In a lovely little 3D movie [nytimes.com] created by the New York Times, we see how every Olympic medalist in the Men's 100-meter freestyle event would stack up to each other. France's Alain Bernard would win (2008), with a wide distribution of Olympians behind him, including 2012's winner, Nathan Adrian.
While the image they use in the movie is basically a dot plot (but using swimmers instead of dots), they tell their story very effectively by zooming and panning to highlight certain swimmers, distances, specific years, and technological achievements. It also very nicely rotates the axis labels as the image moves.
And if that isn't enough for you, they also provide the actual dot plot chart in the story for all you diehards.