One of the best parts of the Olympics is when a world record is broken, but with the 4 year gap between Olympic summer games it’s easy to forget what has happened before.  So RocketNews24 would like to offer you a quick recap of the greatest achievements from the best of the best athletes from around the world in Olympic events and beyond.

To make these statistics more accessible we compared some of them to various zoo animals and everyday objects.

100m Dash

Men – 9.58 seconds by Usain Bolt of Jamaica, 2009

Women – 10.49 seconds by Florence Joyner (Flo-Jo) of the USA, 1988

In one of the most popular racing events, a lot of scrutiny was placed on these records. Usain Bolt’s 2009 record broke his own previous world record of 9.69 seconds which was marred by complaints of showboating.  Some speculate that his Beijing time could have been as low as 9.52 seconds.

Flo-Jo’s ’88 record was haunted by allegations of drug use in addition to the effects of a strong backwind.  Despite extra-rigorous testing Mrs. Joyner’s had never tested positive for performance enhancing drugs until her death ten years later.

 1500m Race

Men – 3 minutes 26.00 seconds by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco, 1998

Women – 3 minutes 50.46 seconds by Yunxia Qu of China, 1993

A much more grueling race than the 100m, these two record holders can both run one and a half kilometers in the same time it takes you or I to make toast.

 100km Ultramarathon

Men – 6 hours 13 minutes 33 seconds by Takahiro Sunada of Japan, 1998

Women – 6 hours 33 minutes 11 seconds by Tomoe Abe of Japan, 2000

Speaking of grueling, for those that consider the old 42km marathon too easy, there are ultramarathons.  Of these excruciating races only the 100km (62 miles) is deemed a world record event by the IAAF.

 High Jump

Men – 2.45m by Javier Sotomayor of Cuba, 1993

Women – 2.09m by Stefka Kostadinova of Bulgaria, 1987

Although Mr. Sotomayor’s career was sullied by some failed drug tests, he was widely believed to be clean during his world record setting and much of his dominant career in high jump.  Meanwhile Ms. Kostadinova enjoys one of the longest running world records in track and field.  To give an idea of how high these people are jumping, Sotomayor’s record jump could clear a telephone booth, while Kostadinova’s jump could make it over at least half of the currently active NBA roster.

  Pole Vault

Men – 6.14m by Sergey Bubka of Ukraine, 1994

Women – 5.06m by Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, 2009

Mr. Bubka’s record using the pole could easily clear the tallest known giraffe in the world whereas Ms. Isinbayeva’s constant records earns her a position among Russia’s greatest athlete’s ever..

 Long Jump

Men – 8.95m by Mike Powel of the USA, 1991

Women – 7.52m by Galina Chistyakova of the USSR, 1988

These two could clear a two lane street with their records, or they could easily jump across the tallest know giraffe after it fell down.

  Snatch Lift (Men – 56kg Class/Women – 48kg Class)

Men – 138kg by Halil Mutlu of Turkey, 2001

Women – 98kg by Lian Yang of China, 2006

The snatch lift form of weightlifting involves lifting the dumbbell in one continuous movement as opposed to the clean-and-jerk’s stages.  In both these lightest weight classes you can see a lot of power in small packages. Mr. Mutlu, aka the “Little Dynamo” can lift well over two times his 150cm (4’11”) body or about as much as an adult seal whereas Ms. Yang’s record is around the weight of an adult sheep.

  Snatch Lift (Men 150kg Class/ Women – 75kg Class)

Men – 214kg by Behdad Salimi of Iran, 2011

Women – 148kg by Tatiana Kashirina of Russia, 2011

Looking at the heaviest weight classes for the snatch lift we find the men’s whopping record of 214kg comparing to the weight of an adult mountain gorilla of Bengal tiger, whereas the women’s record is around the weight of an adult giant panda.

These are only a few of the great achievements of mankind to date, but who knows? Maybe the image of a Russian girl picking up a panda or men and women jumping across the street will inspire others to reach even greater heights.

Source: MyNavi (Japanese)