What a joyous and emotional celebration for Olympic silver medalist, Gus Kenworthy, after being reunited with his adopted puppies this week per Us Weekly.
It’s been a long road and quite the journey, but Gus Kenworthy and photographer, Robin Macdonald, are being admired for their efforts nationwide.
The Olympic Winter Games were filled with dramatic finishes and performances, but there was one story not tied to the actual competition that tugged on a lot of heart strings, and that was the dogs we saw in the streets of Sochi. U.S. medal winner, Gus Kenworthy, made it his mission to find a better home for some of them.
The free-style-skier dreamed of Olympic glory in the newly added slope style event. He ended up leaving Sochi with a silver medal and so much more.
The stray dogs wandering the street of Sochi captured the hearts of many athletes and visitors of the winter games along with fans back in the states. However, when the Olympic flame went out, Ken was not about to leave his four-legged friends behind. There are tens of thousands of dogs, but he couldn’t save them all.
“ There was all these dogs in Russia that we were trying to bring back, and it was a lot more difficult than we though it would be,” Kenworthy, 22, explained of the abundance of stray dogs in Sochi. “Robin stayed behind after the Olympics, and we expected him to be there two or three extra days. He was there for almost a month by himself to get them out. They weren’t getting the treatment that they needed, and not all of them made it. But the ones that did are more than happy to be here.”
In the end, bringing the dogs home proved bittersweet, as so many of the dogs in Sochi were malnourished and sick. Unfortunately, a few died before they could be rescued.
“ We encountered some government roadblocks when we were there. A politician kind of claimed the dogs were theirs, and they didn’t want to release them to us for whatever reason,” Macdonald claimed. “They were fighting with the Humane Society International to get them proper treatment and get them to care. It took too long and two of the dogs did, unfortunately, pass away.”
Both Kenworthy and Macdonald felt a huge sense of relief to finally have the dogs home with them after traveling thousands of miles to save them. Macdonald made the journey back to the U.S. with five dogs – Jake, Rosa, Mishka, Mom and Stryder.
“It feels so nice to have them home,” Kenwothy said. “These dogs have traveled thousands of miles, and it’s been many many weeks of this whole process coming to an end. Can’t thank Robin and the Humane Society International enough for making it happen.”