if the recent USA swimming call me maybe video or one of ryan lochte's many recent photoshoots prove anything, it's that olympians are of a different breed (well, duh). but just how different? the infographic below compares your average olympian against your average man or woman (disclaimer: i work for the company that produced the following infographic -- but was not involved in the creation of it). on average, olympians are 3-4 inches taller and 20(ish) pounds lighter than your average joe:
the stats above have a few flaws (e.g. the above includes everyone from 5'2 100lb marathoner desiree davila to 260lb, 6'4 hammer thrower alfred kruger) but pretty fascinating stats about average heart rate, speed and reaction times versus the elites. for example, i had no idea that the men could reach up to 23 mph in the 100m dash.
what i would love to see (which would, obviously, be far beyond the scope and purpose of the original infographic) is a representation of averages among athletes for all of the modern olympic sports. if any of you have read matt fitzgerald's racing weight, the breakdown of ideal body type by endurance athletes (e.g. swimmer vs runner vs rower) comes to mind. what does the average gymnast versus decathlete versus volleyball player versus marathoner look like? who are the olympic anomalies who make it to the world stage despite not fitting the sport's traditional mold (smaller/stocky Pre in the 5k comes to mind)?