Ivanie Blondin is a 29-year-old Olympic speed skater hailing from Ottawa, Canada. Despite rising to the top of her sport and becoming an inspiration for women across the world, Ivanie battles depression. She’s not alone in her fight. And, she may have found the best cure of all… dogs!
A Fighting Spirit And Some Puppy Love Makes A Girl Unstoppable
Ivanie didn’t qualify in 2010 so she pushed on, eventually making it to the Sochi Olympics in 2014. She then earned her spot in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. She consistently refused to quit despite many setbacks. But, even after Ivanie landed her spot in South Korea, her battle wasn’t yet won. Ivanie had a nasty crash during the semi-finals that ultimately sent her home empty-handed.
Ivanie returned home feeling down and defeated. Depression crept in and that’s when she decided she needed to do something to turn things around. So, naturally, she sought out some puppy love! She skated on down to the Cochrane Humane Society for some of the best medicine love can buy. Okay, she probably didn’t skate there but you get the idea.
“Last year coming off the Olympic season I was suffering from depression, I was really upset with my performances at the Games, coming home empty-handed … I found myself in this downward spiral,” Ivanie told cbc.ca.
Sometimes The Best Trainers Have Four Legs
Ivanie has a parrot and a dog of her own named Brooke. In addition to her career in speed skating, she also completed training as a veterinary assistant! Her love for four-legged friends has helped her overcome some of the hardest obstacles life has thrown her way.
“I would bring dogs home that needed special care, or puppies that weren’t quite ready for adoption quite yet and I would take care of them. And, in a way, it helped me take care of myself,” Ivanie said. “It got me back into the mental state that I needed to perform.”
The Proof Is In The Medals
Ivanie is back on the fast track to success! The companionship and love she has shared with her foster dogs has paid off. Recently, the super dog mom took home the gold! She competed in and won five major races to close out 2019. She credits her success to her foster dogs and Brooke, who runs alongside her as she trains.
“It’s nice to have four-legged friends in your life and they give you so much positive energy that it’s hard to resist these faces,” she said.
How adorable is this video of Ivanie and Brooke with their foster, Moose?