Every Olympic Athlete Needs a Best Friend

Stars of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games share their soaring love for dogs.

With a swish and a whoosh, more than 3,000 athletes from about 80 nations will vie for gold, silver, and bronze medals at the XXII Olympic Winter Games from Feb. 7-23, 2014. The pristine alpine valleys and skiing trails of Sochi, Russia, will serve as the backdrop for 98 events in seven winter sports, including biathlon, bobsled, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating, and skiing. At the same site, the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will host 692 athletes in five sports for nine days, beginning March 7. When they’re not on the slopes, at least three of these athletes focus on their dogs at home, and include caring for them in their daily routines.

In exclusive interviews with DOG FANCY magazine, snowboarders Scotty Lago and Lindsey Jacobellis, and alpine skier Danella Umstead talk about their canine companions and what they add to their lives.

Scotty Lago


Scotty Lago, a snowboarder from Seabrook, N.H., won a bronze medal in the half-pipe at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and won bronze and silver medals at the 2013 World Cup. Lago lives with Camo, a 2- year-old Jack Russell Terrier. Meet Scotty and Camo>>

Scotty Lago, US Olympics. Courtesy NBC Olympics, United States Olympics Committee

Lindsey Jacobellis

Lindsey Jacobellis, a snowboarder from Stratton, Vt., won a silver medal in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, has won three gold medals at the World Championships, and is a seven-time snowboard cross champion at the X Games, making her the winningest female in winter X Games history. Jacobellis lives with Gidget, an 8-year-old Silky Terrier-Yorkshire Terrier mix. Meet Lindsey and Gidget>>


Lindsey Jacobellis, US Olympics. Courtesy NBC Olympics, United States Olympics Committee

Danelle Umstead
Alpine Skiing

Danelle Umstead, a visually impaired alpine skier from Park City, Utah, competes with her husband Rob as her sighted guide in the women’s slalom, giant slalom, downhill, and super combined. At the 2010 Winter Paralympics, they were the first husband and wife visually impaired ski race team to compete for Team USA, and earned bronze medals in downhill and super combined. Danelle lives with retired guide dog Bettylynn, a 7-year-old Labrador Retriever who lost her sight, and her new guide dog Aziza, a 2-year-old Labrador Retriever, who recently arrived. Meet Danelle, Rob, Bettylynn and Aziza>>

Danelle Umstead, US Olympics. Courtesy NBC Olympics, United States Olympics Committee


Looking for more Olympians who love dogs? Athletes and dogs from the 2012 Summer Olympics>>

Article Categories:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *