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Olympics 2008

Olympic Sports

August 16, 2008

A History of World Records

The charts below show how world records in Summer Olympic events have fallen (or risen) in the past century. Scales have been adjusted so percentage changes are comparable, and, to show how certain records compare to each other, speed is sometimes plotted instead of time.

Note: Changes in regulations have affected some records. For example, the record times for a number of swimming events rose in the middle of the century after event definitions changed.

Sources: International Olympic Committee; Stats LLC

Gabriel Dance, Amanda Cox and Matt Ericson