In this study, we compared the basic body dimensions (height, weight, body mass index/BMI) of 19,662 male Olympians from 159 countries competing at the Summer Olympic Games 2000-2016. We hypothesized that the average physique of national Olympic teams reflects the predominant body type of their native populations, and the knowledge of such physical differences could find practical use in creating more rational programs of sports talent selection. The results demonstrate that the mean height of men’s Olympic teams is highly correlated with the mean height of young men in their native countries (r = 0.83, p < 0.001), and the Olympic means of BMI characteristically cluster at the regional level. This geographical trend in the Olympic BMI values remarkably agrees with the documented body composition of human populations, and identifies Polynesians as the group with the most robust body build, followed by Micronesians and Melanesians. The biological validity of these results is further supported by their highly significant relationships with genetic and climatic factors. These findings suggest that the physique of Olympic athletes can be used for the study of human physical variation and evolutionary ecological rules. Based on these data, it is also possible to identify the global sports potential and the spectrum of sports in which each country has the greatest chance of international success.