USA Gymnastics’ Most Unconventional Teammate Waves Stars and Stripes at Pan-American Games

Published 10/21/2023, 3:56 PM EDT

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Sometimes a little motivation and moral support from a furry dog is all that’s needed to ace your game. Dogs or any other domesticated animal usually act as emotional support for people in stressful situations to navigate everyday life. The same concept can be extrapolated to sports as well. Talented athletes from all around the world are bursting with joy after sighting a dog and its owner, who will be serving as mascots or a beacon of hope for the players.

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It’s official! The Pan American Games that are transpiring over at Santiago, Chile, have grabbed headlines as it feature a smorgasbord of athletes ( 6800 to be exact ) from 41 countries. It is a gateway to the Paris Olympics next year. What makes this year’s game special is due to one such four-legged friend who’s there to soothe hearts and cheer the contender on to victory.

A beacon of hope skyrockets athletes’ performance in the Pan American Games

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The gymnastics wing of the 2023 Pan American Games featured an adorable golden retriever who goes by the name Beacon. He is extremely smart, and friendly and has a job designation as well at the Games. Just when you thought he couldn’t get any cooler. He serves as a therapy dog, particularly to assuage egos at the podium, act as a cheerleader, and lend an overall warmth and life to the already spectacular event. Today and tomorrow will be the Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics and, as per tradition, this 3-year-old golden retriever will be present to bolster everyone’s spirits.

Simone Biles is a firebrand athlete and a vociferously brazen figure when it comes to speaking out about mental health. Since the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, awareness and traction for the same have rampantly improved, leading to better athlete performance graphs. A Stanford gymnast named Yul Moldauer, a member of the U.S. men’s 2020 Olympic team, also noticed a marked difference in the way mental health is perceived now as compared to before.

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A perfect blend that keeps mental health problems at bay

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The Pan American Games are firing on all cylinders with a resounding success as they have the talent in the palm of their hand. They have dogs to make your day infinitely better and other resources in place for better physical and mental health. If anything, it is a utopia for the players to perform their best.

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Feedback from players was taken into account when formulating a mental health mitigation plan. Three years ago, USA Gymnastics also initiated the art of sending health and wellness surveys every September to national team members from the current and prior year, quizzing them on whether they feel secure at camps and if their other needs were taken care of. A tag hanging around the dog’s neck emblazoned him as ‘Bestest Dog’, and rightfully so. We sincerely hope Beacon and many other cute furry-legged babies entice the champs for eternity, with their infectious charm and presence.

WATCH THIS STORY – Gymnastics Queen Simone Biles Gives Joy Ride to Her Fans While Playing “Copy” 

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Written by:

Himanshu Sridhar

10Articles

One take at a time

Edited by:

Sampurna Pal

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