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Name ______________________ Due ___________

Olympic Physics- Michael Phelps


Fill in the Table below by calculating the Average Speed to 4 decimal places.
Remember to include the units.
Michael Phelps Career Best Times
Event
Time
Min:sec.millisec
Time in
Seconds
Average Speed
100 m freestyle 47.51

200 m freestyle 1:42.96

400 m freestyle 3:47.79

100 m backstroke 53.01

200 m backstroke 1:54.65

100 m breaststroke 1:02.57

200 m breaststroke 2:15.06

100 m butterfly 49.82

200 m butterfly 1:51.51


1) Which event does Michael Phelps have the greatest speed?


2) Does Michael Phelps tend to have an increase or decrease in speed between the 100m and
200m laps? Why do you think this is the case?


3) What is the difference in speed between his slowest and fastest event?



4) Predict the time you think it would take Michel Phelps to complete
the 200m Individual Medley where he completes 50m laps of each
event(freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, breast stroke). And the 400m
Individual Medley where he completes 100m of each. Show your
work and justify why.










5) Fill in the chart below and compare your predicted results to his record below. Are they close?
Why or why not? What may cause the differences between your calculations and the actual
speed?
Event
Time
Min:sec.millisec
Time in Seconds Speed
200 m Individual
Medley
1:54.16


400 m Individual
Medley
4:03.84










Answer Key
Olympic Physics- Michael Phelps
Fill in the Table below by calculating the Average Speed to 4 decimal places.
Remember to include the units.
Michael Phelps Career Best Times
Event
Time
Min:sec.millisec
Time in
Seconds
Average Speed
100 m freestyle 47.51
47.51 s 2.1048 m/s
200 m freestyle 1:42.96
102.96 s 1.9425 m/s
400 m freestyle 3:47.79
227.79 s 1.7560 m/s
100 m backstroke 53.01
53.01 s 1.8864 m/s
200 m backstroke 1:54.65
114.65 s 1.7444 m/s
100 m breaststroke 1:02.57
62.57 s 1.5982 m/s
200 m breaststroke 2:15.06
135.06 s 1.4808 m/s
100 m butterfly 49.82
49.82 s 2.0072 m/s
200 m butterfly 1:51.51
111.51 s 1.7936 m/s

1) Which event does Michael Phelps have the greatest speed?
100m Freestyle

2) Does Michael Phelps tend to have an increase or decrease in speed between the 100m and
200m races? Why do you think this is the case?
He tends to have a decrease in speed between the 100m and 200m races. He may get tired and
there are also extra turns with the 200m race (3 turns) and only 1 turn with the 100m race which
can increase time.
3) What is the difference in speed between his slowest and fastest event?



4) Calculate the time and his speed you think it would take Michel
Phelps to complete the 200m Individual Medley where he completes
50m laps of each event(freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, breast
stroke). And the 400m Individual Medley where he completes 100m
of each. Show your work and justify why.
You may get a few different responses for this. Most students will base the
time on the individual races add up the times and account for the distances.
*I used the 200m times since it includes the extra turns.
200 freestyle 102.96 s
200 backstroke 114.65 s
200 butterfly 111.51 s
200 breast stroke 135.06 s
Total time 464.18 s
200 individual medley

200IM speed


400 individual medley

400IM speed


Some students may go further to account for him getting tired so they may add on a few extra seconds
or multiply by their estimated factor such as 1.1 or 1.05.
5) Fill in the chart below and compare your predicted results to his record below. Are they close?
Why or why not? What may cause the differences between your calculations and the actual
speed?
Event
Time
Min:sec.millisec
Time in Seconds Speed
200 m Individual
Medley
1:54.16 114.16 s 1.7519 m/s
400 m Individual
Medley
4:03.84 243.84 s 1.6404 m/s

The 200m IM he was faster than my estimated time. One reason may be that the turns are easier
with some strokes than others. He saved approximately 2 seconds less than my estimate.
The 400m IM predictions were less accurate. I estimated 232.09 seconds and his speed was 11.75
seconds over. Michael Phelps likely slowed throughout the race due to tiredness of the 400m race
and water disturbances which can decrease his speed.