Now that the Olympics are done, we can reflect on the big moments. (Usain Bolt's lightspeed 100-meter win and Michael Phelps's sunken-pirate-ship levels of gold come to mind.) But if we pull the historical camera back even farther, we can look at the big picture, seeing exactly how much of a blip on the timeline this year made. With that in mind, we've created an interactive graph that shows every gold-medal time for several events and annotations for years that were outliers, or that were just especially interesting (including tech like the Speedo LZR suit, or less-known developments like the official roughening of the javelin to handicap the competitors). It's a look at how technology, smarts, and super-human ability brought the Games to where they are now.
Hover over the bars to see the winning times for each year. To highlight an annotated year, hover over the text below each graph.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.