let them flip onto their stomachs and use the freestyle flips which was not legal 20 years ago.

    swimming techniques keep getting better, thus they tend to break more records. In addition the number of competitive swimmers worldwide has been growing faster than the number of runners. Takes more money to field a swimming team than a track team. As more people have access to swimming pools, more people participate in competitive swimming across the globe.
    , @Chrisnonymous
    Maybe the issue, contra Steve, is not that sprinters don't have to work hard but that West Africans are faster than everyone but they won't work harder...

    Or maybe we have approached the speed liimit imposed by the mechanics and physiology of the human body.
    , @Triumph104
    CBC did a show where today's sport stars compete under yesterday's conditions. It is an real-life version of David Epstein's book The Sports Gene.

    Sprinter Andre De Grasse vs. Jesse Owens
    Swimmer Paul Biedermann vs. Mark Spitz
    Cyclist Sarah Hammer or Beryl Burton

    https://youtu.be/jas9ff0hdFI
    https://youtu.be/WLDGkf3qUX4
    https://youtu.be/Ji57jrt3Qus


    CBC also has a kayaker and javelin thrower on their YouTube site.
    , @George Taylor
    Not true, sprint swim times as defined by the 50 and 100 meter freestyles with one very small exception have not improved since 2009. That was the last time that the non water permeable Polyurethane full body suits, that were introduced in 2004, were allowed to be worn in competition.

    50-meter swim progression https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_record_progression_50_metres_freestyle

    100-meter swim progression https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_record_progression_1500_metres_freestyle

    FYI - 50-meter freestyle Gold Medal winner Anthony Ervin doesn't do anywhere near the same amount of training as mid to distance freestyler Katie Ledecky nor should he as it would be detrimental to pure speed to train like Katie.

    PS I'm a former swimmer and coach

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  6. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Don’t worry – the lefties will still argue that black is white – quite literally – right up to the day you die.
    Really, it’s a religious cultist thing with them – rationality goes out of the window.

    Also expect them to persist in calling you nasty names merely for mentioning it, right up to the day you die.

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  7. AndrewR says:

    He’s never run a mile? Ever? I feel superior to him. What a pitifully limited athlete.

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    • Replies: @Psmith
    There are people on /fit/ who actually believe this.
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  8. My apologies, Steve. I shallowly envisioned an article of relative/mean IQ when the number 72 was brought up. I am a terrible, terrible man, a true BadWhite.

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  9. bomag says:

    Swimmers… runners… Why?

    Running is a “natural” motion: you’ve mostly perfected the technique by age six.

    Swimming is more “unnatural”: the best techniques and motions aren’t obvious, so that has left more room for improvement.

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    • Replies: @Michael K
    I think technology has had more impact in swimming than sprinting. Swimmers now wear special suits over their torsos and upper legs. Some swimmers wore full body suits setting world records until the international body for swimming banned them. The pools are now designed to minimize turbulence allowing for faster speeds. There was program on one of the NBC affiliated cable channel who had the world record holder in the 200 M free, wearing a full body suit, wear the same kit and swam in a pool comparable to Mark Spitz at Munich. He timed slightly slower than Spitz.
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  10. countenance says: • Website

    That’s why I’ve been kinda following Christophe Lemaitre’s career.

    I knew he is entered into the 100, 200 and 4×100 in Rio, but I didn’t see him in the finals, so I presumed he flamed out in the heats. So I looked it up.

    He wound up making the semifinals, (there are three rounds to narrow down the field to the final eight or nine), and in his semifinal heat, he finished third to two previous/current Olympic medalists in the 100, Justin Gatlin (2004 gold, 2012 bronze, silver this year), and Yohan Blake (2012 silver, 4th this year). Only the top two finishers in each heat automatically advanced, and the remaining slots were based on time, and Lemaitre’s time in that heat wasn’t fast enough to advance. However, there is no shame in finishing third in a heat to two previous and current medalists and based on last night the second and fourth fastest men in the world.

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  11. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    There are numerous organizations in Florida whose mission is to match potential adopters with retired Greyhound racing dogs. The idea is save these fine animals from the sorry fate that awaits them once their racing career is over. These sites offer advice to potential clients which is intended to inform them about what they’re getting into. The following features prominently at every site:

    “Another myth about Greyhounds is that, because they’re bred to race, they need lots of room to run and constant exercise. But Greyhounds aren’t marathon runners; they’re sprinters. At the track, they only race once or twice a week. In homes, however, they romp for short bursts and then turn back into couch potatoes. While a fenced yard is best, a daily walk or two and a chance to run in a fenced yard or field from time to time are sufficient.”

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  12. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    don’t think 72 out of 72 can be fully explained away as a social construct

    There’s an army of good Jewish boys trained at Yeshiva who disagree. They know the social construct is good for the Jews.

    The truth is useless. The ends justify the means exactly the same as in the USSR.

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    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    There may be an army of Jewish boys who disagree, but rest assured they are not Yeshiva boys.
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  13. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Steve Richter
    The times last night were barely faster than was run 40 years ago. Swimmers from around the world are progressively stronger, larger and faster every 4 years. Yet runners are not. Why?

    Probably a combination of less technical dynamism and relatively less track and field drug use than a decade ago. Swimming is generally more technically dynamic than sprinting, which means there is more performance upside in that sport. In terms of mechanics, sprinting has been essentially optimized for quite some time. I’d say the only recent major breakthrough has come in the form of Bolt himself. He changed the height paradigm that ruled the 100m for generations. Gatlin has done some interesting things with his technique in order to become more competitive with Bolt, but not anything I would think is groundbreaking. In fact, the best thing he did for his game was drop a few pounds–not exactly a breakthrough though.

    Also, we may be that we are in a bit of a PED lull. Growth Hormone was a go-to for many sprinters back when I competed due to detection difficulty, but I’ve heard testing protocols have made it much harder to get away with HGH now. That said, I haven’t been competitive for quite some time, so I can’t say first hand–could all be BS.

    Nevertheless, Bolt set the world record in 2009 with a mind-numbing 9.58. In 100m terms, that’s huge. It’s a super-human time. That in and of itself is a huge leap forward in the sport. But we may not see another such leap until the locksmiths are once again able to outsmart the lock makers.

    Read More
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  14. The Z Blog says: • Website

    My guess is more people are aware of the 100 meter dash and Usain Bolt. That and saying X is better than Y does not mean I will watch X rather than Y. I think playing cards is better than telling jokes, but I’ll never watch the World Series of Poker, but I will watch a stand-up comic.

    That said, the most enjoyable part of the Olympics for me has been watching NBC try to twist everything into a Girrrlllll Power! story of a woe is me story. Watch enough of it and you get the sense they are in a life and death struggle with reality.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Forbes

    That said, the most enjoyable part of the Olympics for me has been watching NBC try to twist everything into a Girrrlllll Power! story of a woe is me story.
     
    Exactly why I find it all so unwatchable.
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  15. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Interestingly, 5 of 8 men in the finals of the 1980 men’s 100m were white. Four were from Soviet countries, and the fifth was a very British-looking Brit, Allan Wells, who won the race. I wonder at what point Soviet athlete doping no longer provided an advantage at the Olympics because everyone else started doping too?

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    • Replies: @Whoiwasthelasttime
    1980 olympics 100 meter dash so white? Maybe a few 800 pound gorillas missing that year

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980_Summer_Olympics_boycott
    , @Boomstick
    1980 was a boycott year, and the times were significantly slower than 1976.

    1976: Crawford, Trinidad, 10.06, Quarrie, Jamacia, 10.08, Borzov, URS, 10.14
    1980: Wells, GBR, 10.25, Leonard, Cuba, 10.25, Petrov, Bulgaria, 10.39
    1984: Lewis, USA, 9.99, Graddy, USA, 10.19, Johnson, Ca, 10.22

    The slowest time in the 1976 finals was 10.35. That was the slowest time in 1984, too. (The Russians boycotted 1984.)
    , @OilcanFloyd
    As political and ideological as sports are, I wouldn't doubt it if I were told that the best PEDs were reserved for black athletes. I don't claim that is happening, but it would be in line with the pushing of blacks in entertainment and affirmative action in general.
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  16. There must be some training involved. The sprinters are not only of West African descent but come from British Commonwealth countries or the US. Interestingly very few come directly from West Africa (shouldn’t Nigeria produce the best sprinters). Contrast that with East African long distance runners. They all come from Ethiopia or Somalia or some other place that is significantly more god-forsaken than Nigeria is.

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    • Replies: @Psmith
    Nigeria and Ghana have had a number of great 100/200m men. Had some relay records in the nineties IIRC. Even tiny, impoverished Cote d'Ivoire has at least one guy going sub-10.
    , @Erik Sieven
    that´s an interesting question.
    Maybe the reason why its original East Africans and people from the Westafrican diaspora who win the races is that there are simply much less people with East African ancestry in non-african countries. This could work because of course despite all talent it is easier to get selected for professional sport and do it properly in a rich country.
    When there would be no Westafrican diaspora than there would be maybe not 116 people who ever run 100 m under 10 seconds, but only 20 or so, with something like 17 coming from subsaharan Africa, and the most actually coming from Nigeria. Nigeria has eight people on that list
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10-second_barrier
    , @ScarletNumber
    In the most recent Commonwealth Games, the silver medalist in the 100 was Adam Gimili, a Brit of Persian/Moroccan descent. He ran it in 10.10 s. He didn't enter the 100 this year and instead will be running in the 200.
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  17. Anonym says:
    @Steve Richter
    The times last night were barely faster than was run 40 years ago. Swimmers from around the world are progressively stronger, larger and faster every 4 years. Yet runners are not. Why?

    My guess is that there is a lot more technique in swimming, and that technique has evolved over time. With that evolution, scouts have looked for parameters like foot, hand size, height and leg length.

    Read More
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  18. Brutusale says:
    @G Pinfold
    As for the idea that 100m sprinters train hard, middle distance runners would pee themselves if they weren't too dehydrated.
    The 100m champion is just the fastest gunfighter in the West. He's fastest till a faster guy comes along. (Drugs matter, but since it's almost impossible to find an untainted big name in the dashes, lets assume they all juice, or no one juices for the sake of the argument.)
    I love those documentaries where they show the dash champion in grueling pre-dawn sessions, vomitting, collapsing to the ground... Doing it all again.
    Again, drugs aside, all these guys run between 10.4 and 9.8 at high school and they don't get much better.
    They don't improve much for all the institutes, coaches, psychologists, nutritionists etc. Watch when someone bungles his start: Unless he literally falls over, if he has more raw, innate speed, he still wins.
    The dopers have a bigger upside. Clean dashers seem to peak around 22, whereas juicers can surprise as late as 29.

    My brother likes to say he was the fasted white kid in the state his senior year. He was indoor track league champion in the 50-yard dash and the 300-yard run as well as anchoring the 4 x 440 relay to a league record in the champions meet. He was 4th in the state meet in the 50.

    Indoor track was a way for him to keep in shape for baseball. He never worked hard at all during track, and the coach kind of left him alone, as he was good for a minimum of 10 points per meet. I don’t think he ever ran any distance beyond a quarter mile.

    Read More
    • Replies: @cucksworth
    This dorky weird unathletic kid in high school could run the 400m in 50 seconds, when he felt like it.
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  19. Barnard says:
    @Steve Sailer
    The 100m has got a pro wrestling vibe that people like.

    A race that lasts less than 10 seconds also fits with our modern attention spans.

    Read More
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  20. Polynikes says:

    Let’s say it is a social construct, for arguments sake. What does it say about your society that it is constructed so that it exports sprinters instead of mathematicians or computers?

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  21. @Steve Richter
    The times last night were barely faster than was run 40 years ago. Swimmers from around the world are progressively stronger, larger and faster every 4 years. Yet runners are not. Why?

    A big part of this picture is new inventions. The big one in track and field was the invention of the synthetic rubber track – wikipedia tells me that the old “cinder track” started to be replaced in the 1960s, and the 1964 olympics (although I’m also seeing that Mexico in 1968 was the last one) were the last ones run on a cinder track. There’s a bit of a debate as to how much the cinder surface affected the shorter distances, but it’s pretty clear that there was an effect. I can state that the ambient temperature still has quite a large effect on the synthetic rubber – summer hot days, it’s pretty spongy; winter cold days, more like a frozen sponge.

    Check the pictures in this article – look at the dirt they were running on!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2175334/Olympic-history-Jesse-Owens-Daley-Thompson-shoes-took-athletes-podium.html

    The shoes have changed somewhat, but since the 1960s, they pretty much reached their molded plastic sole form of today. The innovation now is in weight reduction, sole stiffness, and spike placement. So that’s pretty marginal improvement.

    However, I think the record-breaking tech is still going on with swimming. They came out with the new full-body suits in 2008, and every time someone hit the pool, records were smashed. I knew a competitive swimmer with Speedo, and even he briefly got his name in the record books. However, the new tech was banned from 2010 – but that doesn’t mean that the new suits that are being produced after 2010 don’t have similar (or even better) effects. That’s my opinion anyway.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-technology_swimwear_fabric

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LZR_Racer

    https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/arena-launches-new-swimwear-technology-powerskin-carbon-ultra/

    You don’t see this kind of tech war going on in the running world. Yeah, sponsorships to promote the shoes, but there’s been no shoe breakthrough that I’ve ever heard of. I guess spandex was really adopted in the 1980s, but I don’t think of it as having much of a noticable effect, but it’s hard to really tell.

    http://visforvintage.net/2012/08/03/olympics-sportswear-a-complete-history/

    Read More
    • Replies: @gunther
    Changes in the track surface have had a large impact in sprinting. Here's a video of the 100m bronze medal winner (Andre De Grasse) running on a track similar to the one in the 1936 Olympics where Jesse Owens set a record of 10.3s.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jas9ff0hdFI

    To me the track looks a little softer than the track in the 1936 footage of the event. De Grasse ran it in 11.0s (hand timed).
    , @Jim Christian
    Equipment is ruining my beloved golf at the professional level. I often wish there were tournaments where the players played persimmon woods and old balata covered balls such as those played by Jack and Arnold. They could play at some old classic courses that are out today because they simply ran out of real estate to grow the courses, made necessary only by the new balls and clubs. The 400 foot home run would be, for comparison, 550 feet comparing drivers and balls of old to today's equipment.

