More 30 world records were broken during the London 2012 Summer Olympics. They fell in swimming, cycling, running, weightlifting and a number of other sports. But how do athletes continue to succeed, jump for a long time, run or swim faster. In as much as scientists say that athletes have reached their limits records continue to fall. In almost every sport athletes have become better since the Olympic movement started.
One reason is that more and more people than ever before have access to sports and exercise. They start at an earlier age and can compete longer in their sport. In schools more and more natural talents can be discovered. Another reason is that athletes can train harder and, as professionals, focus completely on their sport rather than rushing to a training session after their day job. As medicine improves, athletes can stay in competition for a longer time and overcome injuries faster. Most top athletes achieve their best results later on in their careers. Technology has also helped improve scores. Through video analysis, for instance, coaches can concentrate on fine-tuning an athlete’s technique. Material and equipment is always getting better.
One of the most essential factors, moreover, is the human mind. It lies in our nature to be better and faster than someone else. The will to break a barrier can release great power in your body.
So, where are the boundaries? One of the hardest questions to answer is how fast a human being can run. Some decades ago, nobody thought a person could ever run under 10 seconds in the 100 meter dash. But the record was broken at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. At the moment Usain Bolt is the fastest man on Earth at 9.58 seconds. Scientists say that 9.48 may be the absolute limit for running such a distance, but, who knows, maybe some runner will one day run in a period of 9 seconds.