Animal Olympians of Oregon

Feb 07, 2014
As we root for local Olympic contenders, Laurenne Ross and Kent Callister, let's not forget about the animal athletes from our backyard!

Here in Central Oregon, we’re gearing up to root for our local Olympians. Laurenne Ross is competing for Team USA in alpine skiing and Kent Callister is part of Australia’s snowboard half pipe team.

As we watch one of the most compelling displays of human speed and grace, let’s not forget about the other natural champions from our backyard. For these Oregon animals swiftness, strength and agility aren’t just for sport—they ensure survival. We think it’s time to celebrate these animals as the athletes they truly are.

Luge Champions: River Otters

River otters are beloved by humans for their playful ways, but did you know that River Otters are experts at sliding down naturally occurring mud and ice chutes? These slippery fellas are the luge Olympiads of the natural world. Here's a National Geographic video of otters sliding on ice.


Aerial All-stars: Flying Squirrels

We can’t help but notice the knack flying squirrels have for aerial acrobatics. These expert gliders leap from tree to tree with the grace of a true Olympian, sometimes reaching distances close to 300 ft. With their soaring flight pattern and daring tactics, they remind us of aerial skiers.

Mogul masters: Mountain Goats

We’ve watched the new mountain goat in town navigate rocky cliffs and dangerous drop offs with unmatched grace and agility. Based on the sure-footed mountain goat’s uncanny balance, we’d count on them to be at the top of the podium in the mogul category.
Snowboarding Pros: Crows

Intelligent and creative crows have often been observed playing in the snow. Some have even noticed crows practicing a new sport: “crow-boarding.” Check out this funny video of a Russian crow-boarder: the crow snowboards down the roof on a plastic lid and flies back to the top to start all over again. It may be hard finding an American crow that can compete with this Russian representative…
 Cougar near Sisters. Photo: Kris Kristovich.
Biathlon Champs: Cougars

The Cougar covers the largest territory of our Central Oregon predators. We’d bet on this sneaky cat to hit the target under pressure and difficult conditions. And with the cougars' sheer speed, we think they’d be a sure win in the biathlon sprint category.


Did we forget any of your favorite animal all stars? What Oregon critters would you send to the Animal Olympics?