U.S. Olympian Gus Kenworthy might not be leaving South Korea with a medal, but he is leaving with an adorable puppy — and he’s stepping up as an advocate, too.
During his time in South Korea for the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, the skier and his boyfriend Matthew Wilkas visited a dog meat farm, where dogs are raised to be eaten. He documented the experience on Instagram, showing many of the dogs in cramped, cold outdoor cages, as well as one pup — which the couple adopted and named “Beemo” — that he’s bringing back to the U.S.
“Yes, there is an argument to be made that eating dogs is a part of Korean culture. And, while I don’t personally agree with it, I do agree that it’s not my place to impose western ideals on the people here.” Kenworthy wrote in his caption. “The way these animals are being treated, however, is completely inhumane and culture should never be a scapegoat for cruelty.” He went on to describe the inhumane and abusive conditions on dog farms.
The particular farm Kenworthy visited is in the process of being shut down with the help of the Humane Society International, which aims to end the dog farm industry altogether, according to the Associated Press. In the meantime, the 90 dogs on the farm in Siheung, South Korea will be brought to the U.S. and Canada and hopefully re-homed.
This isn’t the first time Kenworthy has used his time at the Olympics to help local dogs. The athlete also rescued five strays in Sochi in 2014, where he won a silver medal for freestyle skiing. That experience led to his partnership with the Humane Society International in South Korea.
Kenworthy made headlines earlier in the games after a kiss with boyfriend Wilkas was filmed during Olympic coverage. Now, the couple is directing the public’s attention to this issue, which is clearly close to Kenworthy’s heart.
“I’m hoping to use this visit as an opportunity to raise awareness to the inhumanity of the dog meat trade here in Korea and the plight of dogs everywhere, including back home in the US where millions of dogs are in need of loving homes!” He wrote on Instagram.