Animals Who Think They Are Athletes

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2014

Animals Who Think They Are Athletes

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    Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

    Considering the Internet blew up last week after seeing a squirrel bust out the Heisman Trophy pose, it's safe to say that people enjoy seeing animals do human things.

    Whether that means teaching a dog how to catch a football or having a pet learn how to speak, when an animal does something that humans do, it can be eye-popping stuff.

    There have been plenty of instances of animals doing athletic feats, but I'm giving you the ones who truly believe that they're athletes. I wouldn't test my luck in competing against some of them.

Rocco, the Swimming Dog

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    I'm not sure if there's an actual competition to determine if this little guy Rocco is indeed the fastest swimming dog or notit sounds pretty subjective if you ask me.

    Still, seeing this little canine stay above water better than some humans I know, I wouldn't have a problem putting him up against the likes of a Michael Phelps or Missy Franklin to prove how fast he is.

Queenie, the Elephant That Water-Skis

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    Whoever imagined an elephant could ever get onto water-skis is someone who has some real ambition. It can't be easy trying to figure out how to make an animal that size stay above water.

    Still, that didn't stop fellow performer Liz Dane from teaching Queenie how to balance herself on a humongous set of skis.

    Sadly, the three-ton beast isn't with us anymorepassing away in 2011but she remains to be the one elephant who broke the water-skiing barrier.

Zeke Hoops in the House

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    There have been some incredible alley-oops in the NBA season this year so far, but I'm not so sure this one thrown down by balling pup Zeke doesn't beat them all.

    With mad handles that would make Kyrie Irving jealous, this dog doesn't just dribble as if the ball's on a string. He throws it down after being on the receiving end of a lob.

    Low hoop or not, these are impressive skills.

Turkeys Playing Soccer

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    Only proving that soccer is indeed the most popular game in the world, these turkeys don't seem to be worried about getting sliced and served on a tray for Thanksgiving, instead focusing on their foot skills in their free time.

    It sure does seem like turkeys talk a lot of trash as they don't seem to shut up while kicking this ball around.

    Maybe they could use some pointers from these elephants who seem to have the sport down pat.

Ozzy, the Dog with Balance

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    I don't think tight-rope walking is a sport as much as it is a skill, yet what this dog Ozzy is capable of doing while walking across the rope just had to get recognized.

    Most of us have trouble keeping our balance when trying to walk in a straight lineespecially after a few beers. Not this pup, though, who recorded a Guinness World Record for the feat.

Bicycle Riding Monkeys and Bears, Oh My

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    I dare you to watch this video and not smile.

    Honestly, as insane as it is to watch monkeys and bears riding around in a circle on bicycles, it remains to be one of the more hilarious sights ever.

    Seeing this video for the first time like five years ago, I still can't help but laugh each time I see it.

Just Call Him 'Air Eddie'

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    Rather than crank the handle down on the basketball hoop like you or I would on the ones in our driveways to slam, this otter named Eddie is just stuffing the ball through the rim he's given and he's mighty good at it.

    Housed at the Oregon Zoo, this animal doesn't care that basketball wasn't made to be played in water because he flashes some serious skills.

    I wonder if he'll be the difference maker for the Blazers down low this season?

The Bowling Dog

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    The rules of bowling might prohibit a player from sliding down a lane to knock down all the pins for a strike, but this dog Jesper didn't seem to care much for the rules.

    It takes serious skill to bowl a perfect game and I really think that this furry friend might just be one who could do it.

Sporting Squirrels

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    I already mentioned earlier the most recent example of a squirrel trying to prove that he belongs in sports when one struck the Heisman pose last week.

    Over the years, though, there have been more furry creatures who seem to try and get involved in sports more than they do collecting nuts.

    And another one became extremely popular during 2011's playoff run by the St. Louis Cardinals after showing up a few nights in a row.

    Hey, someone check for his ticket!

Happie, the Skateboarding Goat

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    I really want to know who thinks this kind of stuff up in the first place?

    While I understand some dudes getting drunk and seeing if their dog can skateboard, what normal people have a spare goat just laying around to try something like that?

    Apparently the people who taught Happie how to stay balanced on a board because the animal set a Guinness World Record late last year, breaking her own mark from a couple years prior.

The Rodeo Monkey

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    There's a good chance that neither you nor I will ever ride on the back of a bucking bronco or bull in a rodeo since most people have to be insane to try it.

    A dog, though?

    Well, that might be something worth trying outassuming a person could fit on one.

    For this monkey, his seat atop his canine pal seems secure as he rides like a cowboy during numerous halftime shows and half-innings everywhere.

Snowboarding Dogs

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    For any of you who have ever snowboarded before, you know that it's not as easy as it might first appear, with the challenge of staying up harder than it looks.

    But for dogs, who have an extra leg to help steady their balance, it doesn't look like it's much trouble.

    Shaun White might not have medaled at the Sochi Games, but I have a feeling these dogs may have barked away with gold.

Elephant's Dunking Basketballs

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    Most of us believe that former NBA player Shaquille O'Neal was the most dominant force to play on the blocks in the league, but Shaq never had to battle with these three-ton beasts on the hardwood.

    OK, so no elephant will ever be playing in the NBA ever. Still, it's damn impressive to see them be able to slam home a ball as if they could at least hold their own.

    Personally, I think this slam "trunk" contest is better than the terrible one the NBA had a few weeks ago during All-Star weekend.

A Putting Parrot

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    I admit that when I first watched this video, I seriously thought it was some sick joke and was just a recording of a bird lying on its back.

    After giving it a few seconds, though, I was thoroughly impressed with the talents that this parrot exhibited, with its one major skill not only putting a golf ball, but then being a gentleman and retrieving its shot.

    It appears that he is bringing a new meaning to the word "birdie."

Surfing Dogs

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    Although I've given you tons of examples of animals playing sports, when there's an actual annual competition that has the top dogs in the world go head-to-head to show their surfing skills, things get taken to a new level of extreme.

    Held in Huntington Beach each year, Surf City's Surf Dog Competition has these pooches hanging-10 on their boardsor would it be hanging four?