    The object in most of sports is dealing the goodies out to the little people for big dough.
    , @MarkinLA
    I think the biggest change is the science of running. Now runners are tested for oxygen consumption, mechanics, and a lot of things not available to them in times past. In the old days it was basically just a case of every coach following the old wives tales of a successful coach such as at the University of Oregon while it was probably just their success that brought the athletes with talent and not the coaching that made a difference.

    Bolt may be the best sprinter of all time but it is too bad Bob Hayes wasn't around in the pro era. He had to take a scholarship from a traditional black college (facilities probably no better than Jr College) in order to keep running and he joined the Dallas Cowboys as a wide receiver to make a living. He demolished his field on a poorly prepared cinder track in Mexico City and wasn't around when he likely would have been in his prime for a sprinter 4 years later.

    As for shoes, anybody remember the controversial "brush shoe" John Carlos wore to a world record (denied) back in the day? It had 64 spikes I believe.
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  22. Dirk Dagger [AKA "That's Not Who We Are"] says: • Website

    Steve, Shame on you for not noticing what really sets UB apart from the 71. It’s not McNuggets:

    However, perhaps not as readily in the spotlight is notice of Bolt’s deep Catholic faith. In August of 2012, in the days following Bolt’s participation in the London Olympics, the Catholic News Agency reported that the “Vatican invites Usain Bolt to address religious liberty conference.” The article mentions that “As a Catholic, Bolt is known for making the Sign of the Cross before racing competitively. He also bears the middle name [St.] Leo.”

    In addition to his other inspirational outward signs of faith, more encouraging than Bolt’s hard-earned gold medals is that he wears an even more powerful medal: the Miraculous Medal, as promulgated by French Saint Catherine Labouré (1806-1876). By extension, as one awesome Redditor pointed out, based on Bolt’s wearing of the Miraculous Medal, the Blessed Virgin Mary is currently the most viewed woman in sprinting! This digression aside, the Miraculous Medal features an inscription invoking the prayerful intercession of the Lord’s Mother with these French words: “O, Marie, conçue sans péché, priez pour nous qui avons recours à vous” (“O, Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee”).

    I’m still going to give that McNuggets t’ing a shot though, but not on Friday. Do we know what dunking sauce UB preferred?

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  23. Pat Casey says:

    Good stuff lately Steve. I’m not sure we knew Usain St. Leo Bolt was a giant goofball when we met him eight years ago. But I think certain of us always suspected that was truth that would eventually be obvious to the world. Hope the donations come in so you can wear some nice gold one of these days. That was a funny line by the way. But about all that gold our man wears…

    http://epicpew.com/truly-miraculous-medal-usain-bolt-catholic-faith-2/

    “I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.”

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    • Replies: @Pericles
    Usain Bolt in interviews basically operates on the same level as my ten year old nephew. But you don't need to be a genius to run fast.
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  24. e says:
    @Steve Sailer
    The 100m has got a pro wrestling vibe that people like.

    It’s the perfect event from an audience standpoint:

    1) just about everyone who took a p.e. class in jr. high or high school had to sprint 100 yards (okay, in MY day it was 100 yds, not 100 meters.) Having done so, it’s fun to contrast (and possible) his/her own performance against that of the best in the world.

    2.) it’s over in a few seconds–low time investment.

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  25. Jimmy Vicaut of France has a white French father and an Ivorian mother. Half a white guy in the 100m final! But yes, the dominance will likely continue unabated.

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    • Replies: @neutral
    I read that in America that a lot of blacks have had white ancestors somewhere in their past, sprinters like Carl Lewis certainly looks like he has that, so there have probably been a number of black sprinters champion with some white DNA. When it comes to Bolt however, I am not sure, but my guess that coming from Jamaica he has no white ancestry.
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  26. I vividly remember reading my first iSteve post around the time of the 2008 Olympics. It was the same argument you are updating in this post and when I read it, I was floored. Finally, someone is discussing things we see, contrary to what we are told, in a logical, calm, rational manner. Using the 100 yard/meter dash is also the perfect data point: it’s so simple and easy to digest, even liberals can understand it. They’ll still deny it, but it exposes their utter hypocrisy.

    Thanks, Steve.

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    • Replies: @FKA Max

    I don’t think 72 out of 72 can be fully explained away as a social construct.
     
    The following statistic is my personal favorite, and is practically impossible to explain away as a social construct or a cultural influence. The best about this statistic is, that whites are the ''victims'' and the ones discriminated against by UV rays in sunlight, and blacks are the privileged/favored ones/group/class. Complete liberal mind explode guaranteed.

    Melanoma is more than 20 times more common in whites than in African Americans. Overall, the lifetime risk of getting melanoma is about 2.5% (1 in 40) for whites, 0.1% (1 in 1,000) for blacks, and 0.5% (1 in 200) for Hispanics.
     
    - http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer-melanoma/detailedguide/melanoma-skin-cancer-key-statistics

    If you really want to elegantly and mischievously mess with some liberals, set a trap for them by pretending, that you don't know what melanoma is, and ask them if they have heard about the injustice that is ''White Melanoma Privilege'', which you have read about on the internet, and what their opinion is on the injustice, that only 1 in 1000 blacks gets to enjoy the privilege of having melanoma.

    When they say, that melanoma is a bad thing to have/suffer from, they basically stepped into the trap.

    To avoid to reveal, that you set them up (and them consequently getting mad at you, which could distract from the original point you were trying to make), keep pretending that you are somewhat naive/uneducated about the subject matter and finish the conversation/discussion with something like: ''Oh wow, I did not know that... , I guess whites are not as privileged as everybody always says after all.''

    If they don't know what melanoma is and go along with, it is hilarious to witness them get all worked up about ''White Melanoma Privilege'' and spread this misinformation. This further exposes their ignorance in general and of HBD in particular, and their denial or only selective embrace of evolution/adaptation theory (not a very liberal thing to do).

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  27. Alfa158 says:

    The 100 meters is popular because it is a basic old-school non-silly event unlike rhythmic synchronized pillow fighting or whatever they run in the Olympics these days. You can imagine Achilles stripping off his armor to run it, (except I suppose he could still win wearing armor). Also there is the “fastest on earth ” angle, and the fact it only takes a few seconds to watch.
    I had always thought that if I had been athletic enough to go out for sports, a sprinter is the only thing I would want to be, because it doesn’t last long enough for you to work up a sweat or get out of breath. A few seconds of running, boom, hit the showers and kick back. If you won big, do a commercial for gold Swiss watches or whatever and bank it. I had also suspected that another plus is not needing to do much training, so even better.

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    • Replies: @MIchael K
    The sprints are as old school as one can get. The original competition in the Ancient Games was a sprint around 200 M in length.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Alfa, The start of the 100M requires training in how to explode from the blocks and get upright quickly. Bolt, however, was not leading in the first third of the race and then effortlessly pulled away while running totally upright. He has no equal.
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  28. Why did you give up your secret Twitter feed?

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  29. I don’t think 72 out of 72 can be fully explained away as a social construct.

    No?

    That’s why people get Ph.Ds and write very long dissertations: to explain the counterintuitive to the ignorant.

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  30. The new WR-holder in the 400 inspires some interesting comments about the “coloured” race in South Africa:

    http://www.iol.co.za/news/why-waydes-gold-is-a-win-for-coloured-identity-2057061

    As this guy is the first man to ever run the 100 under 10.0, the 200 under 20.0 and the 400 under 44.0, I say he’s the world’s greatest sprinter.

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    • Replies: @International Jew
    “This is a moment for coloured people to celebrate. I’m not saying if you’re black or white you must not be happy. But just shut up for a bit,” said Whynona Ryder ‏@NosiphoAamori.

    http://www.citizen.co.za/1251012/wayde-van-niekerk-coloured-win-turns-racial/
    , @Fredrik
    The article doesn't explain it enough but there's tension in the air between Black Africans and Coloureds. The latter group have started to defect to the opposition Democratic Alliance instead of the ANC. In fact, due to the Coloured vote the Democratic Alliance won elections in Western Cape province(where Cape Town is) several times. They won the recent election in Port Elizabeth (another city with a large Coloured population).
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  31. @International Jew
    The new WR-holder in the 400 inspires some interesting comments about the "coloured" race in South Africa:

    http://www.iol.co.za/news/why-waydes-gold-is-a-win-for-coloured-identity-2057061

    As this guy is the first man to ever run the 100 under 10.0, the 200 under 20.0 and the 400 under 44.0, I say he's the world's greatest sprinter.

    “This is a moment for coloured people to celebrate. I’m not saying if you’re black or white you must not be happy. But just shut up for a bit,” said Whynona Ryder ‏@NosiphoAamori.

    http://www.citizen.co.za/1251012/wayde-van-niekerk-coloured-win-turns-racial/

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  32. Read More
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  33. I don’t understand when the lead runner in the 100m qualifiers always seems to coast the last two strides. The announcers always say he, “shut it down to preserve energy for the final…” That excuse doesn’t seem believable; it’s only a another step or two. Why not just run all the way through the tape and maybe score a personal best or break a record.

    Rio now represents the 9th consecutive Olympics in which all 8 finalists in the men’s 100 meter dash were black.

    Not only are they black, but they’re dark-complected black.

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    • Replies: @Barnard
    Runners in all the sprints were doing that, it didn't make sense to me either. This isn't like a high school track meet where you would run the final an hour or two later either, they don't run again until the next day.
    , @Anonymous
    "always seems to coast the last two strides"

    They don't. It's an optical delusion.

    Announcers usually say something like this "and Bolt just exploded and blew right by the pack in the last ten meters!"

    Actually viewing of the race frame by frame discloses a different picture. In reality, the other runners are expiring. They've used up all their anaerobic capacity and their systems are shutting down. The guy you see "exploding past the rest" is actually just losing it at a slower rate. He's still slowing down, just not as fast, and so it makes it appear as though he blew by them.

    A ten second burst can be run without drawing a breath, with no degradation in performance or time. It's all anaerobic. No sprinter runs the last 10 meters faster than he ran the middle 10 meters.
    , @S. Anonyia
    Vicault and DeGrasse from Canada were not dark-complected at all. Vicault is half white.
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  34. IBC says:

    Talk about physical diversity, Usain Bolt is 6’5″ while Shelley-Ann Fraser-Price is only 5′; so it looks like sprinting is more about muscles than height. Physical aptitude plus interest and proper training equals outsized success for Jamaican sprinters.

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  35. Tipo 61 says:

    Hey, not so fast with that nature stuff.

    The longer the race the more chance that energy-draining reminders of white privilege demoralize the black runners’ minds and bodies. 100 meters is not enough time to dwell on that oppression.

    Kenyan long distance running is the exception that proves the rule.

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  36. unit472 says:

    We cannot measure other components of HBD as we can speed. If we could the doubters would be left sputtering but there are no ‘stopwatches’ to measure intelligence. If some province of North Korea were found to have the 72 highest human IQs the top neuroscientists in the world would descend upon it to discover the reason why. Social scientists and nutritionists would publish papers on the lifestyles and dietary habits of the population.

    Unfortunately there are no IQ ‘stopwatches’ that can measure intelligence as accurately as speed. Even the tests we give are designed by humans and we have no absolute measure of ‘intelligence’ so it is both subjective and, likely more variable. The number 10th ranked IQ might beat the number 1 ranked IQ every once in a while as happens in other aspects of human life.

    This variability and more widely distributed aspect of human intelligence should not mean that it does not exist and that some have more of it than others yet that is exactly what some would have us conclude even if they might be forced to recognize the fastest Guatemalan in history would be slow as compared to an average Jamaican sprinter.

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  37. Psmith says:
    @AndrewR
    He's never run a mile? Ever? I feel superior to him. What a pitifully limited athlete.

    There are people on /fit/ who actually believe this.

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  38. Michael K says:

    To say the top sprinters are black is only a partial truth. If you look at the ancestry of the sprinters their ancestors were from western Sub-Saharian Africa. One does not see Central/East Africans from say Kenya or Ethiopia as sprinters but those African excel at the longer distances.

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  39. Psmith says:
    @Larry, San Francisco
    There must be some training involved. The sprinters are not only of West African descent but come from British Commonwealth countries or the US. Interestingly very few come directly from West Africa (shouldn't Nigeria produce the best sprinters). Contrast that with East African long distance runners. They all come from Ethiopia or Somalia or some other place that is significantly more god-forsaken than Nigeria is.

    Nigeria and Ghana have had a number of great 100/200m men. Had some relay records in the nineties IIRC. Even tiny, impoverished Cote d’Ivoire has at least one guy going sub-10.

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    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    Nigeria and Ghana are in the Commonwealth.
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  40. Michael K says:
    @bomag

    Swimmers... runners... Why?
     
    Running is a "natural" motion: you've mostly perfected the technique by age six.

    Swimming is more "unnatural": the best techniques and motions aren't obvious, so that has left more room for improvement.

    I think technology has had more impact in swimming than sprinting. Swimmers now wear special suits over their torsos and upper legs. Some swimmers wore full body suits setting world records until the international body for swimming banned them. The pools are now designed to minimize turbulence allowing for faster speeds. There was program on one of the NBC affiliated cable channel who had the world record holder in the 200 M free, wearing a full body suit, wear the same kit and swam in a pool comparable to Mark Spitz at Munich. He timed slightly slower than Spitz.

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  41. MIchael K says:
    @Alfa158
    The 100 meters is popular because it is a basic old-school non-silly event unlike rhythmic synchronized pillow fighting or whatever they run in the Olympics these days. You can imagine Achilles stripping off his armor to run it, (except I suppose he could still win wearing armor). Also there is the "fastest on earth " angle, and the fact it only takes a few seconds to watch.
    I had always thought that if I had been athletic enough to go out for sports, a sprinter is the only thing I would want to be, because it doesn't last long enough for you to work up a sweat or get out of breath. A few seconds of running, boom, hit the showers and kick back. If you won big, do a commercial for gold Swiss watches or whatever and bank it. I had also suspected that another plus is not needing to do much training, so even better.

