"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."
Beautiful graphics at the link. Why is it possible for the fastest person to be faster than the fastest person a century ago? I think that each man trained with the goal of winning in mind, and each knew how fast he needed to be to win. If Archie Hahn, the "Milwaukee Meteor," could win the 100-meter in 11 seconds, what could motivate him to shave his time down to 10 seconds?