It has been a truly exhilarating and exciting time to witness the unfolding events of the Olympic 2020 games. As the village has welcomed budding champions old and new, this has aroused curiosity. Do the athletes include pups in their training regimes too? Many Olympic athletes are either are fans of or own a dog. These are but a few examples of those who share a love of dogs as well as sport!
24-year-old Artistic Gymnast Simone Biles, winner of 32 Olympic and World Championship medals, has been commended for her stance on prioritising mental health in sport. Upon returning to compete on the balance bar in Tokyo, Access Hollywood’s Scott Evans ‘show[ed Biles] some love’ by cheering with cardboard cutouts of her dogs!’ These were of her two French Bulldogs Lilo and Rambo. She also reportedly has German Shepherds – Maggie, Atlas, Bella, and Lily. Biles’ jubilant reaction to the cutouts speaking to how we love our dogs silly.
Talented weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz has made Olympic history as first-ever weightlifting gold medallist for the Philippines. As part of her reception of congratulations, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) uploaded an adorable image. This was of one of their shelter dog’s attempts to lift a toy barbell! The subject of the image is called Ayvee – the caption celebrating how Diazb being ‘living proof that THE FILIPINA CAN DO IT!’ Diaz also had a dog, Hiro, who passed away in 2020, her love for them resonating through the charities who look up to and support her every day.
World champion and Olympic diver Tom Daley’s love of dogs only enhances his winning charm and personality. In 2017, he and his husband, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, were pictured smiling with adoptive dog Stewie. During the Olympic games, Daley has caused an adorable stir, pictured crocheting in the stands during the women’s three-meter springboard final. He revealed on his crocheting Instagram account – @madewithlovebytomdaley – that he was making doggy jumpers for his friends. This is sure to inspire many viewers to treat their dogs when the cooler weather begins!
Just as we’ve been driven to walk and work out with our dogs over lockdown, world heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson has designed a dog-friendly heptathlon at home! For the #homeheptathlon, Johnson-Thompson’s sausage dogs Bronx and Chorizo compete in home-grown versions of events like the long jump and 800 meters. Johnson-Thompson’s Twitter video offers witty commentary on new ways to entertain yourself with the dogs. Johnson-Thompson has unfortunately experienced an Achilles-related injury during this year’s Olympic heptathlon. We hope Bronx and Chorizo provide her with some comfort after Johnson-Thompson’s grit in reaching the finish line.
Jason and Laura Kenny
This couple of gold and silver medal-winning cyclists have been the proud owners of a few dogs, some of the first in 2015 being ‘sproodles’. These are two crosses of spaniel and poodle. Affectionately named Oscar and Jessie, the Kenny’s dogs were adopted from Dogs Trust Manchester. Laura’s Instagram page – @laurakenny31 – has mainly featured similarly curly-coated dogs. The pair, Sprolo and Pringle (pictured), appear both as cuddling companions and walking fellows for the couple and their son.
Olympic gold medal snowboarder and singer Chloe Kim (the youngest victor at 17 years old!) shares a lot of her online fame with her miniature Australian shepherd, Reese. The gorgeous pooch occupies a lot of Kim’s Instagram handle – @chloekim – as it exhibits her dazzling moves on snowy slopes. Like Reese, it also receives lots of love and attention.
British diver and Olympic champion Jack Laugher welcomed one of his dogs to the world via Twitter back in 2017. We can infer from his Instagram – @jacklaugher – that Woody is one of his dogs from back at home. Laugher has sported some brilliant pics with his pup, from snuggling by the poolside in the sun to licking delicious peanut butter off of a spoon. Shockingly, Laugher cites that Stanley actually hates the water. Yet, we’ve no doubt that this will not put a damper on the dog’s support for his aquatic owner!
As the slam dunk finale to our list, professional tennis player Naomi Osaka is the first Asian player to win a Grand Slams final in her victory against Serena Williams in 2018. As Sports Illustrated’s Sportswoman of the Year 2020, Osaka had the honour of opening the Olympic games. This July, Osaka announced that she now prides herself as the ‘mother, no drama’ of a French Bulldog puppy. ‘Butta’ literally wouldn’t melt for this little fella – his cuteness no doubt going to be Osaka’s source of love and adventure!