After the ease with which I was able to
polish off Libra, I was prepared for a different passage through Scorpio. If
people know nothing else about a scorpion, they know that it has a sting in its
The nearest thing to a sting that I
could think of in the Olympic sports was Fencing. This was backed up by my
knowledge of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, where Bilbo gives Frodo his sword
My first analysis of Fencing medals was
not very promising. Although Scorpio Fencers were awarded more medals than
chance, it was nowhere near significant and they were second to Pisces in the
It was only when I looked at the medals
for the three types of Fencing weapons that a very interesting picture emerged.
For the Foil, which is the lightest of
the weapons, there is a significantly uniform distribution of medals, which
means that the numbers of medals awarded to athletes of Zodiac signs are very
near to those expected by chance. This isn’t especially interesting in itself
but the chart of the distribution of Men’s Foil competitions shows the sting in
All Men’s Foil Competitions
For athletes born in Aries through to
those born in Libra, there are fewer medals than expected by chance. But,
starting at Scorpio and going on through to Pisces they are awarded more medals
Looking at the épée next, the sting in
the tale is that these Scorpio fencers are awarded significantly less
than expected, with a probability of about 1 in 50.
All Épée Competitions
But the biggest sting for Scorpios is in
the sabre competitions where the Scorpio sabreurs really excel. The probability
for Scorpio here is in the region of 1 in 100,000.
All Men’s Sabre Competitions
The chart shows the Men’s sabre
competitions. Women’s Olympic sabre competitions only started in 2004 so there is
insufficient data for analysis.
So why is there such a difference in the
distribution of medals to the different Zodiac signs? In particular, why do
Scorpio sabreurs win so many medals compared with their épée counterparts? It is
possibly because the sabre is a cutting rather than a thrusting weapon. Hence
“sabre tactics rely much more heavily on footwork with blade contact being kept
to a minimum.” (Wikipedia article on Fencing).
Having been a zoologist, the word
footwork struck a chord with me regarding the mating behaviour of scorpions.
Male scorpions, like some poisonous spiders, perform an elaborate courtship
dance as part of their mating behaviour. The effect of this dance seems to be
that the female is mesmerised into allowing the male to mate, rather than her
seeing him as a meal.
Scorpios appear to be good at freestyle
ski jumping, another dangerous sport. This group of Olympic competitions is
relatively recent, so the numbers of medals awarded are few, but out of the 22
skiers who have been awarded medals, 5 of them are Scorpios.
Another group of competitions that
Scorpio athletes are significantly above expected is middle distance running.
(Probability is 1 in 333).
All Track 400m, 800m and 1500m Competitions
Admittedly, this group of competitions
is not dangerous, but it does show off another Scorpio trait. Just as scorpions
are only found in specific habitats, Scorpios only excel in specific subsets of
sports. For instance, Scorpios perform wonderfully at sabre fencing but poorly
in the épée competitions. They perform better than chance at freestyle skiing
but get less than their expected number of medals in skiing as a whole. And on
the track, they only outperform in middle distance running. Medal winners are
below average when combining other Track Athletics events.
Another subset where Scorpios have a
significant probability (almost 1 in 1,000), is in the 10,000m canoe/kayak
competitions. These are labelled as C1, C2, K1 and K2 in the Olympics, the
letters referring to Canoe or Kayak, and the numbers referring to singles or
doubles. Other than this group, Scorpio is about average for canoes and kayaks.