Stanford nerd, world-class international athlete, US champion... squirrel fan? SPIKES finds out why 400m hurdler Kori Carter goes nuts for the little tree dwellers.

"Squirrels are my favourite living animal," says Carter, 22. "I am very much a kid at heart. If I could pick an animal that best resembled my personality, it would be them. I just find them adorable. They are really smart and crazy-athletic. It a shame in the state of California [where she lives] I can’t legally buy one as a pet.

"I used to enjoy chasing squirrels, but not so much now. These days, rather than chasing one – because I realised that didn’t work – I might lure one towards me with a piece of bread." 

 

Squirrel ()

 

Furry little hurdles friend

"I used to wear a pair of knee-high squirrel socks. They were white and covered in images of squirrels. My dad bought three pairs of them. They became my race day socks when I was competing at college. I don’t wear them anymore because they are not part of my official Nike gear. 

"Besides my squirrel socks, I have a squirrel sweater and t-shirt. And squirrel figurines, as well as a squirrel poster in the bathroom.

"I think squirrels would make great steeplechasers. They have lots of energy, and would have plenty of endurance as well as agility.

"If I was a squirrel, I would say of one of my US rivals Georganne Moline would be a gazelle, because she is really tall, graceful and pretty. LaShinda Demus [2009 and 2011 world champion] would be a lioness. She has her two cubs [twins] that she takes care of, but is also really fierce."