Who's faster?

Ryan Lochte or Michael Phelps?

Background Information

In the 2012 London Olympics, Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps swam in the same race, the 400 meter individual medley. Lochte won the gold medal with a time of 4:05.18. Phelps came in fourth place with a time of 4:09.28.


Ryan Lochte

Weight: 185 lbs

Height: 6 feet 2 inches

Age: 27

Date of Birth: August 3, 1984


Lochte's Velocity

The overall average velocity for Lochte was 1.63 m/s. But for each individual strokes used in this event his velocities were:


Butterfly: 1.82 m/s

Back: 1.62 m/s

Breast: 1.44 m/s

Free: 1.71 m/s


All of these velocities were found by using the formula of v = x/t for v being velocity, x being distance, and t being time.


His final velocity would be 3.26 m/s. I figured this velocity by using the formula Vf = 2v.

Lochte's Acceleration

The formula for acceleration is a = (Vo + Vf)/t. Vo stand for original velocity which would be zero since he isn't moving and Vf stands for final velocity which is 1.63 m/s. So his acceleration would be .0066 m/s2 (seconds squared).

Michael Phelps

Weight: 185 lbs

Height: 6 feet 4 inches

Age: 27

Date of Birth: June 30, 1985


Phelps' Velocity

The overall average velocity for Phelps was about 1.6 m/s. Michael Phelps time are approximated because they didn't seem to be posted on the internet. But for the individual strokes his velocities were:


Butterfly: 1.81 m/s

Back: 1.56 m/s

Breast: 1.49 m/s

Free: 1.59 m/s


All of these velocities were found by using the formula of v = x/t for v being velocity, x being distance, and t being time.


The final velocity for him would be 3.2 m/s. I figured this out by using the formula of Vf = 2v.

Phelps' Acceleration

The formula for acceleration is a = (Vo + Vf)/t. Vo stand for original velocity which would be zero since he isn't moving and Vf stands for final velocity which is 1.6 m/s. So his acceleration would be .0064 m/s2 (seconds squared).


Conclusion

In conclusion Ryan Lochte was the faster swimmer in this particular event. Only by a mere 4.1 seconds. But in the past Michael Phelps has been faster so I think the results depend on the kind of day the swimmers are having.


*Lochte's times are exact but Phelps' times are approximated.*

Key

t = time

v = velocity

x = distance

a = acceleration

Vo = original velocity

Vf = final velocity