Which species wins at the Animalympics?

So if other species besides us are allowed to compete at the Olympics which ones could win events? Aside from the ‘you have to be a human’ rule, they have to follow all the other rules. Behavior issues don’t count. Somehow they follow the rules and compete all out. But they have to follow all the rules for the specific event*. So a dolphin could actually take a diving start in a swimming event, but it couldn’t touch it’s fingers to it’s toes in the initial stance. A giraffe could only enter the 200 meter if wider lanes were allowed. You can mention that exception if it’s interesting, but let’s look for species that could follow every rule.

*Charitable interpretations are allowed. A paw is a foot. A claw is a finger(nail).

Also, Mods, please don’t send this to the Game Room. There may be some stuff about the rules of events, but this is really about the physical abilities of animals.

Oh come on. Cats don’t need a four-inch-wide balance beam. They’re going to win that event no matter how narrow it is.

I think the only species that can follow all the rules would be monkeys/apes (is that a species? Do I need to say simians?). I’m not seeing any other animal having success on a bicycle or in a kayak and it sounds like, according to your rules, they have to be able to do both, along with all the other stuff.

I don’t want to be the judge of their shooting, though.

The stroke requirements are going to rule out anything but primates in any swimming event aside form freestyle. Sine humans are the best swimmers amongst the primates, no change there. For freestyle, a seal would be able to assume the starting position and touch the walls with their hands easily enough, a seal can literally swim rings around Michael Phelps.

Killer whales will win the water polo unless there is some obscure rule that disqualifies them.

Gannetstake out all the diving events. When you can literally fly and can enter the water at a speed in excess of 60km/hr without a single drop of splash, the opposition has no hope. “And now, trying for a 12 somersaults with 16 twists…”

The cheetahs win the sprints, of course.

Boxing will be won by a polar bear. Judo will be won by a gorilla. I would have suggested an elephant for the wrestling events, but I suspect that grabbing with the nose would be interpreted as a headbutt, which is illegal.

Gibbons take out the parallel bars. Housecats take most of the other the gymnastics events such as tumbling, vaulting and beam events. Heck, a kitty will be able to allow the humans to use a springboard to take off and still beat them.

The leopards take out the high jumps, but only if the birds are disqualified

Gorillas will take out most of the other events that humans don’t get: hammer throw, shot put etc.

The gibbon will probably win all men’s and women’s events in gymnastics. The pronghorn antelope will win the long jump and all foot races past 200 (not sure how good they are round the turn though.) For the marathon, I’m putting my money on either the wildebeast or the caribou.

Gibbons would frankly suck at any event such as vaulting or beam that required them to walk or run. They really only excel at events where they can swing: rings, parallel bars etc.

The pronghorn or kangaroos will outdo them easily. Wildebeest and caribou walk their migration distances. Kangaroos and pronghorns will cover a marathon at the same speed as a human middle distance runner. I’m guessing the winner would depend largely on temperature.

There’s no rule stating that in free or back you have to touch the wall with your hand, any part of the body will do. Nor are there any rules stating where you have to start so if one wants to push off the wall it’s allowed. I’d say whatever the fastest water animal is would win the free and back events if they could do good turns.

Actually, I understand Pronghorn are faster than that. I cannot find the cite, but I recall reading they can sustain 35 mph for an hour - that would allow them to complete a marathon in about 45 min - more than twice as fast as the fastest human marathoner.

However, the human would still do well in the marathon compared to other land animals. Perhaps finishing in the top 5 (and remember this is the best in the world. The average human would take most of a daytime to finish a marathon, if they could finish at all. So the BEST pronghorn sheep would do considerably better than the average one.)

Which raises the question: do you allow flying animals to compete in land distance events? Are there rules that your feet need to touch the ground every so often? I assume that there are such rules for finishing and starting a race, but during one?

We do have real world data available from the Laff-A-Lympics.

I think the gorilla would win the weightlifting, and wrestling events in the super-heavyweight divisions. Other primates would probably take the lighter weight divisions.

But how about a python or anaconda in wrestling? And smaller snakes in the lighter weight division. There’s also a lot of running events. Humans may be right up there in the marathon, but what about hurdles, the mile (do they still do that?), and the steeplechase? Different animals may have advantages/disadvantages in those events.

