U.S. Olympic Medalists Adopt Dogs from the Streets of Sochi

Not only did American competitors leave Russia with Olympic medals but they also left a little bit more “humane” in a sense. In Sochi, local authorities reportedly killed hundreds of animals as they tried to clear the streets ahead of the Winter Olympics. Moved by the sight of the remaining poor pups left roaming around in Sochi, many athletes decided to take home some of the animals.




Gus Kenworthy, U.S. silver medal winner in slope skiing, adopted three dogs from Sochi. He named them Mama, Mishka and Jake and since there adoption, he has made them their own Instagram accounts. Hockey player Kelli Stack, whose team won the silver, adopted a dog from a Sochi shelter and named her Shayba, after the hockey arena in Sochi. Communication Director of the U.S. bobsled and skeleton team, Amanda Bird and NBC runner Gabrielle Levesque also adopted puppies from the shelter in February.

These adoptions were made possible by a charity founded by Russian billionaire, Oleg Deripaska, which brought 10 stray dogs to the U.S. on Thursday, March 27, after they were rescued from the streets of Sochi. The charity’s animal shelter in Sochi is called PovoDog, a play on the Russian word “povodok,” which means leash. PovoDog said it has so far rescued more than 200 dogs from Sochi and has found new homes for 50 of them.



Reports of the war on dogs in Sochi also sparked local initiatives, with volunteers from the Moscow region traveling to the Black Sea resort ahead of the Olympics and bringing home a dozen of strays with them in the back of an SUV. Many of the rescued animals from PovoDog have been adopted closer to home.

The 2014 Winter Olympics were a major international multi-sport event held in Sochi, Russia, in the tradition of the Winter Olympic Games. The Games were held from 7–23 February 2014, with opening rounds in certain events held on the eve of the opening ceremony, 6 February 2014. Sochi was selected as the host city in July 2007, during the 119th IOC Session held in Guatemala City. It was the first Olympics in Russia since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Soviet Union was the host nation for the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

A total of 98 events in 15 winter sport disciplines were held during the Games. A number of new competitions—a total of 12 accounting for gender—were held during the Games, including biathlon mixed relay, women’s ski jumping, mixed-team figure skating, mixed-team luge, half-pipe skiing, ski and snowboard slopestyle, and snowboard parallel slalom.

Through these games, the Americans left with memories for a lifetime and a lasting impression on their hearts from Sochi. Some people commemorate experiences like this with tattoos, etc. however these competitors are keeping Sochi with them through their newly adopted puppies. The dogs that arrived in the U.S. on Thursday can be adopted through the Washington Animal Rescue League. Check out their website for more information.






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