What does the public expect from Olympic athletes? Stamina… Endurance… Athleticism… Sportsmanlike Conduct… The public has cheered on this sporting spectacle since the modern Olympics were revived in Athens in 1896. Until 2014, the contestants toddled home with medals, memories and a desire to compete again in four years. In Sochi, the game changed and provided greater depth to the athletes. They displayed humanitarianism, empathy and a desire to change world views by rescuing animals! Sochi had a large population of unwanted dogs and the authorities were collecting these poor canines and had them euthanized. A young American skier named Gus Kenworthy rescued four puppies plus their mother but, unfortunately, one pup passed before arriving in the US. The mother was adopted by Kenworthy’s Mom, one pup was taken in by the Humane Society and Gus kept Jake and Mishka. Kelli Stack, a member of the US Woman’s Hockey team, brought home a silver medal and her pup, Shayba. Lindsay Jacobellis, a Snowboarder from the US, didn’t medal but came home with a greater prize, pups Sochi and Jazzy. Former US Bobsledder, Amanda Bird, who is now the Director of Marketing and Communications for the US Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, brought home her fur baby Sochi. Four years later, the Winter Olympics were hosted by South Korea…a country that raises dogs for human gastronomic consumption. Gus Kenworthy didn’t medal in PyeongChang but he scored a greater prize – shutting down a dog meat farm and sending 90 canines to the US and Canada for better lives. He also adopted a furry daughter named Beemo. Canadian figure skater Meagan Duhamel added a mini-Dachshund named Moo-tae to her family plus she brought home another pup named Sara who has been adopted by a family in Montreal. The next Winter Olympics are scheduled for 2022 in Beijing, China. This is another country that harvests canines for the dinner table. Remember the Yulin Dog Meat Festival? Let’s hope the world’s athletes step up to the plate and rescue, if not, totally assist in ending this heinous eating habit! Yes, it is part of a country’s palate but replacement protein can be found to sustain the population. Kudos to the athletes who have listened to their consciences and took an active stance during these two Olympics!


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