Best Perk Ever: Therapy Puppies at U.S. Olympic Trials

One of the most talked-about perks for the swimmers at 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials is the addition of 30 of the world’s most adorable therapy puppies in the Athlete Lounge. The pups are the brainchild of Morgan Weinberg of USA Swimming, who came up with the idea as a way to calm swimmers in the lounge. Weinberg reached out to Domesti-PUPS, a local non-profit organization that provides therapy dogs, service dogs, and trained rescue dogs, who loved the idea.

Domesti-PUPS has about 30 dogs, between prelims and finals, available to swimmers in the Athlete Lounge. Some of the dogs are from Omaha, other traveled from Lincoln and Missouri. Athletes can sit with them, pet them, sing to them, discuss race strategy, whatever works for them.

SwimSwam asked Weinberg and Sandy Ludwig from Domesti-PUPS about their collaboration, and how the athletes at Olympic Trials have reacted to the therapy dogs.


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4 years ago

If this isn’t enough motivation to qualify for Olympic trials, I don’t know what is.

I Don\'t Want to Leave Trials
4 years ago

So cool! My daughter and her teammates loved having the dogs there! Dogs, especially trained, calm ones are proven to lower blood pressure and make all people feel more comfortable.

4 years ago

Freaking AWESOME idea! I’m totally qualifying for the 2024 OT just so I can chill with the therapy pups! 😉

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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