Comparing Usain Bolt’s Record to 116 Years of Olympic History

Usain Bolt set an Olympic record last night after he ran the 100 meter race in 9.63 seconds. The New York Times has a brilliant interactive showing how Bolt’s performance compares to other Olympic runners in history:

Usain Bolt interactive shows how his 9.63 seconds in the 100m dash compares historically. Click on the photo to watch the video.

Based on the athletes’ average speeds, if every Olympic medalist raced each other, Usain Bolt (the London version) would win, with a wide distribution of Olympians behind him. Jesse Owens raced the 100m in 10.3 seconds in 1934. Carl Lewis did it in 9.92 seconds in 1988.

The question is: when will we see a sub-9.5 second time for the 100m sprint? And will we ever see a sub-9 second time in the 100 meter race?

Update (8/8/12): You can watch the video below:

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Note: while you’re at it, you should also check out the NYT interactives on the 100 meter swim and the long jump.

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