Over the past week, there's been an infinite amount of Michael Phelps hype. And one of the bigger stories about him was how he eats 12,000 calories a day... and still can't keep on weight. That's because, with the way he works out and swims on a daily basis, his body needs that many calories.
Which, naturally, got me thinking: What Olympic sports are most friendly to people who eat 12,000 calories a day... but don't really burn off more than a couple hundred? And, thus, today's list of the 11 Olympic sports that you could participate in... and potential win... if you were morbidly obese.
U.S. Olympic shot putter Reese Hoffa.
Shot put. Shot putters are like NFL offensive linemen... there's lots and lots of muscle there, but it's underneath dozens of delicious rolls.
Unfortunately for America, even though we've redefined the notion of obesity worldwide... for some reasons, our Olympic shot putters have not correctly figured out how to translate Olive Garden, Taco Bell and Arby's into gold medals. This year, for the third straight Olympics, the U.S. got silver.
Softball. Softball is the unofficial sport of rounder women with athletic skills and a super-competitive drive. Not to mention that, at this point, across the country, the median weight of people competing in softball leagues HAS to be in the 210 range.
It's a sport that's almost more synonymous with beer drinking than actual drinking games. Seriously. I'd guess that, on average, adult softball players get drunker during their games than flip cup or quarters players. And that's a chubby-friendly sport right there.
Weightlifting. Weightlifters probably need to eat the same 12,000 calories as Michael Phelps, just to have the energy to lift absurd amounts of weight... and to replenish and build their muscles post-workout. The only problem: After they eat the 12,000 calories, they don't spend the day swimming.
If the ridiculously large weightlifters at my gym have taught me anything, mostly, they just spend time walking around, talking to other ridiculously large weightlifters, trying to hit on women, frequently using the words "lats", "blast" and "bra", and attaching and unattaching their leather belts over and over based on how much Zubaz it's covering.
Discus. I've been to the beach almost every weekend this summer. Plenty of large people throw Frisbees. And they can put some mustard on it too. That can absolutely translate to discus.
The chubby baseball Dream Team.
Baseball. Over the course of history, the U.S. could've put together the best baseball team in history... made up entirely of obese people. Babe Ruth, David Wells, John Kruk, Cecil Fielder and progeny, C.C. Sabathia, end-of-his-career Tony Gwynn, Mo Vaughn, and on and on.
Of course, in Olympic baseball, they probably still would've found a way to lose to Cuba.
Hammer throw. Honestly, I'd forgotten about this event. And that's a shame. The Olympics really need more "pick up something heavy and chuck it" events. Those are impressive. All this mincing around with rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized diving is misinforming the youth of what world class athletic events should look like.
Javelin. Back in caveman times, I'd guess your spear throwing skills were directly connected to your chance at gaining weight: If you could nail a mastodon from 60 feet away, you were eating that night.
So I'm assuming evolution eventually connected weight gain and javelin tossing skill in our brains. Therefore, by that (somewhat specious and fraudulent) reasoning, I can only think that obese people couldn't just compete in the javelin... they'd probably dominate it. It's simple biology.
Archery. As long as when you pull the string back it doesn't bang into your belly, I can't see any reason why a 400-pound person couldn't shoot arrows into a target.
Ah, the WWE. Pro-chubby AND pro-stereotype.
Wrestling. I've never watched Olympic wrestling, so I can't guarantee it's the same as the WWE. But they've been parading out chubby people for decades, from Andre the Giant to Kamala to Bastion Booger to Yokozuna and everyone in between.
Some huge guy with great technique (so not Kamala) could, in theory, go to the Olympics and wrestle other heavyweights. Probably not from the U.S., since we have all these trials and crap to be on our Olympic team... but you're telling me Eritrea wouldn't take a flier on a 380-pound wrestler with sweet mat technique?
Walking. Yes, I know, I know -- Olympic walkers are in good shape, blah blah blah. But I'm just saying: An obese person COULD do it. And all that walking could lead to a lot of extra Weight Watcher points leniency that night.
Equestrian. All you'd need to do is find a really fat horse.
This post was originally published on Monday, August 18, 2008 at 11:40:34 AM under the category Sports.