It seems like world records are always being broken these days. Are we really getting faster, stronger and better than the generations that came before us? While swimmers seem to be leading the path to the world of the ultra-athletes, many other sports are also seeing regular record breaking performances.
In fact, there were 30 world records broken at the 2012 London Summer Olympics in the swimming, running, cycling and weightlifting categories. At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, a whopping 21 events of the total 32 swimming events had world records broken.
What’s Different about Swimming?
Swimming is definitely leading the trend of record breaking and there are a few reasons for that. Of course, it’s hard to pin it down to one exact reason but many experts have solid theories. One unique thing about swimming is that small changes can make a major impact and that’s why many believe that it is so common to break world records. A minor alteration in position and technique can smash through once-impressive records.
A Boost in Training
The world of sports has changed dramatically over the generations. While the majority of athletes used to train in their spare time and started relatively late in life, there are countless full-time athletes who are now learning their sports before they even learn their languages!
With an upsurge in world class training schools, getting access to the best coaches from around the globe is possible for many people. Bringing in more students also allows coaches to spot kids with exceptional talent and bring them into a more rigorous training programmes.
Popularity of Swimming
Another thing that has made training better is the sheer upsurge in swimming’s popularity. With big names like Michael Phelps making swimming cooler than ever, young kids are increasing hopping in the pool and staying there for years. Rather than just splashing around in the water, these kids are on the hunt for the gold. With so many kids getting involved in swim training, the pool of talent is massive! This means that swimmers start young and, in general, more people have higher levels of swimming skills.
Massive Improves in Technology
The right swimsuit can change everything in the pool. The world of swim gear is always moving forward and has major impacts on world records. While non-textile materials and full length suits have been banned, there have been countless other improvements to swimwear that creates less drag and reduces distraction. Goggles and caps have also leaped forward in the past few years. With companies like Speedo and Arena constantly improving the engineering and construction of their swim gear, the future is looking brighter every day.
Turbulence is a major factor in swimming. With lane divider improvements that have been able to lessen turbulence and pool sides that don’t push as many waves, there has been a marked reduction in the amount of turbulence that swimmers are working against, which has helped many records be broken.
With all of these improvements, we are never far from breaking another record. And, who knows, maybe you will be the next swimmer to smash an old record!