Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mutants on Display

So I have yet to find that Olympic event I might take an interest in, but the truth is you can't turn on the TV or read any news web sites without being blasted with the latest from the competition. And it has made me wonder this:

What's with all the World Records getting beaten?

It seems like this happens every Olympics, from what I can remember, just record after record getting smashed. Now, part of that I know comes with the advent of new technologies. For example, those weird Borg-looking suits all the swimmers wear now are scientifically engineered for speed and all. But still, equipment couldn't tell the whole tale. (If it did, wouldn't that beg the question, "why are performance enhancing drugs so bad when other performance enhancing technologies are acceptable?")

It seems more likely that the world is just breeding mutants.

Every four years, the new crop of mutations mixes together with the older mutations that aren't quite past their prime yet, in a worldwide mutant-off. Okay, so that sounds more than a bit goofy, but I think there might actually be statistical merit to the notion.

There are more people in the world now than there have ever been before. And that's true every time the Olympics roll around. More people being born, more chances that some random one is going to have some freak athletic skills that no one before has ever possessed. Four years from now, even more people, even more throws of the genetic dice with the possibility of coming up Seven.

Think about that when you're watching today's contenders perform seemingly impossible feats and setting unimaginable records. Eight, twelve years from now, these records will be ancient history that few but the sports stats geeks will remember.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

they should make "speed of light" an Olympic sport. so we could break it and get that whole space-travel thing going already.

and Phelps is Aquaman

the mole

singleh said...

Yeah, Phelps kinda is a mutant. They did a quick summary of his stats last night and showed how his proportions are not normal for his height and oddly the perfect fit for swimming (double jointed, bigger upper body relative to lower body for his height, etc.)