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The Physics of the World's Fastest Man 137

cylonlover writes "The Honourable Usain Bolt (Order of Jamaica; Commander of the Order of Distinction) is often held out as the world's fastest man. The reigning Olympic champion in the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints as well as a member of the Olympic champion 4x100 meter relay team, Bolt is the first man to win six Olympic gold medals in sprinting, and is a five-time world champion. Long and lanky at 6 ft 5 in (2 m) tall, he towers above the (mostly) much shorter sprinters. How has he managed to come out on top for the past five years? A team of physicists from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) has analyzed Bolt's past performances in the 100-meter sprint to understand what makes a record-breaker."
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The Physics of the World's Fastest Man

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  • by Vegan Cyclist ( 1650427 ) on Friday July 26, 2013 @03:15PM (#44393677) Homepage
    Well, keep in mind there are also athletes who want to push their natural limits without PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs) - this doesn't really leave them many opportunities (i'm from the cycling world, and have read heartbreaking stories of racers who opted out of doping to the ruin of their career, while dopers profit...)

    There are other factors too, such as 'safe' limits for doping products. Everyone's going to want to push it even more of course... I'm in favor of clean sport.
  • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Friday July 26, 2013 @04:39PM (#44394591)

    I certainly wouldn't be shocked if Bolt was doping but he's the one champion from the traditionally dirty sports where I actually think he could be clean.

    Basically Bolt is a freak, he has a physique that is obviously different from other elite sprinters. If his a-typical physiology is inferior I don't see how he could dope enough to achieve the dominance he has. And if his physiology is superior then we don't understand the scale of the physiological advantage well enough to know that he'd need drugs.

    It's like when the Kenyans showed up on the distance running scene. If there were drugs the Europeans were taking they didn't make a difference, the Kenyans had an entirely different body type which gave them an advantage that drugs couldn't match.

  • by Kielistic ( 1273232 ) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @12:26AM (#44397267)

    You don't see any problem with people killing themselves because they were told their entire life by their coach, parents etc. that winning X was the single most important thing?

    You don't like professional sports (not that I blame you) but some people do. Should they have to throw their lives away just so they can participate?

    To make it a little more personal to you what if the government decided it was okay for corporations to choose their employees based on their willingness to take performance enhancing drugs? And I'm not talking about caffeine here; I mean the real powerful ones that are illegal. A lot of corporations won't care that they turn you into a slobbering vegetable in 5 years- they got what they wanted from you. But in those 5 years many other companies have had to introduce similar rules to stay competitive. Now you can't get into your chosen profession unless you are willing to take the very real risk that you will ruin your life doing it. Is that fair?

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