Meet Beacon the Therapy Dog Assisting the U.S.A. Gymnastics Team

The U.S.A. Gymnastics team has a new (canine) cheerleader – Beacon! Beacon is a four-year-old Golden Retriever and therapy dog.

Meet Beacon the Therapy Dog Assisting the U.S.A. Gymnastics Team
Credit: @goldendogbeacon/Instagram

Beacon is proud to be the organization’s first official therapy dog, with his official staff ID stating his role as “Goodest Boy.”

Beacon USA Gymnastics therapy dog staff ID
Credit: @goldendogbeacon/Instagram

Competing in gymnastics, like with all professional sports, is anything but easy – Both physically and mentally. The mental health side of gymnastics became a big discussion after Simone Biles dropped out of the Tokyo Olympics due to her mental health. One tool to help out their gymnasts comes in the furry form of a therapy dog, which has been proven to help with stress, reduce blood pressure, and just generally cheer humans up.

Beacon doesn’t just assist humans. He also stopped to comfort this giant cat!

And Beacon doesn’t forget to look after his own mental and physical health.

Ever since Beacon was a puppy, he’s always loved chilling out (literally)

Beacon is trainer Callahan Molnar’s second therapy dog. Her first was Tulsa, who has since crossed the Rainbow Bridge. She decided to train Tulsa to become a therapy dog, after seeing how much a hospital therapy dog comforted her husband who was undergoing chemotherapy.

He will turn on a dime without seeing who it is. He picks up on the stress and will pull to that person immediately. [Therapy dogs] absorb the stress of the people they’re relieving the stress off of. So even though he might be lying still for two hours, he’s wiped out afterwards.

Callahan Molnar, ESPN, June 2024

You can cheer Beacon on at @goldendogbeacon on Instagram. For another athletic pup, meet Ripken the Bat Dog.

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