Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger?
I know people say things like “this video will change the way you look at blahbiddy blah blah” all the time, but this TED talk by David Epstein, former Sports Illustrated writer and author of The Sports Gene, will change the way you look at sports.
As a teaser, I’m just going to say what the HELL is up with Michael Phelps’ torso?!
EDIT: Someone wrote in to ask why David Epstein didn’t discuss any female athletes in his talk, save for a generic photo of a rhythmic gymnast? I took to Twitter to ask him why, and here’s what he had to say:
@jtotheizzoe great Q Joe.One reason:was asked to talk records progression, and many women’s records aren’t improving for reasons in book— David Epstein (@DavidEpstein) May 1, 2014
@jtotheizzoe 2)because women’s opps were limited for most of sport history,there simply isn’t as good/long data for big bang of bodytypes— David Epstein (@DavidEpstein) May 1, 2014
I think he could have easily included one sentence to explain that in the talk, and he admitted as much. Epstein does include lots of analysis of female athletes in his book The Sports Gene, and his honest answers make him seem like a stand-up guy.