400m Freestyle

400 meters?!

Swimming, Swimming, Swimming!

If neither 100m nor 200m were enough, there's the 400m freestyle. This popular type of summer olympic event was started in 1896, joined by women in 1912. Swimming used to be categorized as freestyle, until backstroke, breaststroke, and finally, the butterfly were introduced. The world record holder for this event is Paul Biedermann, 2009, for the World Championships. For women, the world record holder is Frederica Pellegrini, being the first woman to swim under the 4 minute mark in 2009, at the World Championships.

Asking the Right Questions

Looking at the Olympics with modern minds, we have come to ask the age-old question, "Women vs Men?" Here we are to study if the women of today have caught up, or even if they are ahead! The following calculations have been made using data of the winning times from the Olympics:

The Gold Medalist Times for Male and Female in the Past 40 Years

The Scatter Plot

The magenta dots are women's time and the blue X's are men's time.

Linear Regression

The colored trend lines correspond with the data points. The red line is women's and the blue line is men's.

Cue the Drumroll...

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The picture above is the intersection at which the men's and women's time meet. This means that in 1892, men and women have resulted with same times of 264.10 seconds (4 minutes, 40 seconds, and 10 milliseconds). That means in the first Olympics, in 1896, men had already surpassed women in speed, and both are continually getting faster as the years go by. Maybe this year's Olympics will shake things up!


The x axis so far has told us the year, thus the x coordinate of 1892 tells us the year the intersection took place, a year that has long passed, 4 years before the first Olympics.


The y axis has shown us the times for male and female gold medalists, so the y coordinate for the intersection is the time that both women and men had.

In The End

In the end, we strive to compare and contrast the the gender's times and who has been doing better (or worse) based on pure mathematical calculations, and maybe even predict the future for this event.

a few victory poses

James Guy

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