    The sprints are as old school as one can get. The original competition in the Ancient Games was a sprint around 200 M in length.

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  42. Most Olympic events are exhausting to contemplate because of all the training that goes into them. But sprinters don’t have to work very hard

    Rio now represents the 9th consecutive Olympics in which all 8 finalists in the men’s 100 meter dash were black. That’s 72 in a row.

    Hmm… I see another pattern here…

    (I’m such an a**hole.)

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  43. McFly says:

    Some iSteve themes are touched on in this story:

    “With so many African-Americans unable to swim, there has been a widely held misconception that blacks lack the buoyancy to stay afloat, a myth that has contributed to the low number of blacks on swim teams and other water competition”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-simone-manuel-glanton-20160812-column.html

    Is there something special about Simone Manuel that made her the first black gold medalist in swimming?

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    A mostly black guy from Surinam won a swimming gold medal, beating Matt Biondi, in 1988. A part black girl from somewhere medaled in 1976.

    There's a huge demand for First Black This or That so a lot of creativity goes into subdividing categories ever narrower to make it seem like blacks were oppressed until last week but now we are so enlightened.

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  44. guest says:

    The 100-yard dash is the most perfect athletic test I can imagine. You just run, flat out, as fast as you can, over a distance not long enough for strategy to matter. The fastest man doesn’t always win, because reality isn’t ideal. But it’s as close as we can get.

    At least until fully-nude, no-rules fights to the death are included. Can’t wait for that.

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  45. @Anonymous
    Interestingly, 5 of 8 men in the finals of the 1980 men's 100m were white. Four were from Soviet countries, and the fifth was a very British-looking Brit, Allan Wells, who won the race. I wonder at what point Soviet athlete doping no longer provided an advantage at the Olympics because everyone else started doping too?

    1980 olympics 100 meter dash so white? Maybe a few 800 pound gorillas missing that year

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980_Summer_Olympics_boycott

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  46. Barnard says:
    @E. Rekshun
    I don't understand when the lead runner in the 100m qualifiers always seems to coast the last two strides. The announcers always say he, "shut it down to preserve energy for the final..." That excuse doesn't seem believable; it's only a another step or two. Why not just run all the way through the tape and maybe score a personal best or break a record.

    Rio now represents the 9th consecutive Olympics in which all 8 finalists in the men’s 100 meter dash were black.

    Not only are they black, but they're dark-complected black.

    Runners in all the sprints were doing that, it didn’t make sense to me either. This isn’t like a high school track meet where you would run the final an hour or two later either, they don’t run again until the next day.

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  47. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I have spoken to a world famous running coach (distance) and exercise physiologist on the subject of sprint training. He would laugh at your assertion that sprinters don’t work hard.

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    • Replies: @G Pinfold
    They work hard because they can pick up extra gongs for the 200m and 400m, the latter requiring awesome endurance plus raw pace. The gunslingers who limit themselves to the 6om indoor dash and 100m train too. But its mainly a cultural conformity thing having no significant bearing on their performance.
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  48. Pericles says:
    @G Pinfold
    As for the idea that 100m sprinters train hard, middle distance runners would pee themselves if they weren't too dehydrated.
    The 100m champion is just the fastest gunfighter in the West. He's fastest till a faster guy comes along. (Drugs matter, but since it's almost impossible to find an untainted big name in the dashes, lets assume they all juice, or no one juices for the sake of the argument.)
    I love those documentaries where they show the dash champion in grueling pre-dawn sessions, vomitting, collapsing to the ground... Doing it all again.
    Again, drugs aside, all these guys run between 10.4 and 9.8 at high school and they don't get much better.
    They don't improve much for all the institutes, coaches, psychologists, nutritionists etc. Watch when someone bungles his start: Unless he literally falls over, if he has more raw, innate speed, he still wins.
    The dopers have a bigger upside. Clean dashers seem to peak around 22, whereas juicers can surprise as late as 29.

    How do wide receivers compare to 100m runners? I assume the conventional path for a US sprinter is to go for a football contract?

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    • Replies: @guest
    They're always talking about the "4:4 40" in football. Presumably anyone who can run 100 yards in 9 or so seconds can do 40 yards in whatever is necessary. There are other factors, like height, build, reach, hands, vertical leap, etc. Bolt looks like he could do it.
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  49. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @E. Rekshun
    I don't understand when the lead runner in the 100m qualifiers always seems to coast the last two strides. The announcers always say he, "shut it down to preserve energy for the final..." That excuse doesn't seem believable; it's only a another step or two. Why not just run all the way through the tape and maybe score a personal best or break a record.

    Rio now represents the 9th consecutive Olympics in which all 8 finalists in the men’s 100 meter dash were black.

    Not only are they black, but they're dark-complected black.

    “always seems to coast the last two strides”

    They don’t. It’s an optical delusion.

    Announcers usually say something like this “and Bolt just exploded and blew right by the pack in the last ten meters!”

    Actually viewing of the race frame by frame discloses a different picture. In reality, the other runners are expiring. They’ve used up all their anaerobic capacity and their systems are shutting down. The guy you see “exploding past the rest” is actually just losing it at a slower rate. He’s still slowing down, just not as fast, and so it makes it appear as though he blew by them.

    A ten second burst can be run without drawing a breath, with no degradation in performance or time. It’s all anaerobic. No sprinter runs the last 10 meters faster than he ran the middle 10 meters.

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  50. Pericles says:
    @Pat Casey
    Good stuff lately Steve. I'm not sure we knew Usain St. Leo Bolt was a giant goofball when we met him eight years ago. But I think certain of us always suspected that was truth that would eventually be obvious to the world. Hope the donations come in so you can wear some nice gold one of these days. That was a funny line by the way. But about all that gold our man wears...

    http://epicpew.com/truly-miraculous-medal-usain-bolt-catholic-faith-2/

    “I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith."

    Usain Bolt in interviews basically operates on the same level as my ten year old nephew. But you don’t need to be a genius to run fast.

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  51. FKA Max says:
    @Steve from Detroit
    I vividly remember reading my first iSteve post around the time of the 2008 Olympics. It was the same argument you are updating in this post and when I read it, I was floored. Finally, someone is discussing things we see, contrary to what we are told, in a logical, calm, rational manner. Using the 100 yard/meter dash is also the perfect data point: it's so simple and easy to digest, even liberals can understand it. They'll still deny it, but it exposes their utter hypocrisy.

    Thanks, Steve.

    I don’t think 72 out of 72 can be fully explained away as a social construct.

    The following statistic is my personal favorite, and is practically impossible to explain away as a social construct or a cultural influence. The best about this statistic is, that whites are the ”victims” and the ones discriminated against by UV rays in sunlight, and blacks are the privileged/favored ones/group/class. Complete liberal mind explode guaranteed.

    Melanoma is more than 20 times more common in whites than in African Americans. Overall, the lifetime risk of getting melanoma is about 2.5% (1 in 40) for whites, 0.1% (1 in 1,000) for blacks, and 0.5% (1 in 200) for Hispanics.

    http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer-melanoma/detailedguide/melanoma-skin-cancer-key-statistics

    If you really want to elegantly and mischievously mess with some liberals, set a trap for them by pretending, that you don’t know what melanoma is, and ask them if they have heard about the injustice that is ”White Melanoma Privilege”, which you have read about on the internet, and what their opinion is on the injustice, that only 1 in 1000 blacks gets to enjoy the privilege of having melanoma.

    When they say, that melanoma is a bad thing to have/suffer from, they basically stepped into the trap.

    To avoid to reveal, that you set them up (and them consequently getting mad at you, which could distract from the original point you were trying to make), keep pretending that you are somewhat naive/uneducated about the subject matter and finish the conversation/discussion with something like: ”Oh wow, I did not know that… , I guess whites are not as privileged as everybody always says after all.”

    If they don’t know what melanoma is and go along with, it is hilarious to witness them get all worked up about ”White Melanoma Privilege” and spread this misinformation. This further exposes their ignorance in general and of HBD in particular, and their denial or only selective embrace of evolution/adaptation theory (not a very liberal thing to do).

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    This might work among blacks, but I think the vast majority of whites will know what melanoma is, know that whites are much more likely than blacks to get it, and will assume that you know and are trying to pull their leg.
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  52. pyrrhus says:
    @Steve Richter
    The times last night were barely faster than was run 40 years ago. Swimmers from around the world are progressively stronger, larger and faster every 4 years. Yet runners are not. Why?

    Because humans are reaching the limits of what their muscles combined with steroids and other PEDs can do….

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  53. Shaq says:

    Somewhat OT, but I recently returned from a vacation that included a stop at Churchill Downs (horses for kids, bourbon for dad).

    Given the discussions re: HBD, I assumed the other HBD (Horse Bio-diversity…) would show a huge decrease in the winning times of Kentucky Derby winners. Seeing that Nyquist won the most recent Derby at 2:01.31, I assumed the early winners were around 3 minutes or so.

    Well, the 1931 winner, Twenty Grand, finished at 2:01.80. Yes, I know that track conditions differ, etc.

    So after 85 years of throwing millions (billions?) of dollars to perfect the racehorse, there’s been virtually no improvement (the guide said that fastest horse ever, Secretariat at 1:59.40, had a heart that was three times that of a normal horse. Insert your “Grinch” joke here…).

    That sprinters continue to reduce their 100m times is actually pretty impressive, whatever their color.

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  54. Fredrik says:
    @International Jew
    The new WR-holder in the 400 inspires some interesting comments about the "coloured" race in South Africa:

    http://www.iol.co.za/news/why-waydes-gold-is-a-win-for-coloured-identity-2057061

    As this guy is the first man to ever run the 100 under 10.0, the 200 under 20.0 and the 400 under 44.0, I say he's the world's greatest sprinter.

    The article doesn’t explain it enough but there’s tension in the air between Black Africans and Coloureds. The latter group have started to defect to the opposition Democratic Alliance instead of the ANC. In fact, due to the Coloured vote the Democratic Alliance won elections in Western Cape province(where Cape Town is) several times. They won the recent election in Port Elizabeth (another city with a large Coloured population).

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  55. gunther says:
    @StAugustine
    A big part of this picture is new inventions. The big one in track and field was the invention of the synthetic rubber track - wikipedia tells me that the old "cinder track" started to be replaced in the 1960s, and the 1964 olympics (although I'm also seeing that Mexico in 1968 was the last one) were the last ones run on a cinder track. There's a bit of a debate as to how much the cinder surface affected the shorter distances, but it's pretty clear that there was an effect. I can state that the ambient temperature still has quite a large effect on the synthetic rubber - summer hot days, it's pretty spongy; winter cold days, more like a frozen sponge.

    Check the pictures in this article - look at the dirt they were running on!
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2175334/Olympic-history-Jesse-Owens-Daley-Thompson-shoes-took-athletes-podium.html
    The shoes have changed somewhat, but since the 1960s, they pretty much reached their molded plastic sole form of today. The innovation now is in weight reduction, sole stiffness, and spike placement. So that's pretty marginal improvement.

    However, I think the record-breaking tech is still going on with swimming. They came out with the new full-body suits in 2008, and every time someone hit the pool, records were smashed. I knew a competitive swimmer with Speedo, and even he briefly got his name in the record books. However, the new tech was banned from 2010 - but that doesn't mean that the new suits that are being produced after 2010 don't have similar (or even better) effects. That's my opinion anyway.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-technology_swimwear_fabric
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LZR_Racer

    https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/arena-launches-new-swimwear-technology-powerskin-carbon-ultra/

    You don't see this kind of tech war going on in the running world. Yeah, sponsorships to promote the shoes, but there's been no shoe breakthrough that I've ever heard of. I guess spandex was really adopted in the 1980s, but I don't think of it as having much of a noticable effect, but it's hard to really tell.

    http://visforvintage.net/2012/08/03/olympics-sportswear-a-complete-history/

    Changes in the track surface have had a large impact in sprinting. Here’s a video of the 100m bronze medal winner (Andre De Grasse) running on a track similar to the one in the 1936 Olympics where Jesse Owens set a record of 10.3s.

    To me the track looks a little softer than the track in the 1936 footage of the event. De Grasse ran it in 11.0s (hand timed).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The 1996 Atlanta Olympic track was made super hard to create world records for American runners in the sprints (e.g., Michael Johnson). The track beat up distance runners who had slow times, but they're mostly obscure foreigners, so they don't get good ratings even if they break records.
    , @Honesthughgrant
    Great post, although a little unfair to Andre. He's running in shoes that aren't his, starting from a stance (aka not using blocks) that's he's probably never done before and running on a surface that's not only unfamiliar to him but looks worse then the '36 track.

    Plus, he's just playing around and not in a serious track meet. And lets not forget the Hand held stop watch.

    I think all that accounts for more than just .7 seconds.
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  56. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    The New Yorker recently inquired “How Fast Would Usain Bolt Run the Mile?“, only to find out according to his agent that “Usain has never run a mile.”

    Unsurprisingly, apparently nobody at the NY Times has ever engaged in physical activity or played a sport.

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  57. Forbes says:
    @The Z Blog
    My guess is more people are aware of the 100 meter dash and Usain Bolt. That and saying X is better than Y does not mean I will watch X rather than Y. I think playing cards is better than telling jokes, but I'll never watch the World Series of Poker, but I will watch a stand-up comic.

    That said, the most enjoyable part of the Olympics for me has been watching NBC try to twist everything into a Girrrlllll Power! story of a woe is me story. Watch enough of it and you get the sense they are in a life and death struggle with reality.

    That said, the most enjoyable part of the Olympics for me has been watching NBC try to twist everything into a Girrrlllll Power! story of a woe is me story.

    Exactly why I find it all so unwatchable.

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  58. Boomstick says:
    @Anonymous
    Interestingly, 5 of 8 men in the finals of the 1980 men's 100m were white. Four were from Soviet countries, and the fifth was a very British-looking Brit, Allan Wells, who won the race. I wonder at what point Soviet athlete doping no longer provided an advantage at the Olympics because everyone else started doping too?

    1980 was a boycott year, and the times were significantly slower than 1976.

