Citius, Altius, Fortius!
(Faster, Higher, Stronger!)
It’s the official Latin motto of the Olympic Games.
Watching the Rio Olympics over the last few weeks prompted intriguing questions in my mind:
How would Adam have fared in the Olympics?
How fast could he run?
How fast could he swim?
Would Adam have been “faster, higher, stronger” than today’s Olympic athletes?
Throughout these Rio Olympics I have heard over and over that Usain Bolt of Jamaica is the fastest man who ever lived. He has won nine gold medals for the 100 meter and 200 meter sprints and the 4×100 meter relay in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympics, easily besting the competition.
Similarly many consider American swimmer Michael Phelps the greatest swimmer ever. He has competed in five summer Olympics and won 28 medals, 23 of them gold. Both are all-time Olympic records.
But is it really valid to say Bolt is the fastest man and Phelps the fastest swimmer who ever lived?
They are certainly the fastest in recent history, but it is not possible to know whether they are the fastest ever. For example, nobody knows how fast pre-Flood men ran and swam.
Now I cannot state for certain how fast Adam ran or swam, because the Bible does not say. But I will make an educated guess about how he would compare with today’s athletes.
Ancient Mighty Men
Genesis mentions the existence of mighty men of renown on earth prior to Noah’s Flood:
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. (Genesis 6:4 NASB)
The Norse, Roman, and Greek legends of ancient superheroes and demigods were probably based on dimly remembered exploits of real men like these mighty men of renown of Genesis. Such men would have easily bested today’s athletes.
I think antediluvian men would dominate today’s Olympics like nothing modern man has ever seen. I think they were bigger, stronger, and smarter than men today, because they were closer to the original perfect Adam and Eve with less time for genetic deterioration. We hear sports journalists and reporters gasp in awe today at minor improvements in world records. The way antediluvians would romp through the Olympics easily winning all the gold medals would astonish beyond belief.
How Fast Could Adam Run and Swim?
So what about Adam? How would he have fared in the Olympics?
Adam was created perfect from the hand of God. Far from being a product of a random evolutionary hit-and-miss process over millions of years, Adam was created de nouveau from scratch out of the ground by Yahweh.
Adam was the Crown of God’s Creation! Yahweh created Adam in His own image, according to His likeness.
Adam was literally God-like, in a way that no man since has been. His energy and vitality far surpassed that of people today, as he lived to age 930 (Genesis 5:5). The genes of history’s greatest athletes came originally from Adam.
Even if we don’t know exactly how fast Adam could run and swim, I think there’s little doubt that he would easily best today’s top athletes. I can imagine Adam powering his way through the Olympic events, collecting gold medal after gold medal.
Following Adam’s rebellion in the Garden of Eden, the degenerative effects of sin went to work immediately, and his descendants gradually lost what Adam had. After six sin-ravaged millennia of degeneration, it is impossible to imagine how superlative Adam was before the cumulative damages of sin and genetic defects.
Who was the best athlete who ever lived? Probably the God-like Original Man, Adam.
Questions to Ponder
- What other features of humanity are intriguing to consider in their pre-Fall glory?
- Why do you think God doesn’t tell us more about the mighty men of renown of Genesis 6:4?
Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.
Soli Deo Gloria.
This is the 40th of a series of weekly blog articles on Adam.
Read the prequels:
1. Was Adam in the Garden of Eden?
2. Did Moses Believe in Adam?
3. Did Jesus Believe in Adam?
4. Did Paul Believe in Adam?
5. Does Belief in Adam Matter?
6. Adam and Puppies
7. Why Did Adam Sin?
8. What Should Adam Have Done?
9. What Did Adam Cause?
10. What Was Adam’s Forbidden Fruit?
11. How Long Was Adam in Eden?
12. Was Adam’s Garden of Eden Real?
13. Christmas & Adam (with videos)
14. Where Was Adam’s Garden of Eden?
15. Did Adam Wear Clothes in Eden?
16. Was Adam Backward or Brilliant? (with video)
17. Who Was Mrs. Adam?
18. Adam’s Dream Girl
19. Adam’s Prolific Princess
20. Adam’s Problematic Princess
21. How Many Children Did Adam Have?
22. Whom Did Adam’s Sons Marry?
23. Did Adam Ride a Unicorn?
24. How Long Did Adam Live?
25. Did Adam Swat Mosquitoes in Eden?
26. Did Adam’s Garden Have a Talking Snake?
27. Why Should Adam’s Sin Affect Me?
28. Did Roses Have Thorns in Adam’s Garden?
29. Adam the Image-Bearer & Harambe the Gorilla
30. Did Adam Ever Return to Eden?
31. What Was Adam’s Tree of Life?
32. Will Adam Be in Heaven?
33. Did Adam See the Big Dipper?
34. Did Adam Know Earth Is Round?
35. Did Jesus Say When Adam Was Created?
36. Did Adam See Dinosaurs?
37. Did Adam Like Steak?
38. Could Adam Read & Write?
39. Did God Use Evolution to Make Adam?
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday August 24, 2016 A.D.
The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. (Genesis 2:16; 3:1-6 NASB)