Flying animals clearly have an advantage in jumping events, and even the track events if they aren’t required to touch the track with their feet after the start. I can see the Olympic committee rapidly creating new divisions for those sports.

I’m curious about the high jump if flying animals are removed. Which cat can jump the furthest? I was under the impression a tiger would outjump a leopard. And would kangaroos win the long jump? I imagine they could learn to do the triple jump, but maybe not.
I’m curious about the synchronized sports. Do humans or other species have some kind of physical advantage there? For instance, would the gannets have the highly synchronized behavior of some birds flying in flocks in the synchronized diving event?

How about table tennis? Does any animal that could hold a paddle in it’s hand match the dexterity of humans? I’m suspecting some primates might.

And here’s a big one: Who wins the decathalon? This requires a variety of skills, including pole vaulting. Some non-human primates may be able to pole vault, but how well? And do they stand a chance in the running events?

Blake, polar bears aren’t all that agile when bipedal, so I wonder if a gorilla would be able to outbox a polar bear if it avoids getting knocked out (and maybe killed). If the polar bear touches it’s gloved front paws to the mat, it will be knockdown, although that doesn’t count for much in olympic boxing. So a gorilla or maybe a different kind of bear might have an advantage in agility. But I can’t think of any other animal with even a chance in the super-heavyweight division. Even the humans in that divisions seem kind of slow compared to bears and gorillas. It could get interesting in the lighter weight divisions, though primates would be dominant since not many animals can move well bipedally. Also, would the smaller dolphins have an advantage in water polo? The pool has a limited size and the killer whales might be getting kind of crowded. And eating your opponent is probably a rule violation, although maybe it wasn’t anticipated when they wrote the rules.

I am dubious at how effective bears or other primates would be at boxing. Their slowness on two feet and poor punching ability make them unsuitable for boxing. Of course a 500 pound gorilla taking a swing at someone is going to put them down regardless, but with weight classes I think humans are best.

Bears seem to throw hooks pretty well. With their body behind it they would be deadly. But if they miss they would be off balance unless they limit the range of their punch. Still, they’re very tall while standing, and since behavior isn’t an issue, they should be able to maintain a balanced stance. But then I don’t know how effective they are from that stance. Among humans, the best boxers are sometimes the fastest, not the strongest. So it is a question. I guess we could line up some cage matches to investigate that further.

Assuming that we’re requiring racers to stay on the ground, nothing else comes remotely close to the pronghorn for the marathon, and they’d probably beat humans in races of any distance. For shorter sprints, you’ve got the cheetah, though anything longer than a sprint, it’s back to the pronghorns. Almost any bird at all will beat any land animal in almost any race, though.

Looking at the primates, I don’t think you’ll find any that trumps humans in both strength and speed of motion simultaneously. Any of the other great apes could easily clobber us in weightlifting, but that greater strength comes at a price: Most of their strength comes from different leverage in where their muscles attach to their bones, which makes them stronger but slower. The other apes aren’t nearly as good as us at throwing (this is probably why we evolved the leverage we have), and would fall far behind us in most events. The only one where they might have a chance would be the hammer toss, if they were allowed to use longer chains (I don’t know if the length of chain is regulated or not). Other than that one case, I don’t think anyone is going to beat humans in any sort of throwing.

Primates’ lack of speed might also be a liability in fighting sports. A single hit landed might well win the match for a gorilla, but I think that the top humans might be able to dodge for long enough for the gorilla to fall off balance.

Even against chimps?

Good point. Hammer and discus are body rotation throws, so maybe the gorilla wins. But the javelin is an arm throw, enhanced by running, and maybe humans will do that best. I could see gorillas win a shot put. Maybe orangs are better throwers than gorillas, their arms seem longer and more flexible. I have seen some monkeys who have excellent control when throwing their feces. They’ll probably lobby to add that event.

NBC did a two part documentary on this subject back in the late 70’s.

Elephants would win weight lifting gold, I’m pretty sure.

most of those animals would be disqualified for trying to kill their competitors (i know, i know)

I doubt they can conform to the rules. Using your nose to lift weights is probably not allowed. I think elephants can lift things with their front feet, but they can’t grasp a bar, and they can’t raise it over their heads. But with allowances for using their trunk, they sound like winners.