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The Olympics Are Over and Here Are the Best Infographics

While athletes were setting world records, designers and journalists were building graphics and games to track them. Here are the best ones.

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In the past few weeks, the Olympics had many glued to their screens. Fans followed their favorite events and athletes as they ran, swam,  jumped, threw, rode, dove and gave awkward interviews. But they didn’t just follow them through footage – they also tracked their data. This year, the news teams at almost every major news organization put together interactive graphics using data from the Olympics. Here are some of the best ones.

History

The New York Times did some animations comparing today’s winners to every Olympian in that event’s history. The result? Today’s athletes are way faster. Here’s the 100m dash broken down. They did the 100m freestyle as well. Slate did something similar, pitting old sprinters as far back is 1986 against Usain Bolt, and the women’s 1928 winner against Selly-Ann Fraser, this year’s gold medalist from Jamaica.

Bodies

We love us some Olympic bodies. Last week, Smart News showed you this NPR graphic comparing bodies through history. The BBC also lets you compare which athlete you’re most like physically. And if you want to know what those athletes eat, the Telegraph has a breakdown of Team GB’s diet.

Records and Medals

This year, a grand total of 25 Olympic records were set. You could check whether a new one was broken daily thank to The Guardian’s data team. They also built a graphic of world records set in Olympic events. If you want to know who’s winning in the medal count, you could consult this map. Or you could head to the Guardian where they’ve broken the medal count down for you.

Games

If sitting idly at your computer isn’t enough for you, a lot of places let you pit your computer skills against the Olympian. The Google Doodle had us hurdling, canoeing and playing basketball. The Guardian also built an arcade style racing game. If you’d rather predict who will win than play yourself, the Huffington Post let you pit your predictions against your friends.

And, for the curmudgeons out there, there’s this: Are the Olympics Over Yet?

Did we miss any?

 

More at Smithsonian.com:
Winter Olympics History
How Olympic Bodies Have Changed Over Time

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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