    1976: Crawford, Trinidad, 10.06, Quarrie, Jamacia, 10.08, Borzov, URS, 10.14
    1980: Wells, GBR, 10.25, Leonard, Cuba, 10.25, Petrov, Bulgaria, 10.39
    1984: Lewis, USA, 9.99, Graddy, USA, 10.19, Johnson, Ca, 10.22

    The slowest time in the 1976 finals was 10.35. That was the slowest time in 1984, too. (The Russians boycotted 1984.)

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  59. OFWHAP says:
    @Steve Richter
    The times last night were barely faster than was run 40 years ago. Swimmers from around the world are progressively stronger, larger and faster every 4 years. Yet runners are not. Why?

    One of my friends who swam in high school said that there are methods of building pools that can speed them up or slow them down, meaning that some pools are faster than others. Building pools wider, deeper, and with deeper catching tanks on the side of the pool allow swimmers to move faster due to less turbulence from water reflecting off the sides.

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  60. @StAugustine
    A big part of this picture is new inventions. The big one in track and field was the invention of the synthetic rubber track - wikipedia tells me that the old "cinder track" started to be replaced in the 1960s, and the 1964 olympics (although I'm also seeing that Mexico in 1968 was the last one) were the last ones run on a cinder track. There's a bit of a debate as to how much the cinder surface affected the shorter distances, but it's pretty clear that there was an effect. I can state that the ambient temperature still has quite a large effect on the synthetic rubber - summer hot days, it's pretty spongy; winter cold days, more like a frozen sponge.

    Check the pictures in this article - look at the dirt they were running on!
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2175334/Olympic-history-Jesse-Owens-Daley-Thompson-shoes-took-athletes-podium.html
    The shoes have changed somewhat, but since the 1960s, they pretty much reached their molded plastic sole form of today. The innovation now is in weight reduction, sole stiffness, and spike placement. So that's pretty marginal improvement.

    However, I think the record-breaking tech is still going on with swimming. They came out with the new full-body suits in 2008, and every time someone hit the pool, records were smashed. I knew a competitive swimmer with Speedo, and even he briefly got his name in the record books. However, the new tech was banned from 2010 - but that doesn't mean that the new suits that are being produced after 2010 don't have similar (or even better) effects. That's my opinion anyway.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-technology_swimwear_fabric
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LZR_Racer

    https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/arena-launches-new-swimwear-technology-powerskin-carbon-ultra/

    You don't see this kind of tech war going on in the running world. Yeah, sponsorships to promote the shoes, but there's been no shoe breakthrough that I've ever heard of. I guess spandex was really adopted in the 1980s, but I don't think of it as having much of a noticable effect, but it's hard to really tell.

    http://visforvintage.net/2012/08/03/olympics-sportswear-a-complete-history/

    Equipment is ruining my beloved golf at the professional level. I often wish there were tournaments where the players played persimmon woods and old balata covered balls such as those played by Jack and Arnold. They could play at some old classic courses that are out today because they simply ran out of real estate to grow the courses, made necessary only by the new balls and clubs. The 400 foot home run would be, for comparison, 550 feet comparing drivers and balls of old to today’s equipment.

    The object in most of sports is dealing the goodies out to the little people for big dough.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
    Some people do that. Although at north of $30 a pop I'd be pretty loth to whack a fragile "featherie" into the bush or the lake.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xG0s7d6K-l0
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  61. Travis says:
    @Steve Richter
    The times last night were barely faster than was run 40 years ago. Swimmers from around the world are progressively stronger, larger and faster every 4 years. Yet runners are not. Why?

    Phelps and all the other swimmers would have been disqualified prior to 1996 when the under-water dolphin kick was not permitted past 10 Meters from the start and turns…The backstroke turns were completely different before, now they let them flip onto their stomachs and use the freestyle flips which was not legal 20 years ago.

    swimming techniques keep getting better, thus they tend to break more records. In addition the number of competitive swimmers worldwide has been growing faster than the number of runners. Takes more money to field a swimming team than a track team. As more people have access to swimming pools, more people participate in competitive swimming across the globe.

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  62. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Steve, elsewhere you point out that the 100m winners are all more specifically of West-African descent. Do you know how many of the 72/72 finalists are also thus?

    5th place in Rio went to Akani Simbine, who Wikipedia says is from Pretoria. It would be interesting if he’s breaking a run of 71! But does anyone know any more? His name doesn’t sound obviously South-African to me… and if I google his surname I find some Nigerians and some Mozambicans: google scholar.

    As others above have pointed out, Wayde van Niekerk’s 400m gold is also interesting. From an unusual place on the PCA pictures. Maybe the global talent search hadn’t got quite as close to bedrock as we thought.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Frankie Fredericks from Namibia won silvers in 1992 and 1996, so he's from southwest Africa rather than West Africa, narrowly defined.
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  63. martin_2 says:

    1) When someone points out in conversation that blacks do well at sprinting/basketball/soccer I immediately jump in with “Why do you think that is?” When they innocently mention that they are naturally more athletic, that is, they are born that way, I then suggest that maybe Orientals are more successful than blacks in holding jobs and staying within the law because they are naturally more intelligent, and they are born that way.

    2) Suppose one were to argue that the upper classes were good at, say, Polo (not an Olympic sport I know), because of their genes, and cited as evidence for this the fact that only upper class people are ever represented in Polo teams. This would of course be a ridiculous argument. Most people never have the chance to play Polo. If they did, they might play Polo better than anyone who currently does play Polo. A similar argument could be made for, say, yachting. There are cultural reasons why only a certain race/social class is represented in these expensive sports. But the same cannot be said for sprinting. Every child will participate in a foot race with his peers. Every child soon learns whether they are fast or slow. (Similarly, in most parts of the world, with Soccer.) So the obviously false notion that blacks turn to sprinting to escape from poverty, or whatever, is obviously obviously false.

    These are a couple of points that have been made before, the second by Mr Sailer, but are worth repeating.

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  64. @Steve Richter
    The times last night were barely faster than was run 40 years ago. Swimmers from around the world are progressively stronger, larger and faster every 4 years. Yet runners are not. Why?

    Maybe the issue, contra Steve, is not that sprinters don’t have to work hard but that West Africans are faster than everyone but they won’t work harder…

    Or maybe we have approached the speed liimit imposed by the mechanics and physiology of the human body.

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  65. anon says: • Disclaimer

    It’s very short.

    So even people who hate sports can bear it.

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  66. There is a strong selection pressure on blacks to be fast. They live their whole lives running from racists who believe themselves to be white and want to destroy black bodies.

    Slow blacks are culled from the population by southerners, Trump supporters, cops, and NRA lobbyists.

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  67. @Steve Sailer
    The 100m has got a pro wrestling vibe that people like.

    Steve, Sure why not let the employees take a 10 second break to watch the 100M and then everyone back to work, seems fair to me. Oh, and it’s only every four years. put that in the CBA.

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  68. @Steve Richter
    The times last night were barely faster than was run 40 years ago. Swimmers from around the world are progressively stronger, larger and faster every 4 years. Yet runners are not. Why?

    CBC did a show where today’s sport stars compete under yesterday’s conditions. It is an real-life version of David Epstein’s book The Sports Gene.

    Sprinter Andre De Grasse vs. Jesse Owens
    Swimmer Paul Biedermann vs. Mark Spitz
    Cyclist Sarah Hammer or Beryl Burton

    CBC also has a kayaker and javelin thrower on their YouTube site.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Triumph, I ran track in HS, an event then called the 880 or half mile. We ran on cinders which I believe were a byproduct of burning coal, maybe. Track surface was uneven and bumps or slight depressions were common. I had a pair of Kangaroo skin track shoes, very light weight with spikes only in the front half of the shoe. The race started from a standing position and you dug your feet into the cinders to get a better purchase for your spikes. If you fell while running, and trip ups while changing lanes were common, you wound up with cinders imbedded in your hands and knees. Nasty infections sometime resulted . I walk/jog on the HS's all weather track and I am amazed at how much spring there is in the surface. Must be nice to compete on such a track.
    , @Boomstick
    The individual cycling pursuit comparison is interesting. Burton completely dominated women's cycling of the era, and was British time trial champion for 25 straight years. At one time both she and her daughter were on the UK national team. But competition was thin back then, and Burton was better at longer distances on the road instead of the shorter 3000m pursuit--the British were doing all sorts of wacky things like 100 mile time trials.

    Four seconds is a lot of time in the pursuit.

    , @Anonymous
    What a nice surprise. I can't believe that anyone else remembers the great Beryl Burton.

    At one point in her storied career she held the world record for the twelve hour time trial--FOR MEN! It took two years before some guy exceeded her distance.

    "In 1967, she set a new 12-hour time trial record of 277.25 miles[4] – a mark that surpassed the men’s record of the time by 0.73 miles and was not superseded by a man until 1969.[5] While setting the record she caught and passed Mike McNamara who was on his way to setting the men's record at 276.52 miles and winning that year's men's British Best All-Rounder. She is reputed to have given him a liquorice allsort as she passed him.[6] Apparently, McNamara ate the sweet."

    Her list of achievements is unbelievable. Wiki has a good bio, for anyone interested.
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  69. @Alfa158
    The 100 meters is popular because it is a basic old-school non-silly event unlike rhythmic synchronized pillow fighting or whatever they run in the Olympics these days. You can imagine Achilles stripping off his armor to run it, (except I suppose he could still win wearing armor). Also there is the "fastest on earth " angle, and the fact it only takes a few seconds to watch.
    I had always thought that if I had been athletic enough to go out for sports, a sprinter is the only thing I would want to be, because it doesn't last long enough for you to work up a sweat or get out of breath. A few seconds of running, boom, hit the showers and kick back. If you won big, do a commercial for gold Swiss watches or whatever and bank it. I had also suspected that another plus is not needing to do much training, so even better.

    Alfa, The start of the 100M requires training in how to explode from the blocks and get upright quickly. Bolt, however, was not leading in the first third of the race and then effortlessly pulled away while running totally upright. He has no equal.

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  70. @Triumph104
    CBC did a show where today's sport stars compete under yesterday's conditions. It is an real-life version of David Epstein's book The Sports Gene.

    Sprinter Andre De Grasse vs. Jesse Owens
    Swimmer Paul Biedermann vs. Mark Spitz
    Cyclist Sarah Hammer or Beryl Burton

    https://youtu.be/jas9ff0hdFI
    https://youtu.be/WLDGkf3qUX4
    https://youtu.be/Ji57jrt3Qus


    CBC also has a kayaker and javelin thrower on their YouTube site.

    Triumph, I ran track in HS, an event then called the 880 or half mile. We ran on cinders which I believe were a byproduct of burning coal, maybe. Track surface was uneven and bumps or slight depressions were common. I had a pair of Kangaroo skin track shoes, very light weight with spikes only in the front half of the shoe. The race started from a standing position and you dug your feet into the cinders to get a better purchase for your spikes. If you fell while running, and trip ups while changing lanes were common, you wound up with cinders imbedded in your hands and knees. Nasty infections sometime resulted . I walk/jog on the HS’s all weather track and I am amazed at how much spring there is in the surface. Must be nice to compete on such a track.

    Read More
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  71. Boomstick says:
    @Triumph104
    CBC did a show where today's sport stars compete under yesterday's conditions. It is an real-life version of David Epstein's book The Sports Gene.

    Sprinter Andre De Grasse vs. Jesse Owens
    Swimmer Paul Biedermann vs. Mark Spitz
    Cyclist Sarah Hammer or Beryl Burton

    https://youtu.be/jas9ff0hdFI
    https://youtu.be/WLDGkf3qUX4
    https://youtu.be/Ji57jrt3Qus


    CBC also has a kayaker and javelin thrower on their YouTube site.

    The individual cycling pursuit comparison is interesting. Burton completely dominated women’s cycling of the era, and was British time trial champion for 25 straight years. At one time both she and her daughter were on the UK national team. But competition was thin back then, and Burton was better at longer distances on the road instead of the shorter 3000m pursuit–the British were doing all sorts of wacky things like 100 mile time trials.

    Four seconds is a lot of time in the pursuit.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Nice. Another cyclist / Sailer reader - I thought that I might be the only one.

    Frankly, I was surprised Hammer beat Burton - that's a feather in her cap. I used to do a training crit with an female Olympic cyclist who was a TT specialist. She was equivalent to a strong Cat 2 or maybe Cat 1.
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  72. MarkinLA says:
    @StAugustine
    A big part of this picture is new inventions. The big one in track and field was the invention of the synthetic rubber track - wikipedia tells me that the old "cinder track" started to be replaced in the 1960s, and the 1964 olympics (although I'm also seeing that Mexico in 1968 was the last one) were the last ones run on a cinder track. There's a bit of a debate as to how much the cinder surface affected the shorter distances, but it's pretty clear that there was an effect. I can state that the ambient temperature still has quite a large effect on the synthetic rubber - summer hot days, it's pretty spongy; winter cold days, more like a frozen sponge.

    Check the pictures in this article - look at the dirt they were running on!
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2175334/Olympic-history-Jesse-Owens-Daley-Thompson-shoes-took-athletes-podium.html
    The shoes have changed somewhat, but since the 1960s, they pretty much reached their molded plastic sole form of today. The innovation now is in weight reduction, sole stiffness, and spike placement. So that's pretty marginal improvement.

    However, I think the record-breaking tech is still going on with swimming. They came out with the new full-body suits in 2008, and every time someone hit the pool, records were smashed. I knew a competitive swimmer with Speedo, and even he briefly got his name in the record books. However, the new tech was banned from 2010 - but that doesn't mean that the new suits that are being produced after 2010 don't have similar (or even better) effects. That's my opinion anyway.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-technology_swimwear_fabric
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LZR_Racer

    https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/arena-launches-new-swimwear-technology-powerskin-carbon-ultra/

    You don't see this kind of tech war going on in the running world. Yeah, sponsorships to promote the shoes, but there's been no shoe breakthrough that I've ever heard of. I guess spandex was really adopted in the 1980s, but I don't think of it as having much of a noticable effect, but it's hard to really tell.

    http://visforvintage.net/2012/08/03/olympics-sportswear-a-complete-history/

    I think the biggest change is the science of running. Now runners are tested for oxygen consumption, mechanics, and a lot of things not available to them in times past. In the old days it was basically just a case of every coach following the old wives tales of a successful coach such as at the University of Oregon while it was probably just their success that brought the athletes with talent and not the coaching that made a difference.

