Modern Olympic Athletes Are Bigger, Stronger And Far, Far More Specialized

Over time, Olympians are changing shape to suit their sport

How Olympians Have Changed (1924-2014)

There was a time, not so long ago, when Olympic athletes of all types, from runners to jumpers to skiers and shooters looked much more alike. A fit “average” person, says ASAP Science in the video above, was the ideal form, Jacks- and Jills-of-all-trades ready to conquer both track and field.

Over time, Olympic-caliber athletes have grown more specialized—basketball players are getting taller, ski jumpers thinner, weightlifters bulkier. At MyModernMet, they've got a side-by-side comparison, a series of photos of Olympic athletes of all shapes and sizes photographed by Howard Schatz.

The video above is just one of a series, a partnership between ASAP Science and the Canadian Broadcasting Company, exploring the science behind the Olympics.

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