Sochi’s stray dog problem became national news when the furry animals began dropping like flies in the street. To deal with its stray dog problem ahead of its Winter Olympics, Sochi began poisoning the animals that saturate the Black Sea resort town via darts. The Olympic committee and Sochi city officials denied the canine genocide, and a stray dog or two still managed to make it onto the Olympic cross-country course, and one even got a ticket to the Opening Ceremonies inside Fisht Stadium.
By the time the U.S. Olympic Team started winning gold at Sochi, several American athletes became keen on adopting some of the furry K-9s and taking them back to the States. A favorite of many atheletes were the dog family that made its home at the Olympic ski jump venue. 22-year-old Gus Kenworthy, who won the silver medal in the men’s skiing slopestyle event, was the first athlete to announce he’d be bringing back not one, but five dogs — the mother and her four pups.
Others have followed in his lead. Snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis went home without a medal but returned to the U.S. with a new pup. Several U.S. Hockey team members are also planning on taking dogs back. During a press conference on Thursday (Feb. 20), U.S. men’s ice hockey captain David Backes said that he and his wife were working hard to get several strays back to the U.S.