Dog competition

Olympic gold medalist Athing Mu is ready for her next big competition with the help of her pug

Athing Mu Dog Photos

Courtesy of Athing Mu

In 2021, track and field star Athing Mu’s dreams came true: she won two Olympic gold medals and became the mother of a pug.

“I’ve wanted a pug for so long. I think probably since fourth grade I’ve wanted to have a pug,” Mu, 20, told PEOPLE.

The moment finally came for Mu last summer after winning two gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics – one for the women’s 800 meters and the other for the women’s 4 × 400 meters relay. After her big wins in Japan, Mu returned to her hometown of Trenton, New Jersey, where she was treated to a celebration honoring her success at the Olympics. Mu’s brother surprised her at the event with a pug she named Bentley.

“I cried and 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.

RELATED: Athing Mu, 19, becomes the first American woman to win Olympic gold in the 800m since 1968

Athing Mu Dog Photos

Athing Mu Dog Photos

Courtesy of Athing Mu

“My life has changed so much since Tokyo, so it’s taken a lot to adapt, and I think even at this point right now, I’m still adjusting,” Mu said. “So the tough days where I’m like, ‘Ugh, this is way too much.’ It’s so nice to have Bentley and to come home and see him wagging his tail, excited to see me.”

Bentley’s ability to keep Mu relaxed and with his lovable attitude helps the athlete keep a cool head in his day-to-day life and before big competitions. Mu is currently competing at the World Championships in Athletics, where she will compete in the women’s 800 meter race, the same event for which she won a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

“Most of the time, I’m very cool about big competitions. I think that’s a good mindset to have, only because when you get there, it’s going to be amplified so much,” Mu told about the event, which takes place at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, July 15-25.

Bentley helps Mu maintain this mindset by being his goofy, dedicated self.

RELATED: Doug the pug turns 10 and celebrates with birthday wishes and a new book

“His energy is either 100 or zero. There’s no in-between. So he goes completely crazy, or he sleeps and relaxes all day,” Mu said of his well-behaved dog. -like.

Athing Mu Dog Photos

Athing Mu Dog Photos

Courtesy of Athing Mu

Mu returns Bentley’s affection by showering the pug with belly rubs, puppy mugs and birthday parties.

For the dog’s first birthday, Mu threw her own party at Bentley with dog-friendly candies and lots of decorations.

“I just wanted to do something special. It was his little mini birthday party,” Mu said of Bentley’s party. Next year, Mu plans to go even further with Bentley’s birthday by buying him a mini Range Rover.

Watch Mu and other amazing athletes go head-to-head as you tune in to the World Championships in Athletics July 15-24 on NBC, USA Network, CNBC and Peacock. For more information, visit nbcsports.com/track.