Abstract

It is now common for many athletic competitions to be held at altitude well above sea level. Arguably, the most memorable was the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. Here at an altitude of 2200 m any jumping, throwing or sprint events short of 800 m were thought likely to result in improved performance due to the decreased air resistance. In one of the most memorable sporting achievements ever, Bob Beamon fulfilled the speculation and broke the long jump world record by 55 cm to record a distance of 8.90 m; a record that stood for nearly a quarter of a century. Yet at longer distance events, performances were progressively worse in Mexico City compared to lower altitudes. What was abundantly clear though, was that most of the athletes who won the endurance events had either lived most of their lives at high altitude or trained for long periods at altitude. Consequently, since the Olympic Games of Mexico City, research into the effects of altitude has exploded in the quest to optimise performance.
Original languageEnglish
TypeInvited report
Media of outputFitness Network
Number of pages2
Place of PublicationLondon
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000

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