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Posted on 02/12/2010 09:26 AM EST
Top five athletes of the animal kingdom

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Dear Editor:
If the Winter Olympics were open to all of the planet's species, humans probably wouldn't even have a shot at the gold—especially if they had to compete against these top five athletes of the animal kingdom:
1. Sharks. Frightfully fast, sharks are excellent swimmers thanks to scales covered with tiny teeth that enable water to flow smoothly over their outer surface. Hoping to reduce drag and increase speed, many Olympic swimmers are now sporting swimsuits modeled after shark skin.
2. Cows. Natural track and field stars, cows have been known to hurdle a six-foot fence to escape from a slaughterhouse and trot seven miles to reunite with calves sold at auction.
3. Ants. Known for their Herculean strength, ants can lift 20 times their own body weight. That’s the equivalent of a 200-pound weightlifter bench pressing 4,000 pounds!
4. Cheetahs. The fastest land animal, cheetahs can reach speeds of up to 75 mph. Able to accelerate faster than a Ferrari, cheetahs can go from 0 to 68 mph in just three seconds.
5. Chickens. A bird who can bend it like Beckham, give a small round object to a group of chickens and they’ll pass it around, much like they’re playing soccer.
Animal athletes are not that different from our own celebrated Olympians. In honor of the Olympic spirit of friendship and fair play, let’s treat all animals like gold. For more information, please visit www.PETA.org.
Amy Skylark Elizabeth
Senior Staff Writer
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

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