Just about a year ago, I was travelling in the unexplored forests of a region of a globe I won’t specify, and came upon a hidden valley in which there was a civilization that had never contacted the outside world. It was rich and prosperous, and absolutely mad for sports, but all sports entirely unique to that region. And it turned out that the current reigning champion in the sport of (untranslatable) was a stunningly gifted natural athlete… a 25-year-old man who was just utterly off the charts in terms of strength, speed, reflexes, agility, coordination and balance. (Note that this valley civilization does not have horses, bodies of water large enough to swim in, bows, guns, bicycles, swordfighting, or anything else comparable to the apparatus of any existing Olympic sport…)
So I toyed with the idea of telling him about the Olympics, then (if he was interested) bringing him back to the outside world, and devoting my limitless personal fortune to purchasing all the necessary equipment and hiring all the necessary coaches to give him an intensive 1-year crash course in one Olympic sport or event. Then I would bribe the crap out of a bunch of IOC officials and get him entered in the London games, so that he would get to compete in that event (even if it is one that usually has a rigorous qualification program, etc).
What event would he be most likely to be able to win a medal in? Least likely?
Off the top of my head, I would guess that the most likely event would be some middle-distance running… maybe 800 meters? There is (as I understand it) so much specialized training and so forth for the sprints, and the really long distance runs require such a specific body type that it might be undoable, but just flat out ridiculous athletic talent might be able to make up for lack of years of training on a race in the middle.
As for hardest, maybe Gymnastics? Equestrian Eventing?
(And feel free to extend the hypothetical in some clever fashion so that it covers team sports, if you wish, although I’m guessing they’d all be over on the hard end of the scale, because they’d require learning both the skills (dribbling, shooting) and the strategy and teamwork aspects.)