### 10.2 The Olympics

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• Math Help

In Example 2, the graph shows the winning heights in meters. Remember that you can use the Length (Distance) Converter located in Tools to convert units of measure. For instance, 6 meters is about 20 feet. Also, note the gap in the graph from 1936 to 1948. The Olympics were not held during this time due to World War II.

The graph below shows the men's pole vault world record progression. Note the gap in the graph from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Pole vault technology improved in the 1950s, and the world record heights started rising again.

• Consumer Suggestion

Pole vaulting originated as a way to get across canals without having to walk long distances around the canal, or get wet from swimming across the canal. People who lived in particularly marshy areas often kept a stack of jumping poles in their houseto use for vaulting over canals.

Have you ever wondered how high you could pole vault if you had the proper training? Use The Physics of Pole Vaulting Calculator from the American Insititute of Physics to find out how high you could fly!

• Checkpoint Solution

Improvements in technology, including changes in the material that the poles are made out of, allow high school students to pole vault at heights that would have broken Olympic records in 1950. For instance, in 1952, the Olympic record was 4.55 meters, or about 15 feet. At a 2007 Illinois state competition, high school junior Mitchell Erickson pole vaulted 16 feet 9 inches.

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