Last week in Omaha, Nebraska, the US Olympic swimming trials’ organizers tried a new move (and no, it wasn’t the doggy paddle). For the over 1,700 hopefuls trying out for a spot on the 2016 US Olympic Swim Team, 30 service dogs were on hand from non-profit group Domesti-pups to provide a welcome relief from the pressures of competition.
For swimmers who qualify, the Olympic trials is one of the most pressure-packed meets of their careers. Because of this, even seasoned athletes were feeling the stress all week. That’s where the dogs came in. Swimmers got to relax with therapy dogs in the lounge before and after competing in their events. The dogs helped soothe nerves and calm the athletes, some of whom where missing their own dogs back home.
While they might not qualify to Rio, these dogs definitely get a gold medal!