athletes and human biodiversity

you may have seen these howard schatz photos floating around on the internet the past couple of days. (if you did, you spend too much time online! — if you didn’t, you don’t spend enough time online!) i lifted the ones below from imgur.

all different sizes and shapes of people! neat! (^_^)

left to right: gymnastics, high jump (of course!), trampoline, high jump, triple jump, wrestling [click on images for LARGER views]:

howard schatz 01

long distance running, marathon (i love this guy!), decathalon, marathon (him, too!), running (800m):

howard schatz 02

rhythmic gymnastics (oww!!), sport aerobics (huh?), gymnastics, gymnastics, high jump (uh…yeah), gymnastics:

howard schatz 03

bodybuilding, weightlifting, weightlifting(!), rhythmic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics:

howard schatz 04

there’s more @imgur. and on howard schatz’s website.

previously: you, too, can become the fastest man on earth!

(note: comments do not require an email. wolffish!)


  1. The sports chosen tend to be those which isolate a very few characteristics to produce excellence, so it isn’t surprising that we see far end of the curve examples of bodies. Before someone says “no, the decathlon is by definition many abilities” I would respond A) there are common athletic abilities not measured by the decathlon (changes of direction, knowing where teammates are, tracking, adjusting to unfolding events) and B) the decathlete is among the less extreme among the photos anyway.


  2. The thing is, their brains will differ in similarly dramatic ways. But brains aren’t easily visible and there’s no big difference in size and proportions between one human brain and another. That’s a great help for lying psychometricians like Stephen Jay Gould. It also explains why people are fooled by the externals and put narcissists and intellectual non-entities like Obama and Blair in charge.


  3. What are the patterns we see here? First no Asians. Second everybody’s real greasy. Third – too many women.

    The Chinese and the Japanese dominate gymnastics. Where are they? The greatest athlete is the world recently might very well have been Makoto Nagano. Or am I wrong?

    I’ll bet they won’t let you in a Greco-Roman Wrestling match wearing that much Vaseline. It might be funny however.

    Women are not athletic. They have many other virtues and I like to see them half naked as they are here. But they are only seen in the Olympics in such numbers because of someone’s political agenda. I think women’s tennis is the only sport that can pay its way. People just won’t buy tickets to see female athletes.


  4. No Asians? The very first one is Asian, and if you check out the full series of photos you’ll see that there are others.


  5. @patrick – “First no Asians.”

    yeah, like mike said, the first chick is asian.

    @patrick – “Third – too many women.”

    that prolly has to do with how i selected the photos. i liked the photos with the high jump chicks, ’cause they’re so TALL! — and i’m not (5′ 1″). (^_^) i also thought the…uh…”healthy” weightlifting chick was so interesting, ’cause she’s so big. whoa. and then the girl standing on her bent toes just freaked me out. (~_^)

    there are lots of male athletes in the rest of the photos. you should click through, ’cause they’re really cool!


  6. was this from aerobics class? where are the leg warmers? must’ve been hot in there. the guy who brought the fishing pole must’ve been embarrassed. same goes for those gals with the big Q-tips.


  7. You can see why the decathlon used to be a big deal (e.g., it launched Bruce Jenner’s endless celebrity career — is he now some kind of Kardashian?): the decathlete is the least odd looking of the male athletes.

    Also, back in the 1970s, pole vaulters were widely considered to be among the handsomest of athletes: pole vaulting requires a combination of lower body speed and upper body strength.


  8. @assistant village idiot – “…the decathlete is among the less extreme among the photos anyway.”

    @steve – “the decathlete is the least odd looking of the male athletes.”

    he is pretty normal/average looking, that decathlete. however, i think that most of the guys of my aquaintance look more like the long distance runner all the way to the left in that same photo. (lucky me! (~_^) )


  9. parenthetically, the wolf fish has delicious cheek meat. Not just the fillet, but the actual cheeks. They taste exactly like oysters but have the consistency of fish


  10. The bigger weight lifting lady is Cheryl Haworth. Her body type is actually atypical for female weightlifters in her weight class. Here, for example, is the 2013 European champ, who has a more typical build for a 75kg+ female weightlifter.


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