Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Silver medalist waiting behind in Sochi to adopt puppies.

They may not get gold medals during the 2014 Winter Olympics, but these two guys certainly have hearts of gold.

American Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy and Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska are doing their part to save the stray dogs in Sochi from certain death.

Why do the dogs need saving, you ask? Well, if you missed my blog a week ago, basically Russian authorities thought all the stray dogs roaming the city were causing problems for the opening ceremonies and the visitors, so they hired a pest control company to catch the so-called "biological trash" and kill them.

Outrage poured out against the killings.

Around the world, people were livid. Oleg Deripaska, a Russian millionaire, was so upset that he made it his mission to save as many dogs as he could. He used his vast fortune to build multiple shelters for the forgotten canines near Sochi.

When interviewed by BBC, he told them that the first dog he ever owned, his "close friend," was a stray he found on the street. So far, it's estimated that he's saved 140+ dogs and many of them have been successfully adopted into loving homes. He plans to continue his mission for at least another year.

The party back home is postponed.

Meanwhile, Gus Kenworthy's Olympic party back in Colorado to celebrate his silver medal in men's slopestyle skiing is going to have to be postponed.

U.S. skier Gus Kenworthy has fallen in love with a pack of stray puppies he's found while in Sochi and he's using all his spare time getting the paperwork to take the family of dogs back with him to America.

The 22-year-old who lives in Telluride, Colo., was scheduled to return home from Sochi on Monday, nearly a week after Kenworthy was part of a historic sweep by the U.S. as slopestyle skiing made its Olympic debut.

Gus decided to keep one puppy.

Yet Kenworthy's medal took a backseat to his decision to adopt four puppies and their mother. He discovered near the media center at the base of the mountain that houses the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

A U.S. skiing official says Kenworthy had to push back his plans so the dogs can join him for the long trip halfway across the globe back home.

The reaction to Kenworthy's decision to adopt the family has gotten perhaps more attention than the medal he claimed alongside gold medalist Joss Christensen and bronze medalist Nick Goepper.

Kenworthy said family members back home are already lining up to adopt.

"I'll keep one for myself," he said. 

That will be a hard choice.

Nancy Burban 2014

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