American Women Olympic Champions and Their Dogs

by Elysian Magazine

2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

It was a Summer Olympics like no other.  As August wanes, we recall Gymnast Simone Biles and how she exhibited courage under fire after pulling out of competition citing mental health concerns, only to return to win the Bronze in the final event of women’s gymnastics, the balance beam. That live drama played out on the world stage and ended in victory—but there was victory, too, for other American women who achieved record-breaking and record-setting achievements.  We will remember the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics among the most defining Games in modern history.

Perhaps the most joyous moment for Simone was, perhaps, was after she completed her medal-winning routine, she looked up into the stands and saw a fan holding up cut-outs of her French Bull Dogs,  Lilo and Rambo.

Carissa Moore Wins Gold at a New Olympic Sport

Among the first American women to perform in new Olympic sports at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, in the first women’s surfing competition, was CARISSA MOORE, who won gold with a score of 14.93.  Carissa, 28, is an American professional surfer who learned how to surf from her father off Waikiki, Honolulu when she was only five.  She is the winner of multiple US and world championships.

Carissa and her husband, Luke Untermann, are “proud dog parents” of Maya and Tuffy.  The couple are spokesmen for Subaru and their dog safety program.

Syndney McLaughlin sets a new record

American hurdler and sprinter Sydney McLaughlin, 22, previously set a world record on August 4 at the 400m hurdles with a time of 51.90. This year, she broke that record again with a time of 51.46.  Born and raised in New Jersey, she has won multiple US and international championships. She has endorsement contracts with New Balance and TAG Heur, the Swiss watch maker.  Sydney is owned by a Goldendoodle named Laylay.  “My puppy has kept me busy,” she said of Laylay, who will be two-years-old in November.

Now we look to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, less than six months away.  The Games will be historic for a number of reasons—first and foremost because it will feature the highest number of women’s events in an Olympic Winter program, and the highest number of gender-balanced disciplines with the inclusion of seven new medal events that increased female participation from 41% in the PyeongChang games to 45.44% for Beijing.  There will be a total of 109 medal events across seven Olympic winter sports during 16 days of competition taking place in three zones: Beijing Zone, site of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies; Yanquing Zone, 75 km north of the city, where alpine skiing, bobsled, luge, and skeleton will be held; and the Zhangjiakou Zone, 180 km northwest of Beijing, where most of the ski and snowboarding events will be held including freestyle, cross-country, ski jumping, Nordic combined, and biathlon.

Among the new introductions is the women’s monobob, a new Olympic discipline that’s a thrilling, fast-paced solo bobsleigh event first introduced at the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer in 2016.

The snowboard version of the wildly popular Big Air Freestyle Skiing will make its debut for women in Beijing.  The event for men was first held in the 2018 Winter Olympics, where 21-year-old American Kyle Mack’s dramatic run won him a silver medal.  Now the ladies are up.

Also, there will be more entrants added to the women’s ice hockey team, and mixed doubles curling teams.

Two top American women at the 2022 Winter Olympics to keep your eye on:

Mikaela Shiffrin, 27, in alpine skiing: slalom, giant slalom, and combined.  She is a double gold medalist in slalom and giant slolam at the 2014 Sochi and 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. “The thing I am most proud of right now is that I know how to win in slalom, giant slalom, super-G, and downhill, which I never expected would really happen,” she said in an interview after winning her 66th World Cup race.

Mikaela carries the torch from former World Cup and Olympic women’s alpine skiing champions, Lindsey Vonn,  pictured here with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lucy.

American Snowboard Champion Chloe Kim, 21, is the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal when, at age 17, she won the gold  for the halfpipe at the PyeongChang games.  She is two-time world champion and won six gold, one silver, and one bronze at the Winter X Games. “I’m going to go in with the same mindset as the last one, she said, just no pressure. I’m going to do the best I can and we’ll see what happens,” she says.

Chloe was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine in February 2018 with her Australian Sheepdog, Reese—who herself has over 10,000 Instagram friends!

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