Sunday, 10 August 2008


Olympic thoughts.

What the official meets test is not really athletic ability, or not only (and not primarily) that: rather they test the ability of any given athlete to peform on a day and in an environment specified by authority. Originally this was to ensure the legality of the timekeeping and so on; but presumably we will soon reach a day when timekeeping technology is accurate enough, ubiquitous enough and can be made secure enough to measure all athletes all the time. Sprinters have run 100m faster than 9.72 seconds; they just haven't done it in official environments. But, speaking personally, if somebody runs 100m in 8.99 seconds I don't care whether it happens in an official meet or in an unofficial practice session ... I'd just like to know about it.

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