    Bolt may be the best sprinter of all time but it is too bad Bob Hayes wasn’t around in the pro era. He had to take a scholarship from a traditional black college (facilities probably no better than Jr College) in order to keep running and he joined the Dallas Cowboys as a wide receiver to make a living. He demolished his field on a poorly prepared cinder track in Mexico City and wasn’t around when he likely would have been in his prime for a sprinter 4 years later.

    As for shoes, anybody remember the controversial “brush shoe” John Carlos wore to a world record (denied) back in the day? It had 64 spikes I believe.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    My mistake, he won at Japan in 1964 on a bad track.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Hayes

    Jim Hines V Bob Hayes in Mexico City would have been a good race.
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  73. @Arclight
    It must be due to the unbearable whiteness of my being, but I don't care about the 100M all that much - I like watching women's beach volleyball the most, perhaps along with swimming by either sex and women's gymnastics.

    They still refuse to implement my suggestion of a minimum cup size for women’s beach volleyball.

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  74. Reporters were debating on ESPN whether Bolt’s achievement is more impressive, or Phelps.’

    Pablo Torre said Bolt, because “people on every continent” compete in track & field, the implication being that only ice people build pools and swim. Pablo Torre went to Harvard, but I don’t think he noticed the last 72 finalists in the 110 m.

    When I was at Mercersburg Academy, Melvin Stewart was there, and I remember being impressed that they swam 50 laps to warm up, before practice even started. You couldn’t really blame them for zoning out during class. Mel ended up winning 2 golds in Barcelona.

    He probably ate some chicken nuggets, but they all ate ridiculous quantities.

    Read More
    • Replies: @StAugustine
    Seriously, swimmers eat such a huge amount. A quick search brings up 10k and 12.5k per day calorie regimens - and the average male eats only 2500 cal per day. 4x more...

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/rio-olympics-2016/1598808/michael-phelps-olympic-diet-us-swimmer-devours-12500-calories-each-day-but-what-does-he-eat-to-fuel-his-success/
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  75. MarkinLA says:
    @MarkinLA
    I think the biggest change is the science of running. Now runners are tested for oxygen consumption, mechanics, and a lot of things not available to them in times past. In the old days it was basically just a case of every coach following the old wives tales of a successful coach such as at the University of Oregon while it was probably just their success that brought the athletes with talent and not the coaching that made a difference.

    Bolt may be the best sprinter of all time but it is too bad Bob Hayes wasn't around in the pro era. He had to take a scholarship from a traditional black college (facilities probably no better than Jr College) in order to keep running and he joined the Dallas Cowboys as a wide receiver to make a living. He demolished his field on a poorly prepared cinder track in Mexico City and wasn't around when he likely would have been in his prime for a sprinter 4 years later.

    As for shoes, anybody remember the controversial "brush shoe" John Carlos wore to a world record (denied) back in the day? It had 64 spikes I believe.

    My mistake, he won at Japan in 1964 on a bad track.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Hayes

    Jim Hines V Bob Hayes in Mexico City would have been a good race.

    Read More
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  76. @Anonymous
    Steve, elsewhere you point out that the 100m winners are all more specifically of West-African descent. Do you know how many of the 72/72 finalists are also thus?

    5th place in Rio went to Akani Simbine, who Wikipedia says is from Pretoria. It would be interesting if he's breaking a run of 71! But does anyone know any more? His name doesn't sound obviously South-African to me... and if I google his surname I find some Nigerians and some Mozambicans: google scholar.

    As others above have pointed out, Wayde van Niekerk's 400m gold is also interesting. From an unusual place on the PCA pictures. Maybe the global talent search hadn't got quite as close to bedrock as we thought.

    Frankie Fredericks from Namibia won silvers in 1992 and 1996, so he’s from southwest Africa rather than West Africa, narrowly defined.

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  77. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Of course it is genetic. Some are equipped to run faster, and some equipped to climb Everest without any training.

    http://www.outsideonline.com/2078361/most-successful-female-everest-climber-all-time-housekeeper-hartford-connecticut

    The Most Successful Female Everest Climber of All Time Is a Housekeeper in Hartford, Connecticut

    Lhakpa Sherpa ​​has climbed Everest more than any other woman—​and now she’s on the mountain trying for her seventh summit​.

    Once they were at school, she’d go to one of her two jobs—housekeeping for an in-home health care service and working as a cashier at a 7-Eleven. Combined they earned her $400 per week. She was embarrassed by both of these occupations.

    Lhakpa didn’t train for Everest. She was born and raised above 13,000 feet and believes her strong will and genetics will get her to the top of the mountain, just as they have in the past.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterike

    The Most Successful Female Everest Climber of All Time Is a Housekeeper in Hartford, Connecticut... Lhakpa Sherpa ​​has climbed Everest more than any other woman...​ Once they were at school, she’d go to one of her two jobs—housekeeping for an in-home health care service and working as a cashier at a 7-Eleven. Combined they earned her $400 per week.

     

    Why is this person living in America?
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  78. @Steve Richter
    The times last night were barely faster than was run 40 years ago. Swimmers from around the world are progressively stronger, larger and faster every 4 years. Yet runners are not. Why?

    Not true, sprint swim times as defined by the 50 and 100 meter freestyles with one very small exception have not improved since 2009. That was the last time that the non water permeable Polyurethane full body suits, that were introduced in 2004, were allowed to be worn in competition.

    50-meter swim progression https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_record_progression_50_metres_freestyle

    100-meter swim progression https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_record_progression_1500_metres_freestyle

    FYI – 50-meter freestyle Gold Medal winner Anthony Ervin doesn’t do anywhere near the same amount of training as mid to distance freestyler Katie Ledecky nor should he as it would be detrimental to pure speed to train like Katie.

    PS I’m a former swimmer and coach

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  79. @gunther
    Changes in the track surface have had a large impact in sprinting. Here's a video of the 100m bronze medal winner (Andre De Grasse) running on a track similar to the one in the 1936 Olympics where Jesse Owens set a record of 10.3s.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jas9ff0hdFI

    To me the track looks a little softer than the track in the 1936 footage of the event. De Grasse ran it in 11.0s (hand timed).

    The 1996 Atlanta Olympic track was made super hard to create world records for American runners in the sprints (e.g., Michael Johnson). The track beat up distance runners who had slow times, but they’re mostly obscure foreigners, so they don’t get good ratings even if they break records.

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  80. @McFly
    Some iSteve themes are touched on in this story:

    "With so many African-Americans unable to swim, there has been a widely held misconception that blacks lack the buoyancy to stay afloat, a myth that has contributed to the low number of blacks on swim teams and other water competition"

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-simone-manuel-glanton-20160812-column.html

    Is there something special about Simone Manuel that made her the first black gold medalist in swimming?

    A mostly black guy from Surinam won a swimming gold medal, beating Matt Biondi, in 1988. A part black girl from somewhere medaled in 1976.

    There’s a huge demand for First Black This or That so a lot of creativity goes into subdividing categories ever narrower to make it seem like blacks were oppressed until last week but now we are so enlightened.

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    • Replies: @Triumph104
    1. Anthony Nesty is a black man who was born in Trinidad and moved to Suriname as a baby. At 16 he finished 21st in a race at the 1984 Olympics. He then went to The Bolles School in FL (same as Singapore's Joseph Schooling). He won Olympic gold in 1988 and bronze in 1992, He is currently the assistant swim coach at the U of FL, his alma mater.

    2. Enith Brigitha is the first black athlete to win an Olympic swimming medal. She won two Olympic bronze medals in 1976. Athletes have called for her to officially be awarded gold medals because two doped-up East Germans placed above her in each race. She was born in Curacao and learned to swim in the sea. As a teen she and her divorced mother moved to the Netherlands and she represented the country in the Olympics. Brigitha owns a swim school for children in Curacao.

    3. Both swimmers grew up in Dutch speaking countries with populations under 400,000. As teens they moved to countries with elite training facilities.


    http://www.usaswimming.org/ViewNewsArticle.aspx?TabId=1&itemid=4181&mid=8712
    , @Ghost of Bull Moose
    First Black on the Moon would be a legend, but we don't do that anymore.
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  81. @Larry, San Francisco
    There must be some training involved. The sprinters are not only of West African descent but come from British Commonwealth countries or the US. Interestingly very few come directly from West Africa (shouldn't Nigeria produce the best sprinters). Contrast that with East African long distance runners. They all come from Ethiopia or Somalia or some other place that is significantly more god-forsaken than Nigeria is.

    that´s an interesting question.
    Maybe the reason why its original East Africans and people from the Westafrican diaspora who win the races is that there are simply much less people with East African ancestry in non-african countries. This could work because of course despite all talent it is easier to get selected for professional sport and do it properly in a rich country.
    When there would be no Westafrican diaspora than there would be maybe not 116 people who ever run 100 m under 10 seconds, but only 20 or so, with something like 17 coming from subsaharan Africa, and the most actually coming from Nigeria. Nigeria has eight people on that list

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10-second_barrier

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    East Africans just aren't that muscular.
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  82. @Erik Sieven
    that´s an interesting question.
    Maybe the reason why its original East Africans and people from the Westafrican diaspora who win the races is that there are simply much less people with East African ancestry in non-african countries. This could work because of course despite all talent it is easier to get selected for professional sport and do it properly in a rich country.
    When there would be no Westafrican diaspora than there would be maybe not 116 people who ever run 100 m under 10 seconds, but only 20 or so, with something like 17 coming from subsaharan Africa, and the most actually coming from Nigeria. Nigeria has eight people on that list
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10-second_barrier

    East Africans just aren’t that muscular.

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  83. neutral says:
    @A Erickson Cornish
    Jimmy Vicaut of France has a white French father and an Ivorian mother. Half a white guy in the 100m final! But yes, the dominance will likely continue unabated.

    I read that in America that a lot of blacks have had white ancestors somewhere in their past, sprinters like Carl Lewis certainly looks like he has that, so there have probably been a number of black sprinters champion with some white DNA. When it comes to Bolt however, I am not sure, but my guess that coming from Jamaica he has no white ancestry.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The Canadian who got the bronze medal is mixed, as was one other finalist. But most finalists are very black blacks, including Carl Lewis. His family was middle class, but he and his long jumping sister look blacker than African-American average.
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  84. @neutral
    I read that in America that a lot of blacks have had white ancestors somewhere in their past, sprinters like Carl Lewis certainly looks like he has that, so there have probably been a number of black sprinters champion with some white DNA. When it comes to Bolt however, I am not sure, but my guess that coming from Jamaica he has no white ancestry.

    The Canadian who got the bronze medal is mixed, as was one other finalist. But most finalists are very black blacks, including Carl Lewis. His family was middle class, but he and his long jumping sister look blacker than African-American average.

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  85. England won the World Cup of soccer 9n 1966 with 11 men who were all white, including one player called George Cohen.

    More recently England’s performance in international competition has become worse and worse the most recent indignity being the defeat to Iceland. Interestingly the Iceland team were all white, and the England team at least half black or “mixed”, but no one is allowed to mention that in any discussion of England’s tactical ineptitude.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3664446/118-5m-vs-16-4m-England-s-millionaire-flops-beaten-Iceland-team-entire-cost-substitute-Jordan-Henderson.html

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    • Replies: @SportsFan
    France has done OK with a majority black team. Of course, they fell apart in the 2010 WC when the team might've been at its blackest. Not sure if that had anything to do with it, but when Anelka (black) got sent home for cursing out the head coach, the original, French BLM was born when the team mutinied. Then there was nearly a fistfight between Evra (black) and the coaching staff.

    And the U.S. national soccer team is being taken over by German half-black GI Joe kids, imported by Klinsmann. While they're speedy and technical, the problem is that if they were good enough for the Mannshaft, they'd be playing for Germany. So we get German third-stringers or worse, while Germany gets the best half-Africans, Turks, and Poles to supplement its already awesome ethnically German talent.
    , @Expletive Deleted
    The usual excuse is that the evil Premier League is enticing the best footballers from the whole planet into English teams by waving sackloads of cash, and that the Brits tend to be relegated to engine-room/support crew players as a result. The Arsenal under Wenger were notoriously regarded as "Les Bleus" doing their training sessions abroad, using top-flight facilities at Highbury. The Icelanders play together on a regular basis and know each others game.
    Modern gear and pitches have also conspired to elevate the skill levels required. The days of Terry Butcher lurching about the place with a crippling hangover and a bloodsoaked rag tied on his head, agriculturally hoofing a pig-heavy sodden leather ball down Route 1, on what was not much better than a potato field while Bobby Charlton crushed out a cig butt on the touchline have given way to tippy-tappy passing triangles and other un-British refinements. Such as going down like you were shot by a sniper in the stands if merely breathed on. TV with replays has pretty much eliminated all the traditional off-the-ball skullduggery and villainy.

    tl;dr it's no longer the working man's game, since about the '80s. The prawn sandwich brigade are in total control, apart from arguably The Championship, and down the leagues. Even the spectators have to have seats, no standing.
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  86. G Pinfold says:
    @Anonymous
    I have spoken to a world famous running coach (distance) and exercise physiologist on the subject of sprint training. He would laugh at your assertion that sprinters don't work hard.

    They work hard because they can pick up extra gongs for the 200m and 400m, the latter requiring awesome endurance plus raw pace. The gunslingers who limit themselves to the 6om indoor dash and 100m train too. But its mainly a cultural conformity thing having no significant bearing on their performance.

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  87. @E. Rekshun
    I don't understand when the lead runner in the 100m qualifiers always seems to coast the last two strides. The announcers always say he, "shut it down to preserve energy for the final..." That excuse doesn't seem believable; it's only a another step or two. Why not just run all the way through the tape and maybe score a personal best or break a record.

    Rio now represents the 9th consecutive Olympics in which all 8 finalists in the men’s 100 meter dash were black.

