The Human Body & The Olympics

I’ve been watching some of the Olympic events - figure skating, skiing and snowboarding. I am in amazement at what these athletes can do. If you watch clips of past Olympics you will see how much more the current athletes are doing. I can’t even imagine what they’ll be doing in the next 5-10 years. I know one of the reasons they have made so much advancement is that the equipment they use is much better than what was available in the past. But the leaps and jumps and spins they are doing are not just because of better equipment. So do you think there is a limit to what the human body can do?


But that should be obvious even without studies–if there was “no limit”, eventually you would have people running the 4-second mile and lifting 20 tons.

That’s a bold statement, esp using such a sketchy cite. However, if you’d linked directly to the SA reference, you’d see the article notes that the limits can be stretched by doping. So, not exactly a clear-cut, “Yes”.

Also, the OP asks if there’s a limit, but they didn’t give a time reference. Who can say what we’ll be able to do in 200, 2000 or 20,000 years?

No, it isn’t. That there are physiological limits to what the human body can do is not a bold statement. It is a statement of the bloody obvious.


Are these cites less “sketchy”?

I really don’t have that much invested in the topic to go any further. I just wanted to point out your sketchy cite. To be somewhat respectable to the OP (and you), I attempted to give a little more of an answer than just, “shitty cite”.

Thank you - didn’t think my question would raise such ire. Just a fun thing to ponder.

Oops… I didn’t mean to get all ire-y, mon. And I thought your topic was a worthwhile ponder, too.

I really didn’t feel any angst with my posts, but I understand how it could have been taken that way. Sorry if I damaged your thread. And I apologize to **Darren **for my tone.

Not you!

What we’re seeing today is probably the last few bits of performance that could possibly be squeezed out of an unmodified human body. We may still see tiny tenths-of-a-second shaved off some run times, or a few more centimeters in jumps, or maybe a quint jump in ice skating, but that will be it.

Olympians are/were probably improving from A to A+ - going from, say, 94% of potential peak performance to 97%. Soon it will hit 100% and that will be it. Hard to see any sprinter ever running an 8-second hundred-meter dash.

Take the facts I present as “ire” if you wish–they will remain facts. Or do you really think that there is “no limit”, and we will have–for instance–the 3 minute mile, the 3 second mile, and the 3 nanosecond mile? And that there will be weight lifters who can lift a hundred million tons? If you don’t believe that, you believe that there is a limit to what the human body can do.

I remember, in my lifetime, when Roger Bannister achieved the impossible four minute mile. Now it is being done by high school runners.

However, it would be very interesting to see the times of a current speed skater, wearing a pair of 1928 skates and 1928 pantaloons on un-zambonied ice.

Some events like figure skating and gymnastics rise along with the time available for practice. There will always be only 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year in the youthful lifetime of the performer… Sonja Henie was a terrible figure skater by today’s standards, and probably wouldn’t even get a job selling popcorn at an Ice Capades event.

1928 pantaloons!! That made me laugh out loud.

I watched a clip of Sonja skating, it was awful.

I guess I asked the wrong question - obviously the human body does have limits. I just wonder what the athletes will achieve in the next 5-10 years or more. Will there be no more records broken?