Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger?


When you look at sporting achievements over the last decades, it seems like humans have gotten faster, better and stronger in nearly every way. Yet as David Epstein points out in this delightfully counter-intuitive talk, we might want to lay off the self-congratulation. Many factors are at play in shattering athletic records, and the development of our natural talents is just one of them.

As an ultra-runner, I find that we are on the outside edge when it comes to media, publicity and to smaller extent, sports science and research. But while watching this interesting video by David Epstein, I was pleasantly surprised to see Kilian Jornet getting mentioned for his Matterhorn Record. A feat while extraordinary, wasn’t due to Kilian being a unique physiological specimen; he is still very much like us, only way stronger.

Do check out the TED citations for informative links that are mentioned by David Epstein. Ian Corless also has an excellent write up of the video here.

 

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