Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Doesn't make sense, unless the world is even more corrupt than you'd think.

From City AM:

Robert Johnson, who edits the running site, went so far as to say that those who have benefited from [Nike's apparently excellent running] shoes in previous competitive races have been guilty of "mechanical doping".

And non-Nike athletes have petitioned World Athletics as to their fairness. Responding at the beginning of February, the sports body has set a maximum sole thickness of 40mm on trainers for the first time ever.

Nike's new shoe will, somewhat conveniently, have a sole thickness of 39.5 mm. That means it can be legally worn at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by Nike-sponsored athletes.

While rival manufacturers will look to rush out their own versions, it seems possible that, with only a few months to go until the Olympic games begin on 24 July, Nike's middle and long-distance athletes will hit the start line in Tokyo with a serious advantage.

I thought that the Olympics was a competition between different countries, not a competition between different manufacturers (like Formula One motor racing)? If I'm still right on this, why are the "non-Nike athletes" moaning? Why don't they just pop out and buy some Nike running shoes?

The only conceivable reason why not is that the Olympics won't let you use a manufacturer's equipment without the manufacturer's express permission. I accept that the Olympics is as corrupt as Hell, but that would be setting a new low.
Update - Staffordshire Man suggests that the non-Nike athletes can't use Nike shoes because they have sold their souls to a rival manufacturer/sponsor, in which case it serves them right IMHO.


Staffordshire man said...

I guess it's simpler. Either you're with Nike or you have a deal with a rival in which case you bet on the wrong horse and are stuck with it.

Mark Wadsworth said...

SM, well spotted. I will update the post.

ThomasBHall said...

Yes- clearly they will have deals to wear other shoes through sponsorship deals- so serves them right. On the otherhand, if having thicker soles is an advantage, what is to stop other manufacturers doing the same?

Staffordshire man said...

"Sold their soles"

Lola said...

I saw some research that indicated that we are designed for 'running shoes'. That is we'd be better running barefoot....just saying...

Mark Wadsworth said...

SM, lol.

L, Zola Budd did.

Bayard said...

L, that's fairly simple evolution, isn't it? There's a hell of a lot of natural selection pressure to be able to run fast if you are a hunter gatherer.

Horses have the same speed optimisation in their evolution.

Blissex2 said...

«a hell of a lot of natural selection pressure to be able to run fast if you are a hunter gatherer»

The theory about that is that humans are "team cursorial team hunters" where the critical ability of humans is the ability to sustain an average speed for long periods (and I guess having sweat glands helps a lot): most valuable prey are either slower for a very long period, and they get eventually reached even if they have a head start, or faster for short periods of time, and eventually they get reached because they tire. The latter applies in particular to "big mammals", for subduing or killing them a team is needed. The theory is in essence that humans are optimized to "bring home the bacon" (literally) by a social organization designed for longish team pursuits of running large tasty mammals. Thus the "team oriented" way of human behaviour, the social instincts shaped by hundreds of thousands of years of longish team pursuits of goals. planning etc.

The theory seems mostly correct to me but wrong in one vital detail, which I guess most people have not thought about because of sexism ("human" = "male"): it applies only to male humans. Female humans have (nearly) never been team cursorial hunters, and (broadly speaking) they don't have social instincts optimized in the same was as male humans, but on a completely different social basis, thus the long lasting situation of separate male and female social hierarchies that mostly touch only within a family (and in many traditional cultures that does not go much further than intercourse and shared cost of rearing children).

Robin Smith said...

Remember Zola Budd? winning barefoot?