Riki T. Tavi here. Welcome to our summary of the second and final week of the 2018 Animal Olympics. Of course, the big surprise this week was the withdrawal of the highly favored reindeer team from the Sleigh Pull.
Rumors have swirled that members of the team failed a drug test. The truth is that the “failed” test was a pregnancy test. Roxy, the leader of the team, is going to have a calf in the spring. Animal Olympic rules prohibit participation of pregnant athletes due to the possibility of being kicked.
The Dall Sheep had their appeal over the conditions of the ski slope rejected, so the standings are unchanged.
The week was full of surprises. Now on to our commentators.
Harold Hare – Cross Country Tracking
The non-carnivore competition was a real disappointment. First, only four teams qualified for the race. Of course, the snowshoe hares were brilliant in finding the food we had distributed on the track. The beavers fell asleep and missed the race entirely. The squirrel team was fun to watch although their constant playing on the track was somewhat of a distraction.
Gold: Snowshoe Hares; Silver: Squirrels; Bronze: Mice.
The carnivore competition was much more intense. Generally, the field is all mammals. The birds prefer to compete in the Raptor Grab. However, this year the arctic owls decided to enter the tracking hunt. With nests on the ground and their outstanding hunting skills, they were sure to be a threat.
The arctic foxes weren’t intimidated. They had inspected the field closely and were confident of their abilities. The wolverines had edged the wolves in the semi-finals to get the last spot in the finals.
It was a good fight. Unfortunately for the owls, one of their players got side-tracked by some non-competition prey and was eliminated for leaving the track.
Gold: Arctic Foxes; Silver: Wolverines; Bronze: Arctic Owls.
Bruno Brown Bear – Ice Hockey
In recent years, the sport has been dominated by the bears. A combination of intelligence and strength has been the key. But this year there was a surprising new challenger. The dogs decided to enter a team of border collies.
The bear teams weren’t concerned. Who ever heard of dogs on ice? They concentrated on their usual threats, the otters and the seals. Both teams were fast, with plenty of experience moving chunks of ice.
Fans were stunned when the border collies beat the black bears in the semi-finals. The dogs were fast learners and agile on the ice. The final four teams were the brown bears/grizzlies, seals, polar bears, and collies. The match-up between the brown bears and the seals wasn’t close, with the bears winning 6-0.
In the other game, it appears that the polar bears may have gotten a little over-confident. The collies took them to double-overtime and finally won, 2-1. So it was brown bears v. collies for the gold and silver, and seals v. polar bears for the bronze.
Gold: Brown Bears/Grizzlies; Silver: Border Collies; Bronze: Polar Bears.
Arnie Kestrel – Raptor Grab
As usual, the Raptor Grab was an intense competition. The rules state that the contestants can only score with specially marked fish. However, there is nothing in the rules about taking another competitor’s fish before crossing the line.
A new member of the arctic owl team repeatedly brought back ineligible fish, leaving the team out of the finals. The bald eagles were eliminated when two of their team members lost fish in fights.
The finalists were the red-tailed hawks, the snowy owls, and the golden eagles.
Gold: Snowy Owls; Silver: Golden Eagles; Bronze: Red-Tailed Hawks.
Rodney Reindeer – Sleigh Pull
As Riki said earlier, the favored reindeer team withdrew at the beginning of the week. As a result, we saw some different competitors joining the now-favored moose in the finals.
The sled dogs decided to field a team this year. Traditionally a strong competitor in the race, the dogs have been sitting out a suspension following that unfortunate incident in 2010. That team turned over the sleigh, but continued to run for a distance. The bears riding inside were dragged along with the sleigh. Once the bears and the dogs were released, there was a terrible fight.
The final place was taken by the horse team. The horses fielded a good team, but their lack of experience at an elite level showed. It turned into a showdown between the moose and the sled dogs. The dogs had an emotional edge, trying to redeem their reputation. They edged the moose by less than a second.
Gold: Sled Dogs; Silver: Moose; Bronze: Horses.
It’s Riki again. I hope you enjoyed our coverage of the 2018 Animal Olympics. We hope to see you in 2022 when we’ll be covering the Winter Animal Olympics in Beijing.