Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Answer to the previous post's question
In October 2003 I went to watch the world freestyle wrestling championships, held at Madison Square Garden. I don't find wrestling a particularly fun spectator sport. Maybe I don't know enough about it, but watching a couple of guys maneuver around trying to gain a point or two on each other just didn't stir me. I suppose if I understood the sport better, I would appreciate it more, but I don't, so I didn't. I do, however, appreciate the strength, stamina, and skill it takes to reach the top levels of the sport.
I was struck by how hyperandrogenized all the wrestlers looked. They all seemed to have massive jaws, bullet heads, thick necks, and superhumanly powerful bodies. (I've never felt more like a girl in my life.) But even in this crowd, one of the wrestlers stood out: Eldar Kurtanidze, pictured above, from Georgia (the country, not the state). He stood 5' 8" and wrestled at 96 kilograms, or 211 pounds. And if he weighed in at 211 the day before, that means he was probably closer to 225 when he entered the ring. (Later in his career he wrestled at 120 kilos, or 264 pounds.) That's a lot of mass for a guy standing 5' 8". He looked like an immovable squat chunk of hairy gristle. He acted like one, too, winning the gold medal in his weight class.
Anyway, I was reminded of him when writing the previous post about Neanderthals. Kurtanidze fits the description of a Neanderthal almost perfectly. He's not tall, but he has wide shoulders, a deep chest, short upper arms (note the picture on the upper left), massive forearms, a prominent nose, and bony brow ridges (again, more noticeable in the picture on left).
He seems to be one piece of circumstantial evidence that Neanderthal blood still runs through our veins. Or at least his veins.