Team GB's most successful games in over a century. Congratulations to USA on winning with 46 golds.
There were 44 world records and 117 Olympic records during the 16 days of London 2012.
To Grenada, on winning their first gold medal. Kirani James won the Men’s 400m. Good job, guys!
On the track, the difference between a new record and an average time, can often come down to fractions of a second.
In 1948, the track itself was made out of coal ash, whereas it's now a highly scientific all-weather polyurethane, designed to rapidly return as much of the force as possible that comes from an athlete pushing down on the ground.
High jumpers used to dive over the bar legs first and often into sand or saw dust. Now foam mats and a run up is used and in the 1960s the “Fosbury Flop” saw Dick Fosbury win a Gold medal at the 1968 Games but not snatch the Olympic Record. The rate of improvement has however slowed with the last World record being broken in 1993 for Men and 1987 for Women.
Some argue that high jump records are related to human height which in the US has gone from just over 5'8" in 1960 to 5'9½" in 2002 for males aged 24–70, while the average height of a woman the same age increased from slightly over 5'3" 1960 to 5'4" in 2002.
The controversy over swimsuits during the 2008 Summer games highlighted how technology could dramatically improve swimming times. Beyond the technology of the clothing and an overall increase in foot size it's really the technology analysing the swimmers that's causing the constant improvements in swimming times.
The most accomplished swimmer of all time, Michael Phelps, has size 14 feet and big hands. These attributes help displace more water with each stroke, propelling swimmers to new records.
Technology also plays a significant part in creating records by analysing each aspect of the stroke and end turns to allow minute, but critical, improvements to be made.
The last time Team GB did so well at the Olympics, it was a completely different era. There were sports not yet introduced, and events still around that are long gone. Here are some of the best ones:
Sculpturing This event had three separate formats: medals, reliefs, statues, and mixed sculpturing, which were all Olympic events until 1948, when it was discontinued.
Painting Until 1928, this was a single Olympic event, when it was split into drawings, graphic arts, and paintings. 1948 introduced a new event, Etchings, where the subject was “water”.
Town planning Town planning had a deceptive name: the goal of this event was to draw up a wireframe for a sport-themed venue, which was then judged and scored, although this proved to be biased.
Music When this event first started in the Stockholm 1912 Games, there was only one participant, who surprisingly went on to win the gold medal. In 1932, there was only one contestant, Josef Suk, who won a silver.
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