Yes, you heard it right, students in Brigham Young University, Idaho’s Principles of Behavior class are holding the so-called “rat olympics.” I know what you’re imagining. Little rats pole-vaulting and high-jumping their way to glory, little medals around their necks as they make their rat countries proud. Well prepare for a heaping spoonful of disappointment.
According to KPVI, the rats don’t actually do that much. They’re trained by pairs of students, who have two months to teach their tiny trainees a trick to perform, but how exactly do these students teach their rat an olympic-caliber trick? From KPVI:
“All you have to do is figure out what motivates them, and like for instance our rat is really motivated by Nilla Wafers. We just figured out that that’s what he likes and as long as you’re just consistent with rewarding them, it becomes pretty easy actually” said student Jacob Ballentine.
Nilla Wafers! The food of the gods! If more American olympic athletes dined on the tiny vanilla cookies, maybe we could actually stand a chance against Usain Bolt in London. But cookies aren’t the only incentive the rats get. According to student Jack Parker, the students and rats actually bond. Yuck.
But when all is said and done, the BYU-Idaho students and their rats are usually able to perform some amazing feat that will shock and amaze anybody who doesn’t know rats can run through mazes.
“It feels like we’re able to do something that at the beginning of the semester we didn’t really think that the rat could do” continued Ballentine.
“We’re very very proud of Sophie, this is our rat and we love her a lot she’s kind of a big deal for us. We’ve been having her train and train and train running mazes; and so the mazes though, she’s gotten really good at and they said that she’s the fastest that they’ve ever seen” said student Rebecca David.
“They tell me endorsements are in the works,” continued David. “I’m hoping for a classic Wheaties box, but I’ll take Axe body spray if it’s our only option.”