Puppies Take the Podium: Meet the “Olympic Litter”

 In News & Events

Litter of Aspiring Guide Dogs Named in Honor of Team USA Gold Medalists

at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games

 

As the 2018 Winter Games came to a close, we wanted to make sure the legacy of Team USA lived on. Introducing the “Olympic Litter,” five yellow Labrador puppies named for a selection of Team USA Gold Medalists:

  • Anderson –Named for Jamie Anderson, whose slopestyle win made her the first female snowboarder to win more than one Olympic gold. Much like Jamie, Anderson comes from a very big family and loves the snow.
  • Jessie – Together with her sister Kikkan, Jessie is part of the puppy pair named for the winners of the women’s cross-country skiing gold. She was thrilled to learn that her namesake, Jessie Diggins, was named flagbearer for the Closing Ceremony.
  • Kikkan – The other half of the cross-country ski team duo, Kikkan is named for Kikkan Randall, who helped bring home the United States’ first gold in the sport at the PyeongChang games.
  • Kim – Named in honor of Chloe Kim, the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal, puppy Kim is similarly interested in her snacking schedule and is working on building up her social media pawprint to make her namesake proud.
  • Mikaela – Finally, puppy Mikaela is proud to represent renowned alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin in honor of her Olympic gold in women’s giant slalom. Much like her human counterpart, puppy Mikaela loves naps.

“Each of these athletes showed their dedication, drive and talent at the 2018 Winter Games, and we hope each of these puppies will grow into guide dogs that will make them proud,” said Thomas Panek, President & CEO of Guiding Eyes for the Blind. “Just like Team USA inspired all of us watching at home, our guide dogs inspire us every day by giving people with vision loss greater independence and freedom.”

Guiding Eyes selected the puppy names based on gold medal winners whose names were not already in use by working guide dogs or guide dogs in training.

 

Guiding Eyes for the Blind Olympic Litter

Photo Credit: Geoff Tischman for Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Puppy Anderson shows off his medal (even puppies bite them to make sure they’re real!).

Puppy Anderson shows off his medal (even puppies bite them to make sure they’re real!).

Anderson gets some much-needed rest after the big win.

Anderson gets some much-needed rest after the big win.

 

Jessie & Kikkan prepare their equipment for their upcoming cross-country sprint for gold. Jessie & Kikkan prepare their equipment for their upcoming cross-country sprint for gold. Jessie & Kikkan prepare their equipment for their upcoming cross-country sprint for gold.
Jessie & Kikkan prepare their equipment for their upcoming cross-country sprint for gold.

 

Jessie & Kikkan take the podium to celebrate their win. Go Team USA!

Jessie & Kikkan take the podium to celebrate their win. Go Team USA!

 

Puppy Kim takes the podium to celebrate her namesake’s win.

Puppy Kim takes the podium to celebrate her namesake’s win.

 

Puppy Kim prepares for equipment and hunts for snacks inside her helmet. Puppy Kim prepares for equipment and hunts for snacks inside her helmet.
Puppy Kim prepares for equipment and hunts for snacks inside her helmet.

 

Don’t worry puppy Kim, there’s another Olympics in just four years!

Don’t worry puppy Kim, there’s another Olympics in just four years!

 

Mikaela prepares her equipment to hit the slopes. Mikaela prepares her equipment to hit the slopes.
Mikaela prepares her equipment to hit the slopes.

 

Luger Chris Mazdzer isn’t the only one who can take down an entire pizza in one sitting! Luger Chris Mazdzer isn’t the only one who can take down an entire pizza in one sitting!
Luger Chris Mazdzer isn’t the only one who can take down an entire pizza in one sitting!

 

The Olympic Litter congratulates the US Women’s Hockey team on their incredible win. The Olympic Litter congratulates the US Women’s Hockey team on their incredible win.
The Olympic Litter congratulates the US Women’s Hockey team on their incredible win.

 

Puppies practice their finishing pose and channel their inner #ShibSibs.

Puppies practice their finishing pose and channel their inner #ShibSibs.

 

A puppy attempts to reenact Mirai Nagasu’s history-making triple axel.

A puppy attempts to reenact Mirai Nagasu’s history-making triple axel.

guidestar_2017_platinumRichard and Klinge
X