    Not only are they black, but they're dark-complected black.

    Vicault and DeGrasse from Canada were not dark-complected at all. Vicault is half white.

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  88. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Triumph104
    CBC did a show where today's sport stars compete under yesterday's conditions. It is an real-life version of David Epstein's book The Sports Gene.

    Sprinter Andre De Grasse vs. Jesse Owens
    Swimmer Paul Biedermann vs. Mark Spitz
    Cyclist Sarah Hammer or Beryl Burton

    https://youtu.be/jas9ff0hdFI
    https://youtu.be/WLDGkf3qUX4
    https://youtu.be/Ji57jrt3Qus


    CBC also has a kayaker and javelin thrower on their YouTube site.

    What a nice surprise. I can’t believe that anyone else remembers the great Beryl Burton.

    At one point in her storied career she held the world record for the twelve hour time trial–FOR MEN! It took two years before some guy exceeded her distance.

    “In 1967, she set a new 12-hour time trial record of 277.25 miles[4] – a mark that surpassed the men’s record of the time by 0.73 miles and was not superseded by a man until 1969.[5] While setting the record she caught and passed Mike McNamara who was on his way to setting the men’s record at 276.52 miles and winning that year’s men’s British Best All-Rounder. She is reputed to have given him a liquorice allsort as she passed him.[6] Apparently, McNamara ate the sweet.”

    Her list of achievements is unbelievable. Wiki has a good bio, for anyone interested.

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    • Replies: @SportsFan
    Women may have a little bit of an advantage in ultramarathons because they are shorter and have finer bones. In long distance running, every ounce of bone and muscle on your distal limbs adds up disproportionately. As Epstein put it, top marathoners run "on a pair of ebony sticks".

    Of course, men have greater lung capacity and a favorable power-to-weight ratio, but in ultra long distance running these advantages may be cancelled out by the extra weight. See Epstein's "The Sports Gene" and McDougal's "Born to run" for details.
    However, because of the finer bone structure and lesser work capacity under load, women are not so great at rucking 40 miles with a heavy backpack, as is required of infantry combat troops.
    , @Boomstick
    She was still an elite rider in her 40's, when her daughter was also competing at a top level.

    Quite uniquely, in the early 70s, the mother and daughter were joining each other for national team trips together. In 1973, Beryl won the National Road Championship ahead of Denise. Three years later, their positions were reversed and the mother gave rise to another of those legendary anecdotes by refusing to shake hands with her daughter on the podium.

    “I was too overjoyed at winning, and I didn’t take any notice of anything like that,” recalls Denise, charging that most of the fuss was media hype.

    In her book, Beryl offered an explanation: “I thought Denise had not done her whack in keeping the break away and once again I had ‘made the race'
     
    Now there's a competitor.
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  89. B.t.o. says:

    White sprinters, unlike white distance runners, are smart enough to realize that training in Jamaica or sub-Sahara Africa isn’t going to magic dirt them to 9.7

    I recall reading more than one runners world article about white runners ill fated attempts to go and train with the Kenyans, including diet and living conditions etc. This went about as well as expected.

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  90. guest says:
    @Pericles
    How do wide receivers compare to 100m runners? I assume the conventional path for a US sprinter is to go for a football contract?

    They’re always talking about the “4:4 40″ in football. Presumably anyone who can run 100 yards in 9 or so seconds can do 40 yards in whatever is necessary. There are other factors, like height, build, reach, hands, vertical leap, etc. Bolt looks like he could do it.

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    • Replies: @Pericles
    OK, I was more thinking of the other way around: advances in football training regimes, whether there are any sprinting gems hidden in the ranks, etc.

    I'm not sure Bolt would be an incredible WR, by the way, since he came up as a 200m runner. It shows in his starts, which are almost always slow compared to the rest. Judging from that, dashing just 40m is not playing to his strengths. (On the other hand, maybe he could learn ...)
    , @Brutusale
    OJ Simpson and world-class hurdler Earl "The Pearl" McCullouch both played for the 1967 National Champion USC Trojan football team and both were members of the USC 4 X 110 yard relay team in track, which set the record (383.6 seconds) that still stands today, as they went the metric distances shortly thereafter. McCullouch was also the NCAA 110-yard hurdles champion in 1967 and 1968, as well as the 55-yard hurdles champ in 1968.

    OJ was a world-class sprinter, with a 10.3 in the 100 meters. Like Bolt demonstrates, football announcers talk about that guy with the "extra gear", the breakaway burst.
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  91. @Steve Sailer
    A mostly black guy from Surinam won a swimming gold medal, beating Matt Biondi, in 1988. A part black girl from somewhere medaled in 1976.

    There's a huge demand for First Black This or That so a lot of creativity goes into subdividing categories ever narrower to make it seem like blacks were oppressed until last week but now we are so enlightened.

    1. Anthony Nesty is a black man who was born in Trinidad and moved to Suriname as a baby. At 16 he finished 21st in a race at the 1984 Olympics. He then went to The Bolles School in FL (same as Singapore’s Joseph Schooling). He won Olympic gold in 1988 and bronze in 1992, He is currently the assistant swim coach at the U of FL, his alma mater.

    2. Enith Brigitha is the first black athlete to win an Olympic swimming medal. She won two Olympic bronze medals in 1976. Athletes have called for her to officially be awarded gold medals because two doped-up East Germans placed above her in each race. She was born in Curacao and learned to swim in the sea. As a teen she and her divorced mother moved to the Netherlands and she represented the country in the Olympics. Brigitha owns a swim school for children in Curacao.

    3. Both swimmers grew up in Dutch speaking countries with populations under 400,000. As teens they moved to countries with elite training facilities.

    http://www.usaswimming.org/ViewNewsArticle.aspx?TabId=1&itemid=4181&mid=8712

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Yeah, I remember both of them, so it never seemed to me like blacks couldn't hack it in swimming, they just didn't do it much and had other options if they were tall and athletic: e.g., Tim Duncan had wanted to be an Olympic swimmer but making hundreds of millions in the NBA got in the way. Duncan has kind of a swimmer's personality so I bet he would have done well in swimming.
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  92. @gunther
    Changes in the track surface have had a large impact in sprinting. Here's a video of the 100m bronze medal winner (Andre De Grasse) running on a track similar to the one in the 1936 Olympics where Jesse Owens set a record of 10.3s.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jas9ff0hdFI

    To me the track looks a little softer than the track in the 1936 footage of the event. De Grasse ran it in 11.0s (hand timed).

    Great post, although a little unfair to Andre. He’s running in shoes that aren’t his, starting from a stance (aka not using blocks) that’s he’s probably never done before and running on a surface that’s not only unfamiliar to him but looks worse then the ’36 track.

    Plus, he’s just playing around and not in a serious track meet. And lets not forget the Hand held stop watch.

    I think all that accounts for more than just .7 seconds.

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    • Replies: @Triumph104
    Andre De Grasse looks like he is running in a long jump pit.
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  93. @anonymous
    don’t think 72 out of 72 can be fully explained away as a social construct

    There's an army of good Jewish boys trained at Yeshiva who disagree. They know the social construct is good for the Jews.

    The truth is useless. The ends justify the means exactly the same as in the USSR.

    There may be an army of Jewish boys who disagree, but rest assured they are not Yeshiva boys.

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  94. @Honesthughgrant
    Great post, although a little unfair to Andre. He's running in shoes that aren't his, starting from a stance (aka not using blocks) that's he's probably never done before and running on a surface that's not only unfamiliar to him but looks worse then the '36 track.

    Plus, he's just playing around and not in a serious track meet. And lets not forget the Hand held stop watch.

    I think all that accounts for more than just .7 seconds.

    Andre De Grasse looks like he is running in a long jump pit.

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  95. Curle says:

    Re social construct. It is at this point in the conversation that all members in good standing of the Great and Good Society invoke the ‘trivial trait’ exception to Darwinism to excuse away speed differentials. I’m still waiting for an authoritative trivial non-trivial list to be composed.

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  96. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Speaking of HBD, science marches on. By and by some of all this brain research is going to start coming together:

    “Scientists find the brain’s generosity center:
    Brain area that lights up when we do good for others is more active in more empathetic people”, ScienceDaily, August 15, 2016, University of Oxford:

    “Scientists have identified part of our brain that helps us learn to be good to other people. …increased signalling in their subgenual anterior cingulate cortex when benefiting others. …

    …The discovery could help understanding of conditions like psychopathy where people’s behaviour is extremely antisocial…

    …’A specific part of the brain called the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex was the only part of the brain that was activated when learning to help other people. Put another way, the subgenual anterior cingulate seems to be especially tuned to benefiting other people. …’

    …’This the first time anyone has shown a particular brain process for learning prosocial behaviours — and a possible link from empathy to learning to help others…’ …”

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  97. @Steve Sailer
    A mostly black guy from Surinam won a swimming gold medal, beating Matt Biondi, in 1988. A part black girl from somewhere medaled in 1976.

    There's a huge demand for First Black This or That so a lot of creativity goes into subdividing categories ever narrower to make it seem like blacks were oppressed until last week but now we are so enlightened.

    First Black on the Moon would be a legend, but we don’t do that anymore.

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  98. @Triumph104
    1. Anthony Nesty is a black man who was born in Trinidad and moved to Suriname as a baby. At 16 he finished 21st in a race at the 1984 Olympics. He then went to The Bolles School in FL (same as Singapore's Joseph Schooling). He won Olympic gold in 1988 and bronze in 1992, He is currently the assistant swim coach at the U of FL, his alma mater.

    2. Enith Brigitha is the first black athlete to win an Olympic swimming medal. She won two Olympic bronze medals in 1976. Athletes have called for her to officially be awarded gold medals because two doped-up East Germans placed above her in each race. She was born in Curacao and learned to swim in the sea. As a teen she and her divorced mother moved to the Netherlands and she represented the country in the Olympics. Brigitha owns a swim school for children in Curacao.

    3. Both swimmers grew up in Dutch speaking countries with populations under 400,000. As teens they moved to countries with elite training facilities.


    http://www.usaswimming.org/ViewNewsArticle.aspx?TabId=1&itemid=4181&mid=8712

    Yeah, I remember both of them, so it never seemed to me like blacks couldn’t hack it in swimming, they just didn’t do it much and had other options if they were tall and athletic: e.g., Tim Duncan had wanted to be an Olympic swimmer but making hundreds of millions in the NBA got in the way. Duncan has kind of a swimmer’s personality so I bet he would have done well in swimming.

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    • Replies: @Triumph104
    I forgot to say thank you for mentioning the black swimmers. I'd never heard of either of them. I like to research the background of accomplished people and learn what factors led to their success. It helps to understand why some demographics aren't well represented in the particular field.
    , @SportsFan
    More importantly, Duncan is 6-11 with a long and wide torso, and long arms/big hands, both great advantages in swimming. Think Phelps who's 3 sizes bigger. Length matters a great deal in swimming as speed increases with the square of "hull" length (times a multiplier). Longer boats are faster due to higher hull speed, and so are longer humans, other things being equal.
    , @FooBakka
    Actually the story goes that Hurricane Hugo destroyed the only Olympic-sized swimming pool on the island he grew up on. After that, he took up basketball (he didn't like swimming in the ocean due to fear of sharks). As an aside, he's my favorite player for many reasons. Just compare his retirement to Kobe's. Duncan played a huge role on a 67 win season and didn't attend his own retirement presser, whereas Kobe's farewell tour netted one of the all-time worst Laker's seasons.

    * I used to be a Laker's fan, now a Spurs fan
    ** I just took up swimming a year ago and have found it the most humbling of experiences
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  99. Just watched the 800m prime time reply which actually seems a distance where white people and Kenyans are competitive against each other

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The 800m is a fun race. It has strategy and diversity.

    My vague impression is that whites are fairly consistently good at all distances, but the 800m is one where no other group is overwhelming, the way Bantus dominate sprinting, Kenyans middle distances, and Ethiopians long distances.

    At 800m you see lots of Kenyans of course, but a few West Africans, and whites.

    The other distance with lots of racial diversity is the marathon, although that's partly because it's too punishing of a distance. If you are an Ethiopian distance superstar, you run 5000m and 10000m because you can do one every Sunday while you can only run a marathon a few times per year.

    , @Steve Sailer
    The 800m is a fun race. It has strategy and diversity.

    My vague impression is that whites are fairly consistently good at all distances, but the 800m is one where no other group is overwhelming, the way Bantus dominate sprinting, Kenyans middle distances, and Ethiopians long distances.

    At 800m you see lots of Kenyans of course, but a few West Africans, and whites.

    The other distance with lots of racial diversity is the marathon, although that's partly because it's too punishing of a distance. If you are an Ethiopian distance superstar, you run 5000m and 10000m because you can do one every Sunday while you can only run a marathon a few times per year.

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  100. @granesperanzablanco
    Just watched the 800m prime time reply which actually seems a distance where white people and Kenyans are competitive against each other

    The 800m is a fun race. It has strategy and diversity.

    My vague impression is that whites are fairly consistently good at all distances, but the 800m is one where no other group is overwhelming, the way Bantus dominate sprinting, Kenyans middle distances, and Ethiopians long distances.

    At 800m you see lots of Kenyans of course, but a few West Africans, and whites.

    The other distance with lots of racial diversity is the marathon, although that’s partly because it’s too punishing of a distance. If you are an Ethiopian distance superstar, you run 5000m and 10000m because you can do one every Sunday while you can only run a marathon a few times per year.

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  101. @granesperanzablanco
    Just watched the 800m prime time reply which actually seems a distance where white people and Kenyans are competitive against each other

    The 800m is a fun race. It has strategy and diversity.

    My vague impression is that whites are fairly consistently good at all distances, but the 800m is one where no other group is overwhelming, the way Bantus dominate sprinting, Kenyans middle distances, and Ethiopians long distances.

    At 800m you see lots of Kenyans of course, but a few West Africans, and whites.

    The other distance with lots of racial diversity is the marathon, although that’s partly because it’s too punishing of a distance. If you are an Ethiopian distance superstar, you run 5000m and 10000m because you can do one every Sunday while you can only run a marathon a few times per year.

