USA Gymnastics Therapy Dog Goes Viral After Suni Lee Writes "Thank God for Beacon"

Excuse me while my heart explodes.

Suni Lee / Team USA / Instagram
(Image credit: Courtesy of Suni Lee / Team USA / Instagram)

USA Gymnastics competitors go through a ton of stress in their sporting careers generally, but possibly never more so than at the Olympic Trials.

To help deal with athletes' nerves, the team has hired the cutest therapy dog in all the land, a young golden retriever named Beacon.

Beacon attended the Trials last week, where gymnasts including Suni Lee—who qualified for Team USA at the Paris Olympics—got to play with and cuddle him.

Now the adorable pup is going viral after Lee posted a picture of herself bonding with him at the Trials, with the caption, "thank god for beacon," showing just how important the work he does is.

Suni Lee / Team USA / Instagram

Suni Lee poses with Beacon the therapy dog at the Olympic Trials.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Suni Lee / Team USA / Instagram)

After that, the certified "Goodest Boy" got recognized by @WeRateDogs on Instagram, receiving the score of 14/10.

"This is Beacon. He’s a 4-year-old therapy dog and one of USA Gymnastics' busiest volunteers, according to ESPN," the page wrote. "He attends important meets like the recent Olympic Trials wearing credentials that literally say he is the 'Goodest Boy.' His job is to comfort athletes and coaches, providing them a belly to rub and gentle face licks."

Beacon's handler Tracey Callahan Molnar is a former gymnast and coach herself, so she knows how challenging the sport can be.

"I watch the women and if they're animated when they see him, I'll walk toward them," Callahan Molnar told ESPN of approaching athletes with Beacon. "Tonight, some called him over or came to him on their own."

Importantly, Beacon knows when someone is feeling stressed or overwhelmed, and will jump to help them. "He will turn on a dime without seeing who it is," his handler added. "He picks up on the stress and will pull to that person immediately."

Callahan Molnar said Beacon is exhausted after a day of relieving stress, because he absorbs the energy from athletes. Still, Beacon was there throughout the Trials, providing comfort to anyone who needed it, and doing a really, really great job.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.