Humans would 'struggle' in all-species Olympics
Published Jul 29 2012, 13:32 BST | By Paul Martinovic
Human beings "wouldn't offer much competition" in an all-species Olympics, according to a scientific paper.
A feature in the Veterinary Record
journal compared human feats of strength, speed and endurance to those found in the animal kingdom.
The News International
© PA Images / David Jones/PA Archive
reports that Usain Bolt
, whose 100m record time of 9.58 seconds translates into a land-speed of 37.6kph, would be thoroughly beaten by the cheetah, which can reach speeds of 104kph.
A greyhound can reach 69kph, and an ostrich 64kph. Bolt could just about beat a Dromedary camel, which has recorded speeds of 35.3kph.
In marathon running, humans would falter in comparison to endurance animals like camels and sled dogs.
Meanwhile, human weightlifters would find themselves nowhere near the podium as they would be easily outmuscled by elephants, grizzly bears and gorillas.
Author Craig Sharp says in the paper: "'Citius, Altius, Fortius' (faster, higher, stronger) is the Olympic motto, but if we allowed the rest of the animal kingdom into the Games... we could not offer much competition!"
However, he did add some consolation for humans as a species, noting: "In pure physical events like running, jumping, swimming... we wouldn't win anything.
"What we are good at is being really versatile; we can sprint, we can run long distances, we can jump, we can swim, we can lift weights... what we would do well at is a sort of decathlon of swimming, running, jumping, and lifting."