Magazine  >  Issue 62  >  From Russia with Love

From Russia with Love

For Medalist Gus Kenworthy and his friend Robin Macdonald, rescuing and re-homing abandoned strays from the streets of Sochi, Russia was all in a day’s work.

Back in early February, 2014, the world was shocked at the culling of stray dogs prior to the Winter Olympic Games. Sochi, like many places in Russia, is home to several thousand stray dogs. Olympic silver medalist, Gus Kenworthy, an American freestyle skier, AFP Overall World Champion for the 4th year in a row and avid animal lover from Telluride, Colorado, competing in slopestyle at the Winter Olympics was saddened by what he saw. Together with his friend, Robin Macdonald they pledged to bring some of the dogs back home. Kenworthy and Macdonald share some insights into why dog adoption plays an important role in their lives.

“I instantly fell in love with the dogs and felt that I needed to do anything I could to bring them back to the US with me. Luckily, my friend Robin Macdonald was in Russia with me and he was able to deal with the process of bringing them home,” explains Kenworthy. “A lot of the dogs that were rescued were brought back by members of the media, staff, spectators and coaches in addition to the athletes. The Sochi strays got a ton of attention because the whole ordeal was taking place during the Olympic Games. I would definitely encourage anybody to rescue an animal whenever they get an opportunity, whether that’s while they are traveling, or just rescuing a pet from their local shelter.”

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