I had a random thought while watching the summer Olympics: If civilization fell apart and I was left to fend for a small group along with myself, which athletes would fare best? Some would undoubtedly do better than others in a survival scenario. But if it came down to five, who would I want to have with me as we forage and fight our way through the chaos?

Below is my pick for the top five Olympic games both summer and winter that would mold the best survivalists. I have created these ranks based on the disciplines involved in each sport and the training each sport requires. Although I am totally biased towards freestyle and half pipe snowboarding when it comes to watching the games, I have sworn myself to be objective.

  1. Canoeing/kayaking – Paddle athletes are strong and know how to navigate rough waters. In a survival situation, you may find yourself needing to transport your team and equipment across a body of water. In that case, who better to lead the effort than a seasoned paddler?
  1. Trap Shooting – Quick shooters will do well on your team when in a dangerous environment. Not only can they bring a strong defense, but can also hunt for the group.
  1. Archery – While perhaps not as effective as a trap shooter in combat, archers will be able to hunt and fish for the group without as many worries about ammunition.
  1. Modern Pentathlon – This sport produces athletes that are skilled in several disciplines. Not only are they physically fit for the running and swimming parts of the competition, but are also skilled in horseback riding and shooting. This means not only will they be able to pull their own weight, but can also utilize equestrian means of travel and are also capable of shooting under stress. However, modern pentathlon utilizes lasers instead of air pistols, which are significantly different than actual firearms. This aspect of the competition is why pentathlon is not at the top of the list.
  1. Biathlon – These athletes are not only skilled shooters, but also in peak physical condition and can handle themselves even under duress. They are experts with their rifles and are accurate both while prone and standing. Biathlon athletes are also knowledgeable about how to keep comfortable and safe in cold, unforgiving environments.

Have any thoughts? Which sports do you think bring out the best survivalists? Leave your own list in the comments section!