The recent tie between Simone Manuel and Penny Oleksiak for Olympic gold in 100m freestyle was the eighth tie in Olympic events since 1928.
Given the variation principle, a tie is never possible. A tie is awarded because of the decision by federations as to what they consider being “close enough.”
Everyone and everything is unique – one of a kind. We accept that no two people have the same fingerprints or in other words, there are no ties. Each Olympic competition is unique; there are no ties.
Technology’s Touch: How a Photo Finish in the Olympic Pool Gets Resolved. Inside the timing suite for the Olympic swimming races. How accurate are those touch pads and clocks?
The question becomes that given that a tie is impossible, should a “tie breaker” technology be used to break the tie?
I predict that as progress is made in understanding and managing variation, technology will evolve to the point that science will be applied to eliminate the ties in Olympic events.