2008 PERFORMANCES WERE UNUSUAL

Stager, J. M., Brammer, C. L., & Tanner, D. A. (2010). Identification of a bias in the natural progression of swim performance. A paper presented at the XIth International Symposium for Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming, Oslo, June 1619, 2010.

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The longitudinal progression of athletic records has been described by best fit curves which can be used to extrapolate future athletic performances. Any subsequent significant deviations from these curves would suggest compelling evidence of cataclysmic changes introduced into the sport. We evaluated recent elite swim performances to determine if bias can be identified within competitive swimming. Predictions of the 2008 Olympic swimming competition were calculated for each event and compared to actual performances. Results indicate a bias existed during the 2008 Olympic Games (and not in earlier games) such that performances were faster than predicted. Speculation of the causes of this observation include but are not limited to new swim suits, ergogenic aids, better training, and improved techniques.

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