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Old 2021-07-28, 05:13   #1
MooMoo2
 
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Default Could you beat an Olympic gold medalist at his/her best event?

I was thinking about the old nurture vs. nature debate that seems to come up each time the Olympics are held (yes, you need both to succeed) and thought of the following scenario:

An Olympic gold medalist in an individual event is strapped to a bed for six months after the medal ceremony. He/she is fed the Western pattern diet (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_pattern_diet) and isn't allowed to get up aside from brief trips to the restroom.

During that time, you're given a good coach and the body you had in your 20s. After those six months are up, you'll compete against that person in the event that he/she won an Olympic gold medal in. The winner gets $100,000. Assume that you'll be matched appropriately as far as gender and weight class are concerned.

Do you think you'd be able to pull off a victory? I think that I could do it if the sport was heavily fitness based (such as long distance swimming and running), but not if the sport was heavily skill based (such as archery and figure skating). If it were primarily strength/power based like weightlifting and sprinting, it would probably be a tossup.
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Old 2021-07-28, 06:03   #2
ATH
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Reminds me of Miguel Induráin who won Tour de France 5 times 1991-1995. I remember they said he was so trained, that if he stopped training completely from one day to the next, by being strapped to a bed for example, he would die.

So some of your Olympic gold medalists might not survive those 6 months.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguel_Indur%C3%A1in

Quote:
Physiology
According to the University of Ferrara, which conducted tests on Induráin, his strength came from his body's superior physiology. His blood carried 7 litres of oxygen around his body per minute, compared to 3–4 litres for an ordinary person and 5–6 litres for fellow riders. His cardiac output was 50 litres a minute; a fit amateur cyclist's is about 25 litres. Induráin's lung capacity was 7.8 litres, compared to an average of 6 litres.[4] His resting pulse was as low as 28 BPM, compared to an average 60–72 bpm, which meant his heart would be less strained in the tough mountain stages.[34][17] His VO2 max was 88 ml/kg/min; in comparison, Lance Armstrong's was 83.8 ml/kg/min and Greg LeMond's was more than 92 ml/kg/min.[35]
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Old 2021-07-28, 06:25   #3
LaurV
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I don't think I would need to train anything to get those money. Just live my life as I do now for 6 months, than I will take my belly and run ahead of him/her. Assuming the "event" he won was a running race or something involving physical strength or abilities, and not playing chess or shooting clay plates, to which he still could beat me after six month in bed, haha. That's because after laying in bed for so long time, he won't be able to move much. There were some studies done in the past, and some documentaries made from/with them, but I don't recall exactly right now, however, the fact is that if you don't move much, you will lose quite fast the ability to move.


edit: ha! I wrote mainly the same thing you (OP) wrote, without reading last paragraph of your post, which I read it after.

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2021-07-28 at 06:30
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Old 2021-07-28, 14:14   #4
masser
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooMoo2 View Post
I thought of the following scenario:

An Olympic gold medalist in an individual event is strapped to a bed for six months after the medal ceremony. He/she is fed the Western pattern diet (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_pattern_diet) and isn't allowed to get up aside from brief trips to the restroom.

During that time, you're given a good coach and the body you had in your 20s. After those six months are up, you'll compete against that person in the event that he/she won an Olympic gold medal in. Assume that you'll be matched appropriately as far as gender and weight class are concerned.

Do you think you'd be able to pull off a victory?
Why do you need such crazy scenarios? Given the thread title, my mind went to Olympic athletes in retirement. With or maybe without training, could I defeat a 90 year-old former gold medalist in 200 m freestyle? How about a 70 year-old former gold medalist?

I bet there are stories all the time about former Olympians showing up at races and winning first in their age bracket and in the top 10 for the overall event. Then the winners can boast to their friends: "Yeah, I beat so-and-so in the 1500m... of course, he was 65 and I was 28, so it doesn't really count, but he was a good sport, fun guy and here are the selfies we took after."
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Old 2021-07-28, 14:49   #5
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"Could you beat an Olympic gold medalist at his/her best event?"
Sure, and don't even need the 6 month prep.My teammates tackle him and hold him down, and I beat him with a hockey stick.Works great, until his teammates arrive. And officials, and event security.
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Old 2021-07-28, 15:07   #6
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I have been put in artificial sleep for 3 days and told to not move from my bed for the rest of the week (while in the ICU). my legs were weak for 48 H after I could move. So, I can't imagine what 6 month would do, even for an olympic athlete.

Last fiddled with by firejuggler on 2021-07-28 at 15:08
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Old 2021-07-28, 15:40   #7
MooMoo2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATH View Post
Reminds me of Miguel Induráin who won Tour de France 5 times 1991-1995. I remember they said he was so trained, that if he stopped training completely from one day to the next, by being strapped to a bed for example, he would die.
Interesting. I wonder what would happen if him and an ordinary guy got into a non-fatal accident. Both of them have nearly identical injuries that force them to be sedentary for a few weeks. Would he die, while the other person would survive?
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Old 2021-07-28, 16:18   #8
retina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firejuggler View Post
I have been put in artificial sleep for 3 days and told to not move from my bed for the rest of the week (while in the ICU). my legs were weak for 48 H after I could move. So, I can't imagine what 6 month would do, even for an olympic athlete.
Yeah, long term rest is devastating to the body. It's the same for astronauts, they come back down to Earth and can't even stand up.

I can't imagine how people would survive landing on Mars with no one else already there to nurse them back into an active condition.

Use it or lose it.
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Old 2021-07-28, 16:39   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriesel View Post
"Could you beat an Olympic gold medalist at his/her best event?"
Sure, and don't even need the 6 month prep.My teammates tackle him and hold him down, and I beat him with a hockey stick.Works great, until his teammates arrive. And officials, and event security.
This is "The Tonya Harding" way to win.
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Old 2021-07-28, 17:26   #10
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I could maybe beat a gold medalist from the paralympics.
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Old 2021-07-28, 17:32   #11
LaurV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriesel View Post
"Could you beat an Olympic gold medalist at his/her best event?"
Sure, and don't even need the 6 month prep.My teammates tackle him and hold him down, and I beat him with a hockey stick.Works great, until his teammates arrive. And officials, and event security.
Didn't think of that. But it could work for sure. You gave me a good laugh. Well done. I go to bed now.
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