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Why Do Olympic Race Walkers Walk The Way They Walk?

''When an Olympian walks, the whole world talks''

This goes completely true with the Olympic race walkers. Yes, walking is an Olympic sport for those of you who don't know or missed to watch the highly competitive sport where winners are no more than a few seconds ahead of their competitors even in a 50 Km race.

Race walking has a rich history full of its own set of ups and downs. What started as a long distance walking event under the name ''Pedestrianism'' went on to get shortlisted for the Summer Olympics 1904 as a half-mile walk in the 'all-rounder' (Part of decathlon). However, 1908 Olympics saw it as an individual sport with the 1920 Olympics taking it to a 100Kms long foot race.

But there is something about the sport that people find tough to swallow. The way race walkers walk has always been a hot topic between the spectators and so we found out the answer for you.

Recommended story: Why do Olympians wear weird tapes

Why Do Olympic Race Walkers Walk The Way They Walk?

Why Do Olympic Race Walkers Walk The Way They Walk?

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Many make fun of these athletes for their unique walking style!

Many make fun of these athletes for their unique walking style!

People don't shy away from making fun and passing comments on the walkers that dampens the self-confidence of many players as has been noticed over the years.

What's so different about their walking posture?

Olympic Race Walkers Walk

Let us talk about all the 'different' thing that shows up when a race walker walks...

1) Twisting their hips comparatively more

Olympic Race Walkers Walk

To make sure that they land longer steps than any other body walking the Earth, these guys twist their hips to a crazy 20 degrees that look awkward to eyes that see other humans walking with no more than a 4 degrees twist.

2) Dropping their hips lower

Olympic Race Walkers Walk

To have a kicking gait everytime they land their feet on the ground; they have to keep gravity in the check. This forces them to keep their hips dropped. 

3) Walking in insane straight line

Olympic Race Walkers Walk

To help their pelvis rotate as beautifully as it does, walking in a straight line comes in as an unnegotiable tactic.

Now that you know WHAT makes them look different, let's think about the WHY!

Olympic Race Walkers Walk

So why is that they have to walk strictly in this way following and maintaining the above-mentioned postures? Before that, let's talk about the leg-breaking competitiveness and its affect on the players. 

Many players have found to be using drugs in the past few years to up their performance levels and doping has really dented a large part of the sports' image. Many others are prone to different mental weakenings due to pressure from people.

American show Malcolm In The Middle was seen making fun of the walking style!

American show Malcolm In The Middle was seen making fun of the walking style!

With 3 Olympic events on the line in every Summer Olympics, Race Walking is a hot sporting event that witnesses people walking a Swiveling motion walk in both the 20Kms and 50Kms segment of the sport. 

The Olympic records in this sport will not let you believe me:

The Olympic records in this sport will not let you believe me:

The 20Kms walk record is to the name of Japanese Yusuke Suzuki who completed it in an impossible looking timing of 1:16:36. A fact says that with this timing, he could've even faired greatly in a 10000m running race. The strides that these walkers maintain is nothing lesser than what the long distance runners make.

Breaststroke swimming's style is even weird than race walking, said somebody!

Breaststroke swimming's style is even weird than race walking, said somebody!

While swimming is extremely tough to pull off at those levels, it still is a lesser tasking sport when compared to Race Walking. Race walking makes sure to beat you with the scorching heat, ridiculous cut-throat competition, excessive pain, injuries and mental weakness.

A French athlete pooped in his shorts and collapsed while in one such race!

A French athlete pooped in his shorts and collapsed while in one such race!

However, his competitive spirit was so high that he stood up and finished the race making everyone to feel proud of his heroism.

Coming back to the reason. The posture is the result of the rules of race walking:

Coming back to the reason. The posture is the result of the rules of race walking:

Rule #1: One foot must be touching the ground at all the times.

Rule#2: Bending the front leg is prohibited until it has gone through the body.

Rule#1 is strategically broken by the elite athletes who somehow manage to take a flight of 40 Milliseconds that often goes unnoticed by the judges' eyes giving them a notch over other athletes.

Rule#2 says that you may bend legs once it's under the body so that it does not look weird and helps. 

Judges are not supposed to catch the rule breakers by watching replay videos!

Judges are not supposed to catch the rule breakers by watching replay videos!

Yes, they have to catch the defaulters while they are in action. They have the authority to award them with red cards on every flight. 

1 Red card= Warning

2 Red cards=Last warning

3 Red cards= disqualification.

2000 Summer Olympics saw Jane Saville getting disqualified when he was about to clinch the gold!

2000 Summer Olympics saw Jane Saville getting disqualified when he was about to clinch the gold!

Share the knowledge with your friends by sharing the article and making this sport a hit.

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