Athing Mu got her dream dog, a pug, after winning two gold medals in track events at the Tokyo Olympics.
In 2021, track star Athing Mu’s dreams came true: she won two Olympic gold medals and became the pet parent to a pug.
“I wanted a pug for so long. I think probably since fourth grade, I wanted to get a pug,” Mu, 20, told PEOPLE.
The moment finally arrived for Mu last summer after she won two gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics — one for the women’s 800-meter race and the other for the women’s 4×400-meter relay. Following her big wins in Japan, Mu returned to her hometown of Trenton, New Jersey, where she was treated to a celebration in honour of her success at the Olympics.
Mu’s brother surprised her with a pug she named Bentley at the event.
“I cried, and I didn’t even care about anything else that was going on,” Mu said of her reaction to the new pet.
Since then, Bentley has quickly become an essential part of Mu’s life and a constant source of support and amusement.
“My life has changed so much from Tokyo, so it’s just been a lot to adjust to, and I think even at this point right now, I’m still adjusting,” Mu said. “So on trough days, I’m like, ‘Ugh, this is way too much.’ It is so nice to have Bentley and to come home to him and see him wagging his tail, excited to see me.”
Bentley’s capability to keep Mu relaxed and with his lovable demeanor helps the athlete stay level-headed in her day-to-day life and before big competitions. Mu is currently at the World Track & Field Championships, where she will compete in the women’s 800-meter race, the same event she earned a gold medal for at the Tokyo Olympics.
“Most of the time, I’m very chill about big competitions. I think that’s a good mindset to have, only because when you get there, it’s going to be so exciting,” Mu said of the event, which is taking place at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon, from July 15-25.
Bentley helps Mu maintain this mindset by being his goofy, devoted self.
“His energy is either on 100, or it’s on zero. There’s no in-between. So he’s going nuts, or he’s sleeping and chilling all day,” Mu said of her amazing dog.
Mu returns Bentley’s affection by showering the pug with belly rubs, pup cups, and birthday parties.
For the canine’s first birthday, Mu threw Bentley his party with dog-friendly sweets and plenty of decorations.
“I just wanted to do something special. So that was his little, mini-birthday party,” Mu said of Bentley’s bash. Next year, Mu plans to go even bigger with Bentley’s birthday by buying him a mini Range Rover.
Watch Mu and more amazing athletes compete by tuning into the World Track & Field Championships July 15-24 on NBC, USA Network, CNBC, and Peacock. For more information, visit nbcsports.com/track.