Comparing Jesse Owens and Usain Bolt
Comparing Jesse Owens and Usain Bolt – In David Epstein’s 2014 Ted Talk, he put Owens’ race time into perspective.
“Consider that Usain Bolt started by propelling himself out of blocks down a specially fabricated carpet designed to allow him to travel as fast as humanly possible.
Jesse Owens, on the other hand, ran on cinders, the ash from burnt wood, and that soft surface stole far more energy from his legs as he ran.”
As Race shows on the big screen, Owens actually dug out holes in the dirt for his feet.
“Biomechanical analysis of the speed of Owens’ joints shows that had been running on the same surface as Bolt, he wouldn’t have been 14 feet behind, he would have been within one stride,” said Epstein.
And it’s impossible to account for technological advances afforded to Bolt, like time-keeping devices, upgraded running clothes and better running shoes.