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Re: Olympic data

Regarding John's point:

I'm not so sure. I think it is fair to suggest that the world
record should belong NOT to the person who "is the fastest"
(whatever that could possibly mean!), but to the person who caused
the least time (need I say "in the frame of the track"?) to
elapse between the event "firing of the starting gun" and the event
"some part of the body crossing a vertical plane at the finish
line." Moreover, I think this time can be established VERY

Probably the worst part of this definition is that the circumstances
in different races--and even different lanes in the SAME race--can't
be controlled well enough. In particular, one would like a least to
believe that the distance between "the starting block" (whatever
THAT means) and the finish line is reproducible to within something
like [(.01 s)/(10 s)] * 100 m = 10 cm.

And then there is the issue of the time difference for the sound of
the report of the starting gun to arrive at each of the starting
locations of the ears of the various runners. When the runners are
initially spread out all over the track this could be a significant
difference when the speed of sound is only some 340 m/s (0.01 s for
every 11 ft of difference in distance in the runners' starting
positions to the starting gun).

David Bowman