|When I launched this website in January 2008, I wanted it to add a page with the full list of Sveta's World Cup results. So I built a small database table with a couple of entries. An easy job, but.... this table never saw the light of day. Why? Well, it's a long story. If you don't want to read it, please stop now, because I will tell it anyway.|
Right in the moment, when I was ready to publish the page, I suddenly thought it was too simplistic. It contained Sveta's ranks and shooting penalties of the season 2007/2008. Nothing more. How about the results of the previous season, where Sveta already did eight Sprint and Pursuit starts? No problem. I would add them. And then... oh, how about Sveta's remarkable course times? Again no problem, I would add them, too. But on second look - what's the use of singular course times? They don't mean anything, if they are missing the context. They must be put besides the corresponding figures of the competitors. So I would need... oh my, in the worst case, I would need the course times of ALL competitors! And then...
Get the picture? In order to add more details about Sveta's performance, I would have to include much more data, and in order to make sense of this data, I would have to include even more data. It's clear where this vicious circle ends - eventually, it leads to a huge database of the comprehensive history of biathlon results. So I had this choice: Either publish the simple table of Sveta's ranks and penalties that was ready to be uploaded - or create the big big thing. The decision was easy - Sveta obviously was going to be a big big star, so the collection of her performance should be in the same order of magnitude. And I knew - it was going to result in some big big work.
Somewhere in the middle of my programming and database design efforts, I was struck by the fact that this site was drifting purposefully into trilingualism - resulting in the necessity to present all competition information in English, Russian, and German. Still more work. Sometimes, it seemed to grow faster than I could get it done. But believe it or not - today, after about one year of computer keyboard treatment, I'm happy to announce the completion of this ambitious project! I almost can't believe it. The finished product is a big database application, currently containing the women's results back to the season 2004/2005, comprising all World Cups, World Championships, and Olympic Games in this time span. As of today, it provides 10662 scores of 382 athletes in 156 competitions. Big big monster baby, really.
My main intention in the development process was to create a handy application, rather than a data grave. It should allow easy research of the most interesting data by athletes, and by competitions as well. The data should be presented in a simple tabular view, and should be sortable by any column. For instance, I would like to see Sveta's top ranks so far, in ascending order. Or the birthdays of all participants of some competition in descending order. Or the sorted sequence of range or course times, or penalties. Or... well, there are still more exciting questions. Such as - who's the oldest competitor of the Vancouver Sprint? Right, Anna Carin Olofsson-Zidek, born in the year 1973. And the youngest one? Obviously, Dorothea Wierer of Italy - still 18 years old. It was her second world cup start altogether, while the first one was the Sprint at Oberhof, by the way. And did you know that the birthdays of both ladies are just two days apart?
Just try this little thingie yourself by clicking the link below. This will take you to the personal data sheet of Sveta. You can click on every table cell, and this will either sort the current view, if you've hit the header, or take you to a competition sheet otherwise. In the latter case, you can select another athlete by a simple click. Or you can select an athlete or competition from the drop-down lists above the table. In between, there's always a clickable caption that links to related data on the IBU website. It's really easy!
Click this link to visit my big big biathlon baby
Don't click this link by all means if you're not interested