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  102. Anon2 says:
    @Steve Sailer
    The 100m has got a pro wrestling vibe that people like.

    Steve-
    The men’s 100m final is the only event my family has watched. It is spectacle, who is the fastest man in the world. My kids know Bolt from the video game Temple Run, he has lent his image to it for a few bucks, I’m sure.

    So at the intros my 6 year old asked, “why are they all black skinned?” How does one lay out HBD at 8:30 at night to a little kid?

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    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    I refuse to believe he said that
    , @Corvinus
    "So at the intros my 6 year old asked, “why are they all black skinned?” How does one lay out HBD at 8:30 at night to a little kid?"

    [Ding, ding, ding] A GREAT question. This ought to be a blog post. Seriously.

    How do parents, especially those who are white, to properly teach their offspring about the ins and outs of HBD? Is there a children's book that lays the groundwork? Is there an adolescent series as well? Who would be the authors of such material? Of course, there has to be pictures. I imagine there would be also be an ebook out there as well...
    , @SportsFan
    When my son was little, I used to watch the NBA quite a bit. Around age 3, he finally asked me why all the players had "brown faces". I told him these people with brown faces tend to be better at basketball because it fits their natural talents.
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  103. Lurker says:

    Are the tiny speed gains logged by today’s athletes over those of the past at least partly to do with more accurate timing? No more hand held stop watches. Otherwise we might see that the limits had been reached already.

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  104. @Steve Sailer
    Yeah, I remember both of them, so it never seemed to me like blacks couldn't hack it in swimming, they just didn't do it much and had other options if they were tall and athletic: e.g., Tim Duncan had wanted to be an Olympic swimmer but making hundreds of millions in the NBA got in the way. Duncan has kind of a swimmer's personality so I bet he would have done well in swimming.

    I forgot to say thank you for mentioning the black swimmers. I’d never heard of either of them. I like to research the background of accomplished people and learn what factors led to their success. It helps to understand why some demographics aren’t well represented in the particular field.

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  105. @Anon2
    Steve-
    The men's 100m final is the only event my family has watched. It is spectacle, who is the fastest man in the world. My kids know Bolt from the video game Temple Run, he has lent his image to it for a few bucks, I'm sure.

    So at the intros my 6 year old asked, "why are they all black skinned?" How does one lay out HBD at 8:30 at night to a little kid?

    I refuse to believe he said that

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    • Replies: @Anon2
    ScarletNumber-
    I'm not making it up!
    , @Triumph104
    Many white parents avoid talking about race in an effort to develop a sense of “colorblindness” in their children, thinking that a colorblind child is a more inclusive child. Yet, young children notice difference all the time. At a young age, they are busy sorting and categorizing their environment by a single attribute, or putting “like” with “like.” They often point out differences amongst each other. When they are silenced or pick up on the idea that pointing out differences is not okay, they begin to think there must be something wrong or bad about these differences.



    http://www.pbs.org/parents/experts/archive/2013/02/how-to-teach-kids-about-race.html
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  106. @Psmith
    Nigeria and Ghana have had a number of great 100/200m men. Had some relay records in the nineties IIRC. Even tiny, impoverished Cote d'Ivoire has at least one guy going sub-10.

    Nigeria and Ghana are in the Commonwealth.

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  107. @Larry, San Francisco
    There must be some training involved. The sprinters are not only of West African descent but come from British Commonwealth countries or the US. Interestingly very few come directly from West Africa (shouldn't Nigeria produce the best sprinters). Contrast that with East African long distance runners. They all come from Ethiopia or Somalia or some other place that is significantly more god-forsaken than Nigeria is.

    In the most recent Commonwealth Games, the silver medalist in the 100 was Adam Gimili, a Brit of Persian/Moroccan descent. He ran it in 10.10 s. He didn’t enter the 100 this year and instead will be running in the 200.

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  108. Pericles says:
    @guest
    They're always talking about the "4:4 40" in football. Presumably anyone who can run 100 yards in 9 or so seconds can do 40 yards in whatever is necessary. There are other factors, like height, build, reach, hands, vertical leap, etc. Bolt looks like he could do it.

    OK, I was more thinking of the other way around: advances in football training regimes, whether there are any sprinting gems hidden in the ranks, etc.

    I’m not sure Bolt would be an incredible WR, by the way, since he came up as a 200m runner. It shows in his starts, which are almost always slow compared to the rest. Judging from that, dashing just 40m is not playing to his strengths. (On the other hand, maybe he could learn …)

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    • Replies: @Brutusale
    Like a lot of big guys I knew who thought working as a bouncer would be an easy way to make some money, the lanky Bolt might think the same thing until, like the wannabe bouncers, the first time someone really hit him.
    , @Jim Christian
    I saw track guys try to play football in high school. They didn't like getting hit, especially in the cold. On top of that, add on pads, a helmet and cleats on real grass in lousy condition, say, a little rain, some snow, the track guys suddenly aren't as special as they were nearly-naked on Tartan- Track surfaces.

    OJ and a very few others aside, track is track, football is football and it is a rare generation where one transplants to the other.

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  109. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    The South African sprinter’s father is Mozambican, and like van Niekerk, the south african mother was also an athlete.

    Bantu people in southern africa originate in west africa, so the finalists have been men of west african descent.

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  110. Anon2 says:
    @ScarletNumber
    I refuse to believe he said that

    ScarletNumber-
    I’m not making it up!

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  111. @Ghost of Bull Moose
    Reporters were debating on ESPN whether Bolt's achievement is more impressive, or Phelps.'

    Pablo Torre said Bolt, because "people on every continent" compete in track & field, the implication being that only ice people build pools and swim. Pablo Torre went to Harvard, but I don't think he noticed the last 72 finalists in the 110 m.

    When I was at Mercersburg Academy, Melvin Stewart was there, and I remember being impressed that they swam 50 laps to warm up, before practice even started. You couldn't really blame them for zoning out during class. Mel ended up winning 2 golds in Barcelona.

    He probably ate some chicken nuggets, but they all ate ridiculous quantities.

    Seriously, swimmers eat such a huge amount. A quick search brings up 10k and 12.5k per day calorie regimens – and the average male eats only 2500 cal per day. 4x more…

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/rio-olympics-2016/1598808/michael-phelps-olympic-diet-us-swimmer-devours-12500-calories-each-day-but-what-does-he-eat-to-fuel-his-success/

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  112. […] than girls. West Africans are faster on average than everyone else. He’s right, of course. When the finalists for the 100 meter sprint have all be of West African origin going back nine consecutive Olympics, nature is telling us […]

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  113. Mr. Anon says:

    The 100 m dash is an interesting spectacle just because it’s amazing to see a human being move that fast propelled by his own feet.

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  114. @Anonymous
    Interestingly, 5 of 8 men in the finals of the 1980 men's 100m were white. Four were from Soviet countries, and the fifth was a very British-looking Brit, Allan Wells, who won the race. I wonder at what point Soviet athlete doping no longer provided an advantage at the Olympics because everyone else started doping too?

    As political and ideological as sports are, I wouldn’t doubt it if I were told that the best PEDs were reserved for black athletes. I don’t claim that is happening, but it would be in line with the pushing of blacks in entertainment and affirmative action in general.

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  115. peterike says:
    @Anon
    Of course it is genetic. Some are equipped to run faster, and some equipped to climb Everest without any training.


    http://www.outsideonline.com/2078361/most-successful-female-everest-climber-all-time-housekeeper-hartford-connecticut

    The Most Successful Female Everest Climber of All Time Is a Housekeeper in Hartford, Connecticut

    Lhakpa Sherpa ​​has climbed Everest more than any other woman—​and now she's on the mountain trying for her seventh summit​.

    Once they were at school, she’d go to one of her two jobs—housekeeping for an in-home health care service and working as a cashier at a 7-Eleven. Combined they earned her $400 per week. She was embarrassed by both of these occupations.

    Lhakpa didn't train for Everest. She was born and raised above 13,000 feet and believes her strong will and genetics will get her to the top of the mountain, just as they have in the past.
     

    The Most Successful Female Everest Climber of All Time Is a Housekeeper in Hartford, Connecticut… Lhakpa Sherpa ​​has climbed Everest more than any other woman…​ Once they were at school, she’d go to one of her two jobs—housekeeping for an in-home health care service and working as a cashier at a 7-Eleven. Combined they earned her $400 per week.

    Why is this person living in America?

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  116. Madeira says:

    72 or 73? Assuming that it was 64 through 2012, then it should be 73 since there were 9 finalists this year (although one was subsequently disqualified for a false start).

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  117. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Boomstick
    The individual cycling pursuit comparison is interesting. Burton completely dominated women's cycling of the era, and was British time trial champion for 25 straight years. At one time both she and her daughter were on the UK national team. But competition was thin back then, and Burton was better at longer distances on the road instead of the shorter 3000m pursuit--the British were doing all sorts of wacky things like 100 mile time trials.

    Four seconds is a lot of time in the pursuit.

    Nice. Another cyclist / Sailer reader – I thought that I might be the only one.

    Frankly, I was surprised Hammer beat Burton – that’s a feather in her cap. I used to do a training crit with an female Olympic cyclist who was a TT specialist. She was equivalent to a strong Cat 2 or maybe Cat 1.

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  118. @Jim Christian
    Equipment is ruining my beloved golf at the professional level. I often wish there were tournaments where the players played persimmon woods and old balata covered balls such as those played by Jack and Arnold. They could play at some old classic courses that are out today because they simply ran out of real estate to grow the courses, made necessary only by the new balls and clubs. The 400 foot home run would be, for comparison, 550 feet comparing drivers and balls of old to today's equipment.

    The object in most of sports is dealing the goodies out to the little people for big dough.

    Some people do that. Although at north of $30 a pop I’d be pretty loth to whack a fragile “featherie” into the bush or the lake.

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  119. SportsFan says:
    @Anonymous
    What a nice surprise. I can't believe that anyone else remembers the great Beryl Burton.

    At one point in her storied career she held the world record for the twelve hour time trial--FOR MEN! It took two years before some guy exceeded her distance.

    "In 1967, she set a new 12-hour time trial record of 277.25 miles[4] – a mark that surpassed the men’s record of the time by 0.73 miles and was not superseded by a man until 1969.[5] While setting the record she caught and passed Mike McNamara who was on his way to setting the men's record at 276.52 miles and winning that year's men's British Best All-Rounder. She is reputed to have given him a liquorice allsort as she passed him.[6] Apparently, McNamara ate the sweet."

    Her list of achievements is unbelievable. Wiki has a good bio, for anyone interested.

    Women may have a little bit of an advantage in ultramarathons because they are shorter and have finer bones. In long distance running, every ounce of bone and muscle on your distal limbs adds up disproportionately. As Epstein put it, top marathoners run “on a pair of ebony sticks”.

    Of course, men have greater lung capacity and a favorable power-to-weight ratio, but in ultra long distance running these advantages may be cancelled out by the extra weight. See Epstein’s “The Sports Gene” and McDougal’s “Born to run” for details.
    However, because of the finer bone structure and lesser work capacity under load, women are not so great at rucking 40 miles with a heavy backpack, as is required of infantry combat troops.

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  120. @Steve Sailer
    The 100m has got a pro wrestling vibe that people like.

    That and it doesn’t take long to watch.

    People want to say they watched the Olympics but don’t want to actually sit through most of the events.

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  121. Corvinus says:
    @Anon2
    Steve-
    The men's 100m final is the only event my family has watched. It is spectacle, who is the fastest man in the world. My kids know Bolt from the video game Temple Run, he has lent his image to it for a few bucks, I'm sure.

    So at the intros my 6 year old asked, "why are they all black skinned?" How does one lay out HBD at 8:30 at night to a little kid?

    “So at the intros my 6 year old asked, “why are they all black skinned?” How does one lay out HBD at 8:30 at night to a little kid?”

    [Ding, ding, ding] A GREAT question. This ought to be a blog post. Seriously.

    How do parents, especially those who are white, to properly teach their offspring about the ins and outs of HBD? Is there a children’s book that lays the groundwork? Is there an adolescent series as well? Who would be the authors of such material? Of course, there has to be pictures. I imagine there would be also be an ebook out there as well…

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    • Replies: @Jim Christian
    Tell them the truth about race and they rat you out at school, you very well could have your children taken out of your home. Be careful.
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  122. so over at you-tube somebody posted about “how come no white guys” to which i respond with they are too busy in the class room as my failed attempt at humor.

    then there was the classic “why should it matter” and of course it doesn’t BUT if it were the opposite the outrage would be deafening. As an example of that i recently read an article about “the shocking lack of black players in baseball”

    that was the real fucking headline “SHOCKING” but in the 100 meter dash nary a white man to be found……crickets….and not “shocking” at all.

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  123. SportsFan says:
    @Jonathan Mason
    England won the World Cup of soccer 9n 1966 with 11 men who were all white, including one player called George Cohen.

    More recently England's performance in international competition has become worse and worse the most recent indignity being the defeat to Iceland. Interestingly the Iceland team were all white, and the England team at least half black or "mixed", but no one is allowed to mention that in any discussion of England's tactical ineptitude.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3664446/118-5m-vs-16-4m-England-s-millionaire-flops-beaten-Iceland-team-entire-cost-substitute-Jordan-Henderson.html

    France has done OK with a majority black team. Of course, they fell apart in the 2010 WC when the team might’ve been at its blackest. Not sure if that had anything to do with it, but when Anelka (black) got sent home for cursing out the head coach, the original, French BLM was born when the team mutinied. Then there was nearly a fistfight between Evra (black) and the coaching staff.

    And the U.S. national soccer team is being taken over by German half-black GI Joe kids, imported by Klinsmann. While they’re speedy and technical, the problem is that if they were good enough for the Mannshaft, they’d be playing for Germany. So we get German third-stringers or worse, while Germany gets the best half-Africans, Turks, and Poles to supplement its already awesome ethnically German talent.

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  124. @Jonathan Mason
    England won the World Cup of soccer 9n 1966 with 11 men who were all white, including one player called George Cohen.

