Olympic champions Usain Bolt and Mo Farah named ultimate ‘superhumans’ in public poll

Respondents choose Sir David Attenborough and tennis stars Roger Federer and Serena Williams to make up top five

Rob Knight
Thursday 18 October 2018 15:19
Ex-Olympic sprinter turned footballer Usain Bolt, scores his first goal for the Central Coast Mariners

Ex-Olympic sprinter turned footballer Usain Bolt has been hailed as the ultimate superhuman.

Former 100m, 200m and relay specialist Mr Bolt, 32, came top of the pile following a study carried out among 2,000 adults, with British marathon champion Sir Mo Farah CBE coming second.

Much-loved naturalist Sir David Attenborough came third thanks to his encyclopaedic knowledge of nature. Tennis legends, Roger Federer and Serena Williams came fourth and fifth respectively.

Overall, the poll produced a top 10 of living people who possessed attributes most of us could only dream of having.

The study was carried out to mark the return of The Gifted on Sundays at 9pm on FOX.

To coincide with the poll, FOX teamed up with Professor of Physiology and former Olympian Greg Whyte OBE to create an anatomical blueprint made from the qualities possessed by "real-life superhumans". Mr Whyte analysed the anatomy and neurological make-up of over 50 people said to fall into the category.

He then worked with digital illustrator Chris Hart and used the results of his analysis to build a biological structure that takes into account everything from brain processing time to physical attributes and motor functions.

Mr Whyte concluded the ultimate superhuman was likely to have legs like Usain Bolt, with fast-twitch muscle fibres that provide the ability to accelerate faster than 99.9 per cent of the population.

They would have the vision of Veronica Seider, who has the strongest eyesight in the world. Ms Seider is able to distinguish detail from up to a mile away and her sight is 20 times better than the average person.

The ultimate superhuman would also have the lungs of former rower Sir Steve Redgrave CBE, the abs of boxer Anthony Joshua OBE and the arms of record-breaking swimmer Michael Phelps.

Mr Whyte, who is currently a professor in Applied Sport & Exercise Science at Liverpool John Moores University and a UK authority on exercise physiology, said: ‘’Many people possess superhuman powers without even knowing it.

‘’Getting to superhuman status is undeniably a combination of nature and nurture; it’s not only genetic makeup, but psychology, drive, determination and external environment that come together to create a superhuman.

‘’It’s the perfect combination of all of these variables that’s led to the incredible examples included within the ultimate superhuman.”

The study also found 39 per cent grew up wishing they had incredible powers and half of us still wished we possessed extraordinary abilities.

Around one in 10 believed we all have the ability to make ourselves into elite human beings. It also emerged the definition meant different things to different people – 45 per cent of Britons described a superhuman as someone who has the ability to do the impossible.

More than one in 10 felt they had earned the title purely if they managed to get through the day without reaching breaking point. Over a third admitted their parents should be classed as superhuman for raising them.

When it came to hero qualities, invisibility, the ability to fly and a faultless memory came top. Limitless energy also made the list of the most desired superpowers.

Despite this, it was the everyday people respondents believed had the most star quality, as surgeons (22 per cent), firefighters (19 per cent) and paramedics (19 per cent) possessed the most superhuman powers, according to the OnePoll study.

In the study FOX also discovered half of Britons wished they could be more superhuman and over a fifth (21 per cent) believed evolution will mean we will all have superhuman powers in the next 150 years.

A FOX spokesperson said: “To celebrate the return of our thrilling series The Gifted, we wanted to shine a light on the modern day superheroes who exist in our world today. Superhumans are not just reserved for our televisions.

“This research shows there are many different qualities that contribute to superhuman status and whilst most possess extraordinary abilities and incredible power, this can be expressed in a lot of different ways.”


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