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Introducing The SZAOs: The Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse Olympics

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I’ve been casually tuning in to the Olympics here and there, and since I write a lot about the psychobilly obsession with zombies, I kept thinking about how important some of these skills are for fending off the undead. So in case you’re worried about suffering a four-year withdrawal from the Summer Olympics, maybe it’s time to start a separate competition: The Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse Olympics (The SZAOs).

Just look at this athletic couple poised atop the wedding cake. I can imagine these fit individuals in the fencing and shooting trials. And I would have liked to see them trotting around as an example of the “Industrial Age” in Danny Boyle’s Opening Ceremonies. After all, Boyle directed 28 Days Later, provoking the “are those things zombies or rabid humans” debate, so he knows a little bit about the subject. I have no idea why he didn’t incorporate some scenes from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The Queen might have been amused by watching Elizabethan ladies running around the field gouging their fencing swords into rotting corpse dummies.

I definitely got an idea of who I would like to have on my team to survive a zombie apocalypse. Those Olympic athletes are going to last much longer than the couch potato television addicts who worship them (some would argue they are already zombies anyway). Those tiny little gymnasts – like Gabby Douglas – can jump and vault and cartwheel all over the slow lumbering zombie horde. My bet is on Usain Bolt, of course, to easily outrun even those fast-moving zombies that started showing up around 2002 (see Boyle’s own 28 Days Later, Resident Evil, and Zach Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake). The archers will be good assets too. And obviously anyone that can lob balls at other players with good aim (volleyball, tennis, soccer) might as well aim at a zombie’s head instead (they probably set high scores on Plants vs. Zombies too). I don’t really know how well zombies do in water, but Missy Franklin and Michael Phelps will outcompete any aqua-loving rotters.

I think MUSE even wrote “Survival,” the official song of the London Olympic Games, with the zombies in mind. How appropriate are these lyrics?

Whatever it takes, you won't pull ahead
I'll keep up the pace and I'll reveal my strength, to the whole human race

Yes I am prepared to stay alive
I won't forgive, vengeance is mine
And I won't give in because I choose to thrive


Be looking for the Zombie Research Society to start sponsoring Olympic athletes as models for our fitness, endurance, and stamina goals. I call dibs on Ashton Eaton, the newly crowned “World’s Greatest Athlete.” He can do it all – pole vault over the zombies, take their heads off with the discus, stun them with the shotput, spear them with the javelin, and obviously outrun them.

So if you’re not into Michelle Obama’s ‘get healthy’ agenda, I don’t think she’d mind if you got fit because of your goal to survive as long as possible when push comes to shove. Start strengthening those biceps, dust off the bike, run around the block, and then cool off with a few laps in the pool. Those Olympic athletes will fare well, and I’m inspired to get in better shape to fend off anything that wants to get a bite of me.

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