The Winter Olympics are quickly approaching—the Opening Ceremony is set for Feb. 6—and NBC is working up some hardcore hype in an attempt to get viewers to tune in. Last week, photos surfaced of 15 Olympic athletes posing with a Siberian Husky puppy (appropriate choice of breed considering the location of the event). Everyone from BuzzFeed to Rare ran the photos which, based on the photo credit, were shot by NBC Olympics this past April.
The athletes all donned Team USA gear, while the puppy sported a blue Sochi collar/medal for the shoot. Each picture is accompanied by the athlete's name and event.
Judging by the pictures, I'd say that the Husky is a snowboarding fan; he looks the most at home in the arms of snowboarder Justin Reiter and gazes adoringly at Reiter's teammate Chas Guldemond. The ladies are also popular with the pup; female snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis brings out his silly side; and let's be honest, we're all making the same face as Hannah Teter in her pic as we scroll down. It really is a clever way to get people interested in the athletes (puppies + Internet = captive audience), although now I'm always going to think of skier Keri Herman as the Olympian who smooched with the pooch—maybe she should've offered him an Olympic Rings chew toy.
Ashley Wagner (figure skater), Ted Ligety (skiing) and Steve Holcomb (bobsled) cozy up with a pair of Husky puppies name Sochi. Photos courtesy of NBC Olympics.