In the last leg of their extreme athletic competition, a team of four Swedish athletes were approached by a very hungry dog.
Almost finished with their 6-day race through the Ecuadorian jungle, Arthur, a scruffy stray strolled up to the team. Mikael Lindnord, the captain of the team, and his crew were about to embark on the last leg of a bike ride and jungle trek.
The men shared a meatball with Arthur, and that cemented the deal. After that, Arthur stuck by their sides.
“Maybe he felt that he wanted an adventure,” Lindnord tells TODAY. “He took a chance and found us friendly.”
The four-member team competed in the Adventure Racing World Championship, which included biking, running and kayaking. In preparation for the competition, each competitor trained for 20 hours a week.
The athletes discovered Arthur, who was subsequently named after the legendary British leader King Arthur, to be a great motivator. The pooch stayed with the team while they embarked on a 24-mile jungle hike.
That trek was followed by a 41-mile kayaking competition. The athletes worried Arthur would get hurt, and were about to leave him behind. Arthur, though, wasn’t having it, so he jumped in the water and followed the athletes. The humans pulled the dog aboard.
“It made our progress slower, but it was worth it,” Lindlord says.
Lindnord decided to adopt Arthur. He took him to a veterinary hospital, got him cleaned up, and then put him on a plane to Sweden.
“He is a wonderful dog, maybe not the cutest, but he is Arthur!” Lindnord says.