Medaling at the Olympics is an achievement that lasts a lifetime for many who reach that pinnacle of success, so early in life. Such was the case for Meagan Duhamel who partnered with Eric Radford to become world champion pair figure skaters.
They’ve scored much success in team events over the years — winning seven Canadian national pairs titles, the Grand Prix Final gold in 2014, Four Continents gold in 2013 and 2015, plus back-to-back world championship gold medals in 2015 and 2016.
So How Did They Become Underdogs?
Following their world championships, Radford acknowledged some of his off-ice struggles. When they were on hiatus between the 'Four Continents' and 'Worlds,' he began to experience numbness and loss of control in his hip due to a herniated disk in his lower back.
With medical treatment, the pair changed the layout of their programs at Worlds in order to accommodate his injury.
But as result, Duhumel noted she thinks "that we’re kind of the underdogs this season.” Nonetheless, the pair feels it's important "to live in each moment and not get ahead of themselves."
Is there a GOLD for Animal Rights?
At times like this, “living in each moment” can also provide one with a purpose in life beyond our physical achievements. At this year’s PyeongChang Winter Games, Duhamel found that purpose.
She adopted a South Korean mini-dachshund named Moo-tae saving him from a horrible end — namely, from becoming the main course at a Korean restaurant.
Imploring her fellow Olympic athletes to follow suit, Duhamel hopes that her actions can help in ending South Korean dog meat farms that are prevalent throughout the country.
With her husband and coach Bruno Marcotte, she flew Moo-tae and another pup named Sara to Montreal, where the second pooh will be adopted by another Canadian family.
South Korean Dog Meat Farms
Roughly 2 million dogs each year are raised on Korean dog meat farms, where they are often locked in cages, beaten and left without food and water.
Koreans have been eating dog meat and soups for thousands of years. The Gangwon province alone, where this year’s games are held unfortunately still have 196 registered dog farms — even though there is a current animal advocacy movement attempting to eradicate the practice.
Restaurants in Pyeongchang were even offered government cash if they would cease selling dog dishes during the games. However, many declined, fearing they’d lose their loyal long-term customers.
“I have been selling dog meat for decades. It is really difficult for me to change my menu just because of the Olympics,” Park Young-ae, 60, whose Young Hoon Restaurant is block away from the Olympic Stadium.
Hats off to Duhamel
So whether or not Duhamel receives any medals with her partner at this year’s Olympics, she needs to be recognized for her selfless act in saving these two canines — and in shedding light on an ancient practice that is inhumane and needs to condemned as unlawful.
Primary Source: Olympic figure skater rescues dog