Why is Walking An olympic Sport

Walking races seem absurd at first glance. There are grown adults in there, and they’re walking as quickly as they can without having the pace of someone who’s trying to catch a bus. Their shiny, ungainly hips make them look like they’re wearing baked beans on the inside.

Why is Walking An olympic Sport

Too often, race walking is included in the group of dubious Olympic events that also includes trampolining and dressage. Race walking, according to Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe, is “like holding a battle to see who can speak the loudest” according to longtime NBC analyst Bob Costas in the year 2000.

Why is Walking An olympic Sport

The practise of pedestrianism, in which Victorians would bet on gentlemen travelling across Britain, is credited with creating the sport.

Competitions between walkers soon gained popularity in the United States, where they drew large crowds. in which contestants would walk for six days straight in front of packed houses at venues like Madison Square Garden. Sundays were off-limits for play, so they were limited to strolling Monday through Saturday.

Race walking, which had become increasingly popular by the end of the nineteenth century, was included in the Olympic programme for the first time at the 1908 Games in London. No six-day extravaganzas were presented to the crowds; instead, shorter and more civilised distances of 3,500 metres and 10 miles were offered.

These Days, People Can Compete in Distances of Either 20 or 50 Kilometres.

In 1956, the former was introduced, and in 1932, the latter. In 1992, the first women’s competition was held in Barcelona.

Both feet must be on the ground at all times (this distinguishes walking from running), and the supporting leg must straighten upon contact with the ground and remain thus until the body has passed over it.

It’s for this reason that race walkers move their hips like Mick Jagger: rule breakers are automatically disqualified.

And being ruled ineligible happens rather often. Just 100 metres from the finish line of the 20-kilometer event at the 2000 Olympics, Australian race walker Jane Saville was harshly disqualified for using an unlawful method. While being congratulated by his president over the phone, Mexican walker Bernard Segura had his 20-kilometer gold medal removed 11 minutes after crossing the line at the same games.

It’s Clear That Race Walking is a Serious Sport, With Competitors Who are Far More Athletic Than They Look.

Matej Toth’s 3.40:58 was the winning mark for men in the 50-kilometer race at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The average speed was 8.45 mph throughout the entire 31-mile distance. between two and four miles per hour is the typical walking speed.

Walking world record holder Yohann Diniz of France fainted in Rio after pushing himself too hard and had humiliating bathroom problems.

Zhen Wang of China ran a 20-kilometer race in 1 hour, 19 minutes, and 14 seconds to win the men’s division. An African runner named Zersenay Tadese ran a time of 55 minutes and 21 seconds over the same distance in 2010.