Compare a dive from the 1932 Olympics to this year’s Olympics and you’ll be astounded at the difference. Dives use to be swift and simple—and now, a dive with less than three flips bores us! The track and field winner in 1904 finished in 3:28:53, and in 2012 the winner finished in 2:08:01. That’s over an hour and 20 minutes difference! There’s no doubt that Olympians today are better than they were decades ago. Did humans become better, faster and more superior? We believe the other things that changed over the years are what effecting these advancements!
There’s no doubt that professional athletes are getting paid more today, with sponsorships and being brand ambassadors and all. Most past athletes had full-time jobs outside of their sport. Today, they are full-time athletes that don’t need second jobs, which mean they can practice more, which naturally make them better!
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More counties and more people are participating in the Olympics today. For instance, Kenya, which has some of the world’s fastest runners, just started participating in the Olympics in 1956!
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Athletes are getting better because training is becoming more specific thanks to technological advancements. Now there are gadgets that allow athletes to track their performance and progress. Today’s clothes, swimsuits and gears also better designed. For instance, lighter shoes are helping athletes be faster.
Just like elite basketball players have been getting taller and taller over the years, physical characteristics that help you succeed in other sports are getting more specific. For instance, elite gymnasts are getting shorter. 30 years ago, the average height of elite female gymnast was 160 cm. Today, their average height is 144 cm!