Declining physical education in schools and it's affect on developing athletes
Vern Gambetta, who has a pretty good reputation, put up a strong worded post on his site about athletic standards - it's well worth a read. The video posted above is linked in the post - not bad for a sports club group (i.e. non high performance) in the 60's!
"It makes you wonder where we lost our way? Where did standards and expectations get lowered? We need to wakeup fast; we are sitting on a time bomb of obesity and diseases’ of disuse from our hypokinetic society. The results will bankrupt the healthcare system. We must reinstitute mandatory daily physical education as a major step in the right direction. Of course there is a problem there because there are few colleges and universities that train physical educators anymore, but there are also solutions to that. We need action now!"
In climbing we're almost going the opposite way - standards at the top at least are rising rapidly (the Mammut series of video, linked below, and here are great examples) as people's overall standards rise. I'd suggest this is happening at the lowest, entry, levels of the sport also - routes/problems that would have been regarded as only climbable after only several years of development are being routinely dispatched after only a few months. That's not taking away from levels - I still fully appreciate just how hard it is to climb a grade 5 or 6 route in good style, only that overall levels are increasing. What do you think?