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Palm Coast Monday, Jul. 4, 2016 3 years ago

Made for paw-some moments: FPC alumna Morgan Weinberg brings furry stress relievers to USA Swimming

USA Olympic video of therapy dogs at USA Swimming Trials goes viral, about Palm Coaster Morgan Weinberg.
by: Jeff Dawsey Sports Editor

“I was trying to think of ways to reduce stress for the athletes, who are in such a competitive environment."


Dogs, which were always thought of as man’s best friends, have become the USA Olympic swimmers’ top choice of coping method to deal with the stressful situation of qualifying for the Rio Olympics. Palm Coast’s very own Morgan Weinberg discovered the idea for the USA Swimming Olympic Trials.

Weinberg, now the Programs and Services Manager for USA Swimming Club Development, sought several methods to help reduce stress for the athletes in such a competitive environment. An animal lover herself, she had read an article about how looking into a dog’s eyes can reduce stress and anxiety, so she thought dogs could be of great assistance to the swimmers she works with.

“I reached out to a local non-profit called Domesti-Pups, and their response was amazing,” Weinberg


Domesti-Pups sent out dogs to the swimmers during the USA Olympic Swim Trials, and it was a total success.

Therapy dogs helped swimmers relax before their Olympic swim trials. Photos by Kara Raney

“The dogs have been awesome; they’ve done what they’re here for,” Weinberg said. “All the athletes love them.” One swimmer credited her new personal record to spending time with the “doggies” before the race, and she repeated her therapy before all of her subsequent events.

The 2016 Olympic Games will kick off on Aug. 5, in Rio, and, according to Weinberg and the viral video, which has been viewed over 1.3 million times, the USA swimmers hope their furry friends will be accompanying them.

To see the video of the therapy dogs assisting the swimmers, click on this link: 

Morgan Weinberg and her dog Lana. Courtesy photo


Jeff Dawsey began his professional journalism career and his Observer employment in August of 2014. He is currently the Palm Coast and Ormond Beach Sports Editor, and he also writes business for just Palm Coast. In 2014, he graduated from Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville...

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