Meet the Guiding Eyes for the Blind's Olympic Litter
Geoff Tischman for Guiding Eyes for the Blind
The 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, have come to a close, but thanks to a Yorktown Heights, N.Y.-based nonprofit organization, some Olympians’ legacies will live on. In timing with the Closing Ceremonies, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a leading guide dog school, introduced the “Olympic Litter,” five yellow Labrador puppies named for a selection of Team USA Gold Medalists.
The litter, which was born at the Canine Development Center, includes:
- Anderson, named for Jamie Anderson, whose slopestyle win made her the first female snowboarder to win more than one Olympic gold. Much like Jamie, Anderson comes from a very big family and loves the snow.
- Jessie, who together with her sister Kikkan, is part of the puppy pair named for the winners of the women’s cross-country skiing gold. She was thrilled to learn that her namesake, Jessie Diggins, was named flagbearer for the Closing Ceremony.
- Kikkan—the other half of the cross-country ski team duo—Kikkan is named for Kikkan Randall, who helped bring home the United States’ first gold in the sport at the PyeongChang games.
- Kim, who is named in honor of Chloe Kim, the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal. Puppy Kim is similarly interested in her snacking schedule and is working on building up her social media pawprint to make her namesake proud.
- Mikaela is proud to represent renowned alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin in honor of her Olympic gold in women’s giant slalom. Much like her human counterpart, puppy Mikaela loves naps.
“Each of these athletes showed their dedication, drive and talent at the 2018 Winter Games, and we hope each of these puppies will grow into guide dogs that will make them proud,” said Thomas Panek, president and CEO of Guiding Eyes for the Blind. “Just like Team USA inspired all of us watching at home, our guide dogs inspire us every day by giving people with vision loss greater independence and freedom.”
Guiding Eyes selected the puppy names based on gold medal winners whose names were not already in use by working guide dogs or guide dogs in training.
Meet the fantastic five of the “Olympic Litter” in our gallery below.