Why are we bothered by steroids and banned substances and unfair advantages? Everyone keeps going on about how it’s bad for competition, and how it’s ruining the purity of the sacred vessel that is sport. Rubbish. It only causes these problems because some people have morals, and others don’t. Some people follow the rules, and some believe in winning. The purists whine, but they only whine because they’re getting beaten; the honest truth is that nobody would care one bit if all of these supplements and steroids turn them into a superhuman too.
Aren’t you just a little bit curious… just how far could we conceivably take the human form if we were to use all of our considerable knowledge about it? We’ve already seen that small amounts of these wonder drugs and hormones can produce what seem to us to be almost superhuman feats, so can you imagine how much more could be achieved if these guys lived on a solid diet of the stuff and exercise? And why stop there? Augmentation! Why not use the bounties of this planet’s resources in every possible way to further these superathletes? These men would be goliaths. Suddenly cyclists at the Tour de France would be out-running those camera motorbikes, trailing a cloud of stomach gas from the high protein shakes and not even slowing for the uphill.
The bravery of the rider will be thrown into sharp relief, charging at 50 km/h up an ascent eerily resembling a tarred wall, then clocking 200 km/h down the other side, sardined into a peloton the width of the road as they steamroller forth. The bicycles will require no seats as the riders will constantly be at attack velocity, and hearts and lungs will be developed to their utter limit of capacity within the space confined, with aftermarket hearts just an internet click (and a deep pocket) away. But why stop there? Make carbon-fibre bones, for lighter mass and reduced inertia in the legs, then train with lead weights strapped on. Starting to see where we are going with this?
Or rugby. The front row gets full titanium skeletons and the hearts of oxen, while the wings get honeycombed carbon fibre with strategic reinforcement. Everyone will have internal skull-caps and neck support built in. And they’ll all be off their skulls on steroids, of course. Imagine the scene: Frans Steyn dropkicking the winner from behind his own try line, the Beast beast-ing left, right and centre and Butch James shoulder-charging the opponents heads almost clean off… the field would be awash with the battered remains as these giants tear each other apart in the name of sport.
Usain Bolt would easily be in the six-second bracket by now, and that leggy Croatian high jumper, Blanka Vlasic, would be hopping over three metre high bars, as we move into the arena of athletics. Shotput/javelin/ hammer/caber tossing will all be contested in a separate ballistic range, far away from small children, and they’ll be pole vaulting over the grandstands on the northern end of the stadium. The steeplechase would be an actual SWAT tactical training course, to provide sufficient challenge.
And could you imagine the MMA fighters? Try this mental image of a bear and a bull fighting in the octagon. How vicious would that confrontation be? Look at Brock Lesnar now, or Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, they could be even bigger! Could you imagine two of those blokes going ultimate Ultimate? Limbs might actually be pulled right off; it would be savage.
But why stop there? Why not augment a solo yachtsman’s brain with a GPS module with real-time weather updates in the name of safety, or engineer a golfer with a 500-metre drive? Anything is possible, and it would be a darn sight more interesting to watch, whatever it is. Science could finally be let off its leash in a controlled environment, and all of the work these fine academics have been doing in their labs could finally be used in a positi ve and constructive manner.
This does not mean that scientists should wantonly experiment on these fine athletes either. They would have the choice, as any athlete does, of utilising these advances in technology or remaining traditional, and refusing them. Doctors, to prevent lethal cocktails, would control it all to the maximum permissible dose of each stimulant and then it’s all up to what advantage can be dreamed up, financed and implemented by any interested party. You would also need to be a registered athlete, competing at above a certain level of competition already to qualify for potential upgrades, so you don’t get some clown hopping himself up for 10 years in his basement and coming out like a new-age Frankenstein. It would still be regulated in terms of process, just not in terms of content. As long as it doesn’t kill you, off you go.
Perhaps carbon fibre bones are a bit much, but how much of a difference could these drugs and hormones really make? If we keep it to organic supplementation, why not train front-row rugby players in giant decompression chambers, which apparently increase the density of your bone matter, and feed them doses of pure oxygen to increase training stamina? Use everything within the realms of possibility to engineer these people into the tools they wish to become, so that they can truly push at the boundaries of what people are capable of. There is already an unstoppable march as humans evolve further and further along their path, getting faster, harder, better; this would almost be like speeding up that process, using already strong genes as a base for something truly staggering.
If anything goes: how far would you be willing to?
By Tim Houghton
Published by Playboy South Africa July 2012