    More recently England's performance in international competition has become worse and worse the most recent indignity being the defeat to Iceland. Interestingly the Iceland team were all white, and the England team at least half black or "mixed", but no one is allowed to mention that in any discussion of England's tactical ineptitude.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3664446/118-5m-vs-16-4m-England-s-millionaire-flops-beaten-Iceland-team-entire-cost-substitute-Jordan-Henderson.html

    The usual excuse is that the evil Premier League is enticing the best footballers from the whole planet into English teams by waving sackloads of cash, and that the Brits tend to be relegated to engine-room/support crew players as a result. The Arsenal under Wenger were notoriously regarded as “Les Bleus” doing their training sessions abroad, using top-flight facilities at Highbury. The Icelanders play together on a regular basis and know each others game.
    Modern gear and pitches have also conspired to elevate the skill levels required. The days of Terry Butcher lurching about the place with a crippling hangover and a bloodsoaked rag tied on his head, agriculturally hoofing a pig-heavy sodden leather ball down Route 1, on what was not much better than a potato field while Bobby Charlton crushed out a cig butt on the touchline have given way to tippy-tappy passing triangles and other un-British refinements. Such as going down like you were shot by a sniper in the stands if merely breathed on. TV with replays has pretty much eliminated all the traditional off-the-ball skullduggery and villainy.

    tl;dr it’s no longer the working man’s game, since about the ’80s. The prawn sandwich brigade are in total control, apart from arguably The Championship, and down the leagues. Even the spectators have to have seats, no standing.

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  125. SportsFan says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Yeah, I remember both of them, so it never seemed to me like blacks couldn't hack it in swimming, they just didn't do it much and had other options if they were tall and athletic: e.g., Tim Duncan had wanted to be an Olympic swimmer but making hundreds of millions in the NBA got in the way. Duncan has kind of a swimmer's personality so I bet he would have done well in swimming.

    More importantly, Duncan is 6-11 with a long and wide torso, and long arms/big hands, both great advantages in swimming. Think Phelps who’s 3 sizes bigger. Length matters a great deal in swimming as speed increases with the square of “hull” length (times a multiplier). Longer boats are faster due to higher hull speed, and so are longer humans, other things being equal.

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  126. SportsFan says:
    @Anon2
    Steve-
    The men's 100m final is the only event my family has watched. It is spectacle, who is the fastest man in the world. My kids know Bolt from the video game Temple Run, he has lent his image to it for a few bucks, I'm sure.

    So at the intros my 6 year old asked, "why are they all black skinned?" How does one lay out HBD at 8:30 at night to a little kid?

    When my son was little, I used to watch the NBA quite a bit. Around age 3, he finally asked me why all the players had “brown faces”. I told him these people with brown faces tend to be better at basketball because it fits their natural talents.

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    • Replies: @Anon2
    SportsFan-
    pretty much what I said, "Everyone has different abilities. Those guys can run fast."
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  127. Boomstick says:
    @Anonymous
    What a nice surprise. I can't believe that anyone else remembers the great Beryl Burton.

    At one point in her storied career she held the world record for the twelve hour time trial--FOR MEN! It took two years before some guy exceeded her distance.

    "In 1967, she set a new 12-hour time trial record of 277.25 miles[4] – a mark that surpassed the men’s record of the time by 0.73 miles and was not superseded by a man until 1969.[5] While setting the record she caught and passed Mike McNamara who was on his way to setting the men's record at 276.52 miles and winning that year's men's British Best All-Rounder. She is reputed to have given him a liquorice allsort as she passed him.[6] Apparently, McNamara ate the sweet."

    Her list of achievements is unbelievable. Wiki has a good bio, for anyone interested.

    She was still an elite rider in her 40′s, when her daughter was also competing at a top level.

    Quite uniquely, in the early 70s, the mother and daughter were joining each other for national team trips together. In 1973, Beryl won the National Road Championship ahead of Denise. Three years later, their positions were reversed and the mother gave rise to another of those legendary anecdotes by refusing to shake hands with her daughter on the podium.

    “I was too overjoyed at winning, and I didn’t take any notice of anything like that,” recalls Denise, charging that most of the fuss was media hype.

    In her book, Beryl offered an explanation: “I thought Denise had not done her whack in keeping the break away and once again I had ‘made the race’

    Now there’s a competitor.

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  128. @ScarletNumber
    I refuse to believe he said that

    Many white parents avoid talking about race in an effort to develop a sense of “colorblindness” in their children, thinking that a colorblind child is a more inclusive child. Yet, young children notice difference all the time. At a young age, they are busy sorting and categorizing their environment by a single attribute, or putting “like” with “like.” They often point out differences amongst each other. When they are silenced or pick up on the idea that pointing out differences is not okay, they begin to think there must be something wrong or bad about these differences.

    http://www.pbs.org/parents/experts/archive/2013/02/how-to-teach-kids-about-race.html

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  129. @Brutusale
    My brother likes to say he was the fasted white kid in the state his senior year. He was indoor track league champion in the 50-yard dash and the 300-yard run as well as anchoring the 4 x 440 relay to a league record in the champions meet. He was 4th in the state meet in the 50.

    Indoor track was a way for him to keep in shape for baseball. He never worked hard at all during track, and the coach kind of left him alone, as he was good for a minimum of 10 points per meet. I don't think he ever ran any distance beyond a quarter mile.

    This dorky weird unathletic kid in high school could run the 400m in 50 seconds, when he felt like it.

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  130. Anon2 says:
    @SportsFan
    When my son was little, I used to watch the NBA quite a bit. Around age 3, he finally asked me why all the players had "brown faces". I told him these people with brown faces tend to be better at basketball because it fits their natural talents.

    SportsFan-
    pretty much what I said, “Everyone has different abilities. Those guys can run fast.”

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  131. Shaq says:

    FYI, interesting Twitter fight on this topic between/among geneticists @JonEntine and @mbeisen (and others).

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  132. Brutusale says:
    @guest
    They're always talking about the "4:4 40" in football. Presumably anyone who can run 100 yards in 9 or so seconds can do 40 yards in whatever is necessary. There are other factors, like height, build, reach, hands, vertical leap, etc. Bolt looks like he could do it.

    OJ Simpson and world-class hurdler Earl “The Pearl” McCullouch both played for the 1967 National Champion USC Trojan football team and both were members of the USC 4 X 110 yard relay team in track, which set the record (383.6 seconds) that still stands today, as they went the metric distances shortly thereafter. McCullouch was also the NCAA 110-yard hurdles champion in 1967 and 1968, as well as the 55-yard hurdles champ in 1968.

    OJ was a world-class sprinter, with a 10.3 in the 100 meters. Like Bolt demonstrates, football announcers talk about that guy with the “extra gear”, the breakaway burst.

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    • Replies: @Brutusale
    The relay time is obviously a typo. 38.6 seconds.
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  133. Brutusale says:
    @Pericles
    OK, I was more thinking of the other way around: advances in football training regimes, whether there are any sprinting gems hidden in the ranks, etc.

    I'm not sure Bolt would be an incredible WR, by the way, since he came up as a 200m runner. It shows in his starts, which are almost always slow compared to the rest. Judging from that, dashing just 40m is not playing to his strengths. (On the other hand, maybe he could learn ...)

    Like a lot of big guys I knew who thought working as a bouncer would be an easy way to make some money, the lanky Bolt might think the same thing until, like the wannabe bouncers, the first time someone really hit him.

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  134. Brutusale says:
    @Brutusale
    OJ Simpson and world-class hurdler Earl "The Pearl" McCullouch both played for the 1967 National Champion USC Trojan football team and both were members of the USC 4 X 110 yard relay team in track, which set the record (383.6 seconds) that still stands today, as they went the metric distances shortly thereafter. McCullouch was also the NCAA 110-yard hurdles champion in 1967 and 1968, as well as the 55-yard hurdles champ in 1968.

    OJ was a world-class sprinter, with a 10.3 in the 100 meters. Like Bolt demonstrates, football announcers talk about that guy with the "extra gear", the breakaway burst.

    The relay time is obviously a typo. 38.6 seconds.

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  135. @Corvinus
    "So at the intros my 6 year old asked, “why are they all black skinned?” How does one lay out HBD at 8:30 at night to a little kid?"

    [Ding, ding, ding] A GREAT question. This ought to be a blog post. Seriously.

    How do parents, especially those who are white, to properly teach their offspring about the ins and outs of HBD? Is there a children's book that lays the groundwork? Is there an adolescent series as well? Who would be the authors of such material? Of course, there has to be pictures. I imagine there would be also be an ebook out there as well...

    Tell them the truth about race and they rat you out at school, you very well could have your children taken out of your home. Be careful.

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    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "Tell them the truth about race and they rat you out at school, you very well could have your children taken out of your home. Be careful."

    What "truths" about race are you referring to?
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  136. @Pericles
    OK, I was more thinking of the other way around: advances in football training regimes, whether there are any sprinting gems hidden in the ranks, etc.

    I'm not sure Bolt would be an incredible WR, by the way, since he came up as a 200m runner. It shows in his starts, which are almost always slow compared to the rest. Judging from that, dashing just 40m is not playing to his strengths. (On the other hand, maybe he could learn ...)

    I saw track guys try to play football in high school. They didn’t like getting hit, especially in the cold. On top of that, add on pads, a helmet and cleats on real grass in lousy condition, say, a little rain, some snow, the track guys suddenly aren’t as special as they were nearly-naked on Tartan- Track surfaces.

    OJ and a very few others aside, track is track, football is football and it is a rare generation where one transplants to the other.

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    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    See Bob Hayes in the 1967 NFL Championship Game.
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  137. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @FKA Max

    I don’t think 72 out of 72 can be fully explained away as a social construct.
     
    The following statistic is my personal favorite, and is practically impossible to explain away as a social construct or a cultural influence. The best about this statistic is, that whites are the ''victims'' and the ones discriminated against by UV rays in sunlight, and blacks are the privileged/favored ones/group/class. Complete liberal mind explode guaranteed.

    Melanoma is more than 20 times more common in whites than in African Americans. Overall, the lifetime risk of getting melanoma is about 2.5% (1 in 40) for whites, 0.1% (1 in 1,000) for blacks, and 0.5% (1 in 200) for Hispanics.
     
    - http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer-melanoma/detailedguide/melanoma-skin-cancer-key-statistics

    If you really want to elegantly and mischievously mess with some liberals, set a trap for them by pretending, that you don't know what melanoma is, and ask them if they have heard about the injustice that is ''White Melanoma Privilege'', which you have read about on the internet, and what their opinion is on the injustice, that only 1 in 1000 blacks gets to enjoy the privilege of having melanoma.

    When they say, that melanoma is a bad thing to have/suffer from, they basically stepped into the trap.

    To avoid to reveal, that you set them up (and them consequently getting mad at you, which could distract from the original point you were trying to make), keep pretending that you are somewhat naive/uneducated about the subject matter and finish the conversation/discussion with something like: ''Oh wow, I did not know that... , I guess whites are not as privileged as everybody always says after all.''

    If they don't know what melanoma is and go along with, it is hilarious to witness them get all worked up about ''White Melanoma Privilege'' and spread this misinformation. This further exposes their ignorance in general and of HBD in particular, and their denial or only selective embrace of evolution/adaptation theory (not a very liberal thing to do).

    This might work among blacks, but I think the vast majority of whites will know what melanoma is, know that whites are much more likely than blacks to get it, and will assume that you know and are trying to pull their leg.

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  138. FooBakka says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Yeah, I remember both of them, so it never seemed to me like blacks couldn't hack it in swimming, they just didn't do it much and had other options if they were tall and athletic: e.g., Tim Duncan had wanted to be an Olympic swimmer but making hundreds of millions in the NBA got in the way. Duncan has kind of a swimmer's personality so I bet he would have done well in swimming.

    Actually the story goes that Hurricane Hugo destroyed the only Olympic-sized swimming pool on the island he grew up on. After that, he took up basketball (he didn’t like swimming in the ocean due to fear of sharks). As an aside, he’s my favorite player for many reasons. Just compare his retirement to Kobe’s. Duncan played a huge role on a 67 win season and didn’t attend his own retirement presser, whereas Kobe’s farewell tour netted one of the all-time worst Laker’s seasons.

    * I used to be a Laker’s fan, now a Spurs fan
    ** I just took up swimming a year ago and have found it the most humbling of experiences

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  139. cybele says:

    Poor Usain. Compared to Sarah the Cheetah (5.95 100 m dash) his record looks pathetic. I am not interested in any sport in which an animal can beat a human hands down. I’d like to see Sarah do Simone Biles’ floor routine!

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  140. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    White culture produced Christophe Lemaitre who ran about 3% slower than the fastest Black (Usain Bolt) in the 2016 Olympics 100M.

    Sure seems to me that a 3% difference could be due to cultural factors.

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  141. Corvinus says:
    @Jim Christian
    Tell them the truth about race and they rat you out at school, you very well could have your children taken out of your home. Be careful.

    “Tell them the truth about race and they rat you out at school, you very well could have your children taken out of your home. Be careful.”

    What “truths” about race are you referring to?

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  142. @Jim Christian
    I saw track guys try to play football in high school. They didn't like getting hit, especially in the cold. On top of that, add on pads, a helmet and cleats on real grass in lousy condition, say, a little rain, some snow, the track guys suddenly aren't as special as they were nearly-naked on Tartan- Track surfaces.

    OJ and a very few others aside, track is track, football is football and it is a rare generation where one transplants to the other.

    See Bob Hayes in the 1967 NFL Championship Game.

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    • Replies: @Brutusale
    Bob Hayes attended Florida A & M on a football scholarship. His high school football team was Florida state champion his senior year. He knew what it was like to get hit.
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  143. Brutusale says:
    @ScarletNumber
    See Bob Hayes in the 1967 NFL Championship Game.

    Bob Hayes attended Florida A & M on a football scholarship. His high school football team was Florida state champion his senior year. He knew what it was like to get hit.

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  144. […] As Steve Sailer points out, all the men’s 100 meter finalists were black, again. In fact, 72 out of 72 finalists over the last nine Olympics have been black. “I don’t think 72 out of 72 can be fully explained